By Gordon F. M. Rakita
Ancestors and Elites examines the connection among emergent social complexity and altering ritual practices on the prehispanic website of PaquimZ, Chihuahua, Mexico.
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Additional info for Ancestors and Elites: Emergent Complexity and Ritual Practices in the Casas Grandes Polity (Archaeology of Religion)
It is possible that this central building acted either as a communal center for ritual activities (not unlike kivas to the north) or as a communal living space for some portion of the site’s population. There were no indications from the excavation of any of the Convento phase structures that the larger structure represented the domicile of an elite family. Nothing is known of other Convento phase settlements within the region. It is, however, probable that other similar communities existed along the Río Casas Grandes and other drainages within the area.
The Convento phase peoples seem to have depended upon locally produced items as there is limited evidence for long-distance exchange. For example, locally produced ceramics dominate the Convento phase assemblage. Of the 222 nonlocal ceramic sherds found at the Convento site, none were from Convento phase contexts. Additionally, ornaments made from marine shell (which become quite popular in preceding phases and periods) were also absent from the Convento phase material. Of the twelve burial features from this phase, all were in fairly shallow (ca.
1974:8, 244). As noted earlier, 66 percent of the Viejo period specimens were from large animals (bison and antelope). 3 percent during the Viejo). This change in resource procurement may represent an increased reliance on garden hunting in and around fields or hunting in the foothills of mountains, since these are preferred habitats for jackrabbits and deer. A similar conclusion has been reached by Hodgetts (1996) for the El Zurdo site, a Medio period settlement in the Babicora basin to the south.
Ancestors and Elites: Emergent Complexity and Ritual Practices in the Casas Grandes Polity (Archaeology of Religion) by Gordon F. M. Rakita