Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Debra Martin

Second Committee Member

Brian Villmoare

Third Committee Member

Barbara Roth

Fourth Committee Member

William Bauer

Number of Pages



This dissertation examines the relationships between sex, gender, and health at Turkey Creek Pueblo (AD 1225-1286), the earliest aggregated Pueblo community in the Point of Pines region of east central Arizona, to better understand their roles in producing differential health outcomes. To gain a view of these interactions, I use osteological, mortuary, and ethnohistoric data to explore how gender, as a social institution, informed divisions of labor and experiences with traumatic injury at Turkey Creek Pueblo, because this site was occupied during a socially dynamic and important period in the pre-contact American Southwest. Using these data, I explore how sex, age, life history, and social status/prestige, as bioarchaeologically recoverable axes of gender identity, intersected to structure experiences of disease, heavy workloads, and traumatic injury between individuals and groups at Turkey Creek Pueblo. Through this research, I identify which bioarchaeologically detectable axes of gender (e.g., sex, age, and social role/status) were significantly promoting or buffering against experiences of disease and physical trauma within this community. I show that, at Turkey Creek Pueblo, osteological sex is not the most significant axis of identity structuring differences in experiences of trauma, health, and social status or social power within this community. This challenges Euro-centric, binary assumptions and portrayals of Indigenous gender roles and inequalities in the past. Gender roles among pre-contact Puebloan communities were complex and not rigidly defined by sex, nor were labor activities, poor health, trauma, and social power/prestige expressly divided along binary dimensions, in contrast to how they have been portrayed by traditional ethnographic and ethnohistoric sources. This research is significant in that it provides another line of evidence that gender and gendered experience are relational social scripts informed by the intersection of multiple axes of individual identity and life history. These analyses shed light on the social consequences of early population aggregation in the Mogollon Highland region and its implications for health, disease, and traumatic injury for aggregating communities.


Bioarchaeology; Gender; Mogollon; Mortuary treatment; Pathology; Trauma


Archaeological Anthropology | Biological and Physical Anthropology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit