Alliance Formation & Social Signaling: Village Interaction among the Monongahela

Author(s): Andrew Malhotra

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

A general trend among many societies has been the growth of political complexes, and thereby alliance formation. New studies on the Monongahela culture, such as those undertaken by Dr. William Johnson and David Anderson (2002), seek to define the growing political complexity of the Monongahela during the Late Monongahela period (A.D. 1580-1635). This research expands on their ideas and Dr. John Nass’s that the Monongahela, during the Late Monongahela period, were not just growing in political complexities within sites, but that they were also forming alliances across multiple sites. This study seeks to understand how scalloped lip ceramics and charnel houses can provide the key data to examine the formation of alliances and village interactions. The data used for this study is constructed through the analysis of scalloped lip ceramics that appear in Monongahela sites during that period. Using the concept of social signaling to show how scalloped lip ceramics, Charnel houses and evidence of the associated feasting and social inequality, may be used as an indicator of alliance formation. Spatial analysis of the data will be used to create a broad picture of village interactions during the Late Monongahela period, including a statistical analysis.

Cite this Record

Alliance Formation & Social Signaling: Village Interaction among the Monongahela. Andrew Malhotra. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449539)

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Abstract Id(s): 25003