Archaeological identification of kin groups using mortuary and biological data: An example from the American southwest

Todd L. Howell, Keith Kintigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the central role that kinship plays in key anthropological arguments, recent archaeological efforts to detect kinship have been notably scarce. Here, age and sex distributions and dental morphology traits that reflect genetic affinity are used to argue that specific kin groups were buried in formal, spatially discrete cemeteries in the ancestral Zuni settlement of Hawikku. The inferred kin groups are then used to investigate Hawikku political structure. Results show that community leaders, identified on the basis of mortuary treatments and grave offerings, were selected from a small number of kin groups, suggesting an ascriptive element to leadership selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-554
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

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