Does Status Matter?: A Skeletal Analysis of Hawikku

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Title: Does Status Matter?: A Skeletal Analysis of Hawikku
Author: Gomez, Emily Janelle
Advisors: D. Troy Case, Committee Chair
Ann Ross, Committee Member
Scott Fitzpatrick, Committee Member
Abstract: Hawikku was a pre- and proto-historic Puebloan settlement associated with the Native American Zuni culture, located in the Zuni Mountains near the Arizona-New Mexico border. Archaeological excavations by the Hendricks-Hodge Expedition began in 1917 and continued until 1923. Distinct burial areas are thought to represent related groups of individuals, including males and females who held leader or authoritative positions during life. Historically, the first encounter between Spanish explorers and Puebloan peoples took place at Hawikku and it has been proposed that this settlement was the location of an attack by Francisco Coronado, the legendary explorer. Data from previous health studies on the Hawikku skeletal population show health was generally poor and neither sex nor social status insulated a person from poor health. A study of pathological lesions was undertaken to determine whether social status had an effect on osteoarthritis development. After a comprehensive analysis for osteoarthritis prevalence, there was not evidence to suggest that high status individuals had significantly different levels of osteoarthritis relative to the low status individuals. The mortuary behavior practiced at Hawikku implies that leaders probably participated in similar daily activities relative to the general population, but performed special religious rites or rituals at particular times of the year. This study contributes valuable information to our knowledge of the relationship between social organization and arthritis prevalence in the past.
Date: 2009-04-22
Degree: MA
Discipline: Anthropology

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