290 Speaker: From Dividuals to Individuals? Changes in Cremation Practices Among the Tucson Basin Hohokam

Date/Time: 
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 14:00 to 16:00

Jessica I. Cerezo-Roman, PhD

Changing perspectives on concepts of personhood are explored by decon­structing cremation mortuary customs among the Prehispanic Hohokam of the Tucson Basin, southern Arizona, from the Preclassic to Classic periods (AD 475-1450/1500). The approach used analyzes how people werere pre­sented in mortuary rituals through three main bodies of data: (1 )biological profile of human skeletal remains, (2) posthumous treatment of the body, and (3) archaeological context. The biological profile of human skeletal re­mains relates to physical aspects of an individual's life. Examining posthu­mous treatment of the body and the archaeological context allow for recon­struction of relationships between the living and dead that are displayed through mortuary ritual. The combination of biology and culture reveals clues to how people were remembered at death by their families, peers, and community, as well as an individual's position(s) within multiple social networks. Results indicate that certain aspects ofpersonhood did not change across time and space. However, by analyzing changes through time in cremation rituals it was possible to infer that some aspects of personhood did change. These changes in cremation practices parallel broader sociopolitical changes of increased social differentiation and complexity among the Classic Period Hohokam.

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