Archaeological faunal remains reflect daily subsistence, social organization, and ceremonial behaviors among humans. In the prehistoric American Southwest, social organization was intimately tied to ceremonial power and ritual knowledge. By examining ritually important taxa and evaluating the nature of differential access to faunal resources, faunal remains offer insight into Sinagua culture and social organization. Ridge Ruin is a Sinagua site occupied from A.D. 1070 to 1175 in the San Francisco Peaks area of Northern Arizona. The site features include a 20-25 room pueblo, a plaza, and two ballcourts as well as the famous burial of the Magician, the richest burial ever found in the Southwest. These communal structures and the Magician’s burial indicate that Ridge Ruin was a ceremonial central place. Faunal remains from the site suggest that, unlike other sites in the San Francisco Peaks area, Ridge Ruin hosted communal feasts. The presence of ceremonially important taxa further suggests that Sinagua leaders relied on ritual knowledge to maintain status. Other taxa show that Ridge Ruin’s occupants maintained daily subsistence regimens. The Sinagua used faunal resources for daily subsistence, to supplement ceremonial practices, and to conduct feasts which served to simultaneously unite local communities and establish social hierarchy. Faunal data from this thesis are provided in a supplemental document.
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|Advisor:||Thompson, Kerry F.|
|Commitee:||Burke, Chrissina C., Hardy, Lisa J., Smiley, Francis E.|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Arizona, Fauna, Ridge Ruin, Sinagua, Social organization, Zooarchaeology|
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