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Feasting and the Ritual Mode of Production in the Mesa Verde Region of the American Southwest

Author(s): James Potter

Year: 2017

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In the Southwest, feasting is understood as one of the primary mechanisms whereby small-scale agriculturalists of the past increased the social, demographic, and political scale of their societies. This study examines both artifact assemblages and communal architecture from a number of prehistoric sites in the Mesa Verde area. Consistent increases in the number and elaborateness of decorated serving bowls and the size of communal spaces suggest an increase in the frequency, intensity, and scale of ceremonial feasting from AD 600 to 1300. This trend tracks many of the expectations of Spielmann’s Ritual Mode of Production model, wherein ceremonial feasting creates the demand that underwrites and sustains economic intensification in small-scale societies.

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Feasting and the Ritual Mode of Production in the Mesa Verde Region of the American Southwest. James Potter. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430956)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14457

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America