Identity and Social Transformation in the Prehispanic Cibola World: A.D. 1150-1325


This project contains raw data files associated with my Arizona State University dissertation.

Identity and Social Transformation in the Prehispanic Cibola World: A.D. 1150-1325

For more up-to-date versions of these data and analyses see tDAR project:

"Connected Communities: Networks, Identity, and Social Change in the Ancient Cibola World"


Cite this Record

Identity and Social Transformation in the Prehispanic Cibola World: A.D. 1150-1325. ( tDAR id: 368796) ; doi:10.6067/XCV86T0P17

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1150 to 1325

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.193; min lat: 33.615 ; max long: -107.699; max lat: 35.684 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Matthew Peeples


General Note: This dissertation explores the interrelationships between periods of rapid social change and regional-scale social identities. Using archaeological data from the Cibola region of the U.S. Southwest, I examine changes in the nature and scale of social identification across a period of demographic and social upheaval (A.D. 1150-1325) marked by a shift from dispersed hamlets, to clustered villages, and eventually, to a small number of large nucleated towns. This transformation in settlement organization entailed a fundamental reconfiguration of the relationships among households and communities across an area of over 45,000 km2. This study draws on contemporary social theory focused on political mobilization and social movements to investigate how changes in the process of social identification can influence the potential for such widespread and rapid transformations. This framework suggests that social identification can be divided into two primary modes; relational identification based on networks of interaction among individuals, and categorical identification based on active expressions of affiliation with social roles or groups to which one can belong. Importantly, trajectories of social transformations are closely tied to the interrelationships between these two modes of identification. This study has three components: Social transformation, indicated by rapid demographic and settlement transitions, is documented through settlement studies drawing on a massive, regional database including over 1,500 sites. Relational identities, indicated by networks of interaction, are documented through ceramic compositional analyses of over 2,100 potsherds, technological characterizations of over 2,000 utilitarian ceramic vessels, and the distributions of different types of domestic architectural features across the region. Categorical identities are documented through stylistic comparisons of a large sample of polychrome ceramic vessels and characterizations of public architectural spaces. Contrary to assumptions underlying traditional approaches to social identity in archaeology, this study demonstrates that relational and categorical identities are not necessarily coterminous. Importantly, however, the strongest patterns of relational connections prior to the period of social transformation in the Cibola region largely predict the scale and structure of changes associated with that transformation. This suggests that the social transformation in the Cibola region, despite occurring in a non-state setting, was governed by similar dynamics to well-documented contemporary examples.

Resource Inside this Project (Viewing 1-1 of 1)

  • Dataset (1)


  1. Domestic architectural data - Chapter 7 (2011)