You are here

MOBILITY AND COLLAPSE: STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF OXYGEN-18 ISOTOPES FROM ANCIENT MEXICO

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
When a society experiences a collapse, political authority becomes decentralized, large settlements often become abandoned, economic specialization decreases; and monumental building projects, artistic, and literary achievements slow drastically. The Rio Verde Valley, a coastal floodplain located in the region of Oaxaca in Southwest Mexico, experienced such a collapse at the end of the Terminal Formative period (150 BC to 250 AD). A period of decentralization followed, with regional centers becoming the main seats of authority throughout the region. My aim is to understand how this collapse affected residential population mobility in the lower Rio Verde Valley between the pre-collapse Terminal Formative and post-collapse Early Classic periods. I seek to answer the question: could this political collapse have caused intra-regional migration amongst the people of Ancient Oaxaca? To answer this, I analyzed the stable 18O and 13O isotopes in a set of 21 samples of human long bone excavated from the Terminal Formative archaeological site of Yugue and the Early Classic site of Charco Redondo. Oxygen isotope analysis is based on the principle that bone apatite and tooth enamel hold traces of oxygen isotopes found in the water that people drink, and that varying values of those isotopes reflect that the water was obtained from different sources. Based on literature surrounding the process of political collapse in ancient Mesoamerica and beyond, I expected to find evidence that intra-regional population mobility increased after the Terminal Formative period collapse. Instead, I found evidence of little to no mobility in both the Terminal Formative period site and the Early Classic period site, showing that the political collapse likely did not affect intra-regional mobility. These findings provide valuable insight into how human migration patterns correspond with political changes, both in the archaeological record of past civilizations and in modern societies.
Title: MOBILITY AND COLLAPSE: STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF OXYGEN-18 ISOTOPES FROM ANCIENT MEXICO.
15 views
10 downloads
Name(s): St. Pierre, Melanie L, Author
Barber, Sarah B., Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: When a society experiences a collapse, political authority becomes decentralized, large settlements often become abandoned, economic specialization decreases; and monumental building projects, artistic, and literary achievements slow drastically. The Rio Verde Valley, a coastal floodplain located in the region of Oaxaca in Southwest Mexico, experienced such a collapse at the end of the Terminal Formative period (150 BC to 250 AD). A period of decentralization followed, with regional centers becoming the main seats of authority throughout the region. My aim is to understand how this collapse affected residential population mobility in the lower Rio Verde Valley between the pre-collapse Terminal Formative and post-collapse Early Classic periods. I seek to answer the question: could this political collapse have caused intra-regional migration amongst the people of Ancient Oaxaca? To answer this, I analyzed the stable 18O and 13O isotopes in a set of 21 samples of human long bone excavated from the Terminal Formative archaeological site of Yugue and the Early Classic site of Charco Redondo. Oxygen isotope analysis is based on the principle that bone apatite and tooth enamel hold traces of oxygen isotopes found in the water that people drink, and that varying values of those isotopes reflect that the water was obtained from different sources. Based on literature surrounding the process of political collapse in ancient Mesoamerica and beyond, I expected to find evidence that intra-regional population mobility increased after the Terminal Formative period collapse. Instead, I found evidence of little to no mobility in both the Terminal Formative period site and the Early Classic period site, showing that the political collapse likely did not affect intra-regional mobility. These findings provide valuable insight into how human migration patterns correspond with political changes, both in the archaeological record of past civilizations and in modern societies.
Identifier: CFH2000379 (IID), ucf:45864 (fedora)
Note(s): 2018-08-01
B.A.
College of Sciences, Anthropology
Bachelors
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Oaxaca
Stable Isotopes
Mobility
Oxygen-18
Political Collapse
Chatino
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH2000379
Restrictions on Access: campus 2021-08-01
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections