Seeking Congruency—Search Images, Archaeological Records, and Apachean Origins

Author(s): John W. Ives

Year: 2017


Apachean prehistory presents a significant conundrum: remarkably resilient and pragmatic people, Athapaskan speakers consistently adopted many elements of the ceremonial life and material culture of their neighbors, making for profound archaeological challenges. How do we truly know when an archaeological record was created by Proto-Apachean ancestors? The best response to this challenge is to draw upon the independent strengths of anthropological, linguistic and genetic studies to develop a series of "search images" pertinent to various stages of Apachean migration from Subarctic Canada to the American Southwest. These fields have provided clear targets we should anticipate in Apachean prehistory. The founding Apachean population was small, and undoubtedly grew through fissioning of small populations creating further founder effects. Yet, Proto-Apachean populations did not remain small: many people (especially women from neighboring societies) joined nascent Apache and Navajo groups. With new data emerging from Promontory Culture, Franktown Cave and Dismal River sites, specific search images can be evaluated against the rich perishable, demographic, and isotopic data as well as evidence of societal interactions now available, in the context of high precision chronologies. This paper will offer a synthesis of the status of archaeological research into Apachean prehistory arising from the symposium contributions.

Cite this Record

Seeking Congruency—Search Images, Archaeological Records, and Apachean Origins. John W. Ives. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431869)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15632