The bioarchaeology of identity in Spanish colonial Florida: Social and evolutionary transformation before, during, and after demographic collapse

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Abstract

In this article, I consider the effects of Spanish missionization on indigenous identity and biological interaction patterns. Odontometric data were recorded for 26 skeletal samples dating to three time periods: precontact (C.E. 1200-1400), early mission (C.E. 1600-1650), and late mission (C.E. 1650-1700). Population genetic analyses generated estimates of regional genetic variation (FST) and intersample genetic distances. Genetic variation during the precontact period was limited despite documented linguistic and cultural variation. Variation increased during the early mission period, indicating a decline in between-group interaction despite inclusion within a single colonial sociopolitical framework. During the late mission period, variation declined significantly, indicating a dramatic reduction in between-group variability consistent with genetic drift and gene flow between communities. I discuss these results in terms of archaeological and historical models of postcolonial transformation and suggest an emerging polyethnic community was resident in La Florida preceding the subsequent diaspora caused by burgeoning European military conflict in eastern North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-431
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Volume107
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

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military conflict
interaction pattern
group interaction
diaspora
community
inclusion
Colonies
Evolutionary
Bioarchaeology
Demographics
resident
linguistics
Group
Pre-contact
time
Interaction
Missionization
Indigenous Identity
Population Genetics
Group Interaction

Keywords

  • Ethnogenesis
  • La Florida missions
  • Odontometrics
  • Population genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

Cite this

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abstract = "In this article, I consider the effects of Spanish missionization on indigenous identity and biological interaction patterns. Odontometric data were recorded for 26 skeletal samples dating to three time periods: precontact (C.E. 1200-1400), early mission (C.E. 1600-1650), and late mission (C.E. 1650-1700). Population genetic analyses generated estimates of regional genetic variation (FST) and intersample genetic distances. Genetic variation during the precontact period was limited despite documented linguistic and cultural variation. Variation increased during the early mission period, indicating a decline in between-group interaction despite inclusion within a single colonial sociopolitical framework. During the late mission period, variation declined significantly, indicating a dramatic reduction in between-group variability consistent with genetic drift and gene flow between communities. I discuss these results in terms of archaeological and historical models of postcolonial transformation and suggest an emerging polyethnic community was resident in La Florida preceding the subsequent diaspora caused by burgeoning European military conflict in eastern North America.",
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