Social Differentiation at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua Mexico: An Archaeological Analysis of Mortuary Practices

Author(s): John C. Ravesloot

Year: 1984


Excavations at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico have produced 576 burials dating between the 12th and 14th centuries. Social differentiation was investigated among Casas Grandians by analyzing a series of burial attributes defined from the society's mortuary program. An attempt was made to determine the manner degree to which social life at Casas Grandes was hierarchically structured during the Medio Period (ca. A.D. 1060 to 1340). Specifically, the hypothesis that Casas Grandes was organized on the basis of ascriptive ranking was tested. This hypothesis was evaluated by testing for the presence of symbolic indicators of distinct offices of power and rank by reference to qualitative or categorical attributes of burial treatment.

Univariate and multivariate analyses of the attributes of Casas Grandes burials have demonstrated that the burial attributes cluster into several presumed social-defined dimensions of differentiation. These dimensions are assumed to indicate different degrees of access to increasingly less common facets of burial treatment which may signify differences in social ranking.

Finally, the implications of this study and directions for future investigations of hierarchical organization are discussed.

Cite this Record

Social Differentiation at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua Mexico: An Archaeological Analysis of Mortuary Practices. John C. Ravesloot. Doctoral Dissertation. Southern Illinois University, Department of Anthropology. 1984 ( tDAR id: 458666) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8458666

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.996; min lat: 27.676 ; max long: -104.612; max lat: 30.404 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Amerind Museum

Submitted To(s): The Amerind Foundation, Inc.

Record Identifiers

MS(s): 504

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