Style as a social strategy: Dimensions of ceramic stylistic variation in the ninth century northern Southwest.

Show simple item record Hegmon, Michelle Michal
dc.contributor.advisor Wright, Henry T. 2016-08-30T16:50:42Z 2016-08-30T16:50:42Z 1990
dc.description.abstract The role of material culture style in cultural systems, particularly small-scale agricultural societies, is investigated. The research goal is to understand how style is used in social relations and thus to understand patterns of variation in prehistoric ceramic design style. Style is defined as an aspect of form determined by consistent choice. A model of the role of style in small-scale sedentary agricultural societies is developed. Style is viewed as a strategy for defining social units, exchanging information with socially distant persons, and symbolizing ritual contexts. Thus style should have a particularly important role in areas with aggregated settlements and high population density, and in ritual activities. Style is examined in terms of two dimensions of variation: structure and difference. Analyses involve black-on-white ceramic designs from the ninth century A.D. in the American Southwest. The Kayenta and Mesa Verde regions, including Black Mesa and Dolores, are compared. Only the Mesa Verde region had aggregated settlements and large-scale ritual facilities, and it had a greater population density. At Dolores the scale of social organization may have increased between A.D. 840 and 880. Style as structure is analyzed on whole and fragmentary vessels. A method is developed to determine to what extent the designs are rigidly structured or rule-bound. Designs on Kana'a B/W, a Kayenta ceramic type, are more rigidly structured than designs on Piedra B/W, a Mesa Verde type. Analysis of difference involves study of design attributes on sherds and vessels. Similarity between and diversity within assemblages are examined. Design diversity was greater in the Mesa Verde region than the Kayenta region. During the period of increased organization scale at Dolores, design diversity decreased. The greater diversity and greater structural flexibility observed in Mesa Verde region designs suggests a more active social role for style. The more standardized, less diverse designs in the Kayenta region are interpreted as isochrestic variation. The decrease in diversity associated with an increase in organizational scale at Dolores suggests that stylistic definition of small social units was de-emphasized when larger-scale integration developed.
dc.format.extent 466 p.
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN
dc.subject Arizona
dc.subject Century
dc.subject Ceramic
dc.subject Colorado
dc.subject Dimensions
dc.subject Ninth
dc.subject Northern
dc.subject Social
dc.subject Southwest
dc.subject Strategy
dc.subject Style
dc.subject Stylistic
dc.subject Variation
dc.title Style as a social strategy: Dimensions of ceramic stylistic variation in the ninth century northern Southwest.
dc.type Thesis
dc.description.thesisdegreename Ph.D.
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Archaeology
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Native American studies
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Social Sciences
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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