The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Biological Variability of the First Forager-Farmers in the Sonoran Desert


Anthropology, University of Arizona, Bioarchaeology, Arizona State Museum

Thursday All day, Park Concourse Add to calendar

The first cultigens, irrigation canals, and ceramics characterize Early Agricultural period (2100 B.C.-A.D. 200) sites in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. Regional similarities in material culture suggest frequent social interaction where small communities likely exchanged kin to maintain size and stability. This study tests the hypothesis that Early Agricultural period human biological variability reflects patterns of differential migration frequencies between the sexes potentially linked to exchange network organization. Craniometrics were collected from both curated skeletal remains and archived data then were analyzed with multivariate and R-matrix statistical procedures. Results suggest Early Agricultural period males are more variable than expected and most related to males from other site complexes. Females are less variable than expected and more distinct relative to females from other site complexes. Inferences regarding higher male exogamy and female matrilocality is proposed which has also been supported by previous studies done on Early Agricultural period ceramic figurines, long bone cross-sectional morphology, sex -based activity patterns, and mtDNA.

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