Kill Holes in Context: A Study of Kill Holes in Prehispanic Southwest New Mexico

Author(s): Rebecca Harkness

Year: 2019


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

Mimbres Classic Black-on-white is the hallmark of the Mimbres Classic period (A.D. 1000-1130) in prehispanic Southwest New Mexico. Bowls from this region are often marked by an interesting practice where holes, called kill holes, are punched out of the bottom. Kill holes are found across sites in the Mimbres archaeological region, however, little statistical research has been conducted on them. Many explanations for this practice have been proposed, mostly associating the hole with burial ritual. This study expands on recent research on the relationship between iconography on bowls and kill holes by adding the context in which bowls are found. A previously unanalyzed site, Treasure Hill, is added to data from Galaz, Mattocks, Swarts Ruin, NAN Ranch, and Cameron Creek. Exploratory data analysis is used to see if bowls with kill holes are placed in burials at a significantly higher rate. Assuming the theory that kill holes are associated with burial ritual is correct, I expect to find a statistically significant association of kill holes with burial context. However, a lack of statistical correlation could indicate that kill holes hold different significance, and could pave the way for new theories as to their significance.

Cite this Record

Kill Holes in Context: A Study of Kill Holes in Prehispanic Southwest New Mexico. Rebecca Harkness. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450138)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25349