Bioarchaeological Approaches to Kinship and Social Organization at Paquimé

Author(s): Kyle Waller; Adrianne Offenbecker

Year: 2017


Variation in cranial and dental non-metric traits provides a unique method for investigating prehistoric biological variability at Paquimé, Chihuahua, Mexico. Previous biodistance analyses have demonstrated patterns of long-distance gene flow with both Southwestern and frontier Mesoamerican groups, while stable isotope analyses have suggested a pattern of immigration into the site. The primary goal of this study is to determine what the pattern of biological variability tells us about social organization and kinship at the site. To test this question, we perform a series of biodistance analyses. First, determinant ratio analyses demonstrate that females have considerably greater genetic variability than males, possibly suggesting a pattern of patrilocality. Second, we use established family clusters as sub-groups, and then compare distance between graves and inter-individual biological similarity to test the degree to which locales within Paquimé reflect biological lineages. The results do not demonstrate a consistent pattern: some family clusters appear to reflect multiple generations of lineages, while others reflect a broader range of biological variability. We consider the implications of our biodistance results for evaluating models of the growth and development of leadership at Paquimé.

Cite this Record

Bioarchaeological Approaches to Kinship and Social Organization at Paquimé. Kyle Waller, Adrianne Offenbecker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432064)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15930