Akins_Northern Rio Grande_Paper_Exploring Mortuary Variability in the Northern Rio Grande


The Pueblo Indians who live in the Northern Rio Grande belong to several distinct linguistic groups and their cultural differences may be reflected in past burial practices. With a few notable exceptions, much of the older data on Northern Rio Grande burials is presented as summaries without regards to age or sex and without definitions of exactly what is meant by the terms used to describe even basic treatment such as orientation and body position. Thus, the typical level of reporting is insufficient to answer most research questions and leaves the impression that there either is little or no consistency in how bodies were treated or that the burial program was extremely complex. Recent excavations at sites in the Tewa and Galisteo Basins of Northern New Mexico have recovered small to significant numbers of human burials. To manage and begin to compare burial practices between several projects required a data base that could be used to summarize demography, grave location and characteristics, body position, and grave goods as well as explore patterns within and between the sites. Some of this data suggests that decisions concerning the details of burial are made at the extended family level, but other decisions have a broader significance that we are just beginning to recognize. A regional data base could not only provide additional information to examine a wide range of questions but would improve our reporting and recording of burial encountered in the future.

Cite this Record

Akins_Northern Rio Grande_Paper_Exploring Mortuary Variability in the Northern Rio Grande. Nancy Akins. Presented at 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Sacramento. 2011 ( tDAR id: 5937) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8154G0V

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 600 to 1600

Spatial Coverage

min long: -106.902; min lat: 35.47 ; max long: -105.403; max lat: 36.607 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
akins_north-rio-grande_summary-paper.pdf 155.02kb Mar 11, 2011 2:14:25 AM Public