Award Date

12-1-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Committee Member

Karen G. Harry

Second Committee Member

Alan Simmons

Third Committee Member

Barbara Roth

Fourth Committee Member

Elizabeth Hausrath

Fifth Committee Member

Kathryn H. Korgan

Number of Pages

100

Abstract

Archaeologists have always wondered about the extent of vessel movement in the American Southwest. Identifying vessel movement allows for the study of social interactions across a region and the role of ceramics in the adaptive processes of agriculturalists living in marginal, highly variable environments. In many instances, exchange may act as a way to reduce the risk of resource shortfalls by creating social ties in other areas. This research investigated the changing risk reduction strategies of households in the lowland Virgin region of southern Nevada by using geochemical methods to trace the exchange of locally produced pottery. It was hypothesized that households in southern Nevada traded with households in the St. George Basin in an effort to stymie the loss of diverse trade networks. Results showed that households were not trading with households in the St. George Basin suggesting that prehistoric peoples are not always economically rational.

Keywords

Ancestral Pueblo culture; Commerce, Prehistoric; Neutron Activation Analysis; Risk; Nevada; United States – Virgin River Valley; Utah – Saint George Basin; Virgin Anasazi

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology | Chemistry

Language

English


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