Beyond the Household: The Evolution of Nonresidential Organizations During the Southwest Neolithic

Author(s): John Ware

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Kin, Clan, and House: Social Relatedness in the Archaeology of North American Societies" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The basic building blocks of human communities are residential groups held together by ties of kinship. As communities increase in number and size during the Neolithic, residential kinship groups persist, of course, but new institutions may emerge that draw their members from multiple residential groups. These "nonresidential groups" may affirm existing principles of kinship in new ways (lineages, clans, sections, moieties), or newly formed groups may cut across kinship boundaries in favor of common interest or special purpose (associations or sodalities). For whatever principle or purpose they originally formed, however, all nonresidential groups have an important latent function: "Because they are made up of persons who are not organized due to mutual residence, they unify persons who belong to different residential groups" (Service 1963:xxii). The archaeological delineation of residential kinship groups is comparatively straightforward since households often fill standardized architectural containers (structures with sleeping, heating, and cooking features, storage facilities, etc.). Nonresidential groups can be much harder to detect, and in recent years archaeologists have mostly stopped trying. This paper counters recent trends by addressing the archaeological recognition of nonresidential groups among the Pueblo peoples of the northern Southwest.

Cite this Record

Beyond the Household: The Evolution of Nonresidential Organizations During the Southwest Neolithic. John Ware. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450769)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -123.97; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -101.997; max lat: 46.134 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23705