Patterns of Migration at Paquimé: Insights from Isotopic and Demographic Data


This is an abstract from the "25 Years in the Casas Grandes Region: Celebrating Mexico–U.S. Collaboration in the Gran Chichimeca" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Interregional interaction has factored prominently in debates about the origin and cultural trajectory of Paquimé since the site was first excavated six decades ago. In this paper, we use a bioarchaeological approach to reconstruct the structure and scale of migration at Paquimé to better understand who migrated to the site, their motivations for doing so, and the impacts that interregional interaction had on this prehistoric community. Strontium and oxygen isotope results indicate that ~68% of non-local individuals moved to Paquimé from within the Casas Grandes region, while ~32% migrated from neighboring regions. The immigrants consisted of men, women, and children, which suggests that migration likely occurred within social or kin-based units. Our multi-tissue sampling strategy revealed that most immigrants from outside the Casas Grandes region moved multiple times during life, particularly those from the American Southwest. There is also compelling evidence for the practice of captive taking. We conclude by discussing potential push and pull factors, as well as how place of origin may have impacted power, status, and authority structures at Paquimé.

Cite this Record

Patterns of Migration at Paquimé: Insights from Isotopic and Demographic Data. Adrianne Offenbecker, Kyle Waller, Gordon Rakita, M. Anne Katzenberg. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451068)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -123.97; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -92.549; max lat: 37.996 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26095