The University of Arizona

SISTA Colloquium Details

Date: Monday, December 6, 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Location: Gould-Simpson Bldg., Room 906
Light refreshments: 9th floor atrium area - 11:50 a.m.

Speaker: Barbara J. Mills, Professor
Director of School of Anthropology

The University of Arizona

Title: The Southwest Social Network Project and The Archaeology of the Late Prehispanic Southwest, A.D. 1200-1550


Abstract:  This presentation summarizes a current interdisciplinary project that applies social network analysis (SNA) to the analysis of a large, regional GIS-based database of archaeological materials from the U.S. Southwest dating between A.D. 1200 and 1550. I first discuss the evolution of our research design including the kinds of data archaeologists incorporate in their work and how our database was constructed. My collaborators and I started with the question: How do sites relate to each other in regional networks that are based on their associative properties, rather than just spatial distance? I briefly discuss some of the results of our analyses focusing on several questions: (1) How does network topology change within dynamic social contexts such as diasporic migration and is there evidence for emergent networks? (2) What is the relationship between spatial and social centrality within the network? and (3) How does social centrality in a network relate to settlement persistence? I conclude with some of the challenges of working with a large database compiled from multiple sources and some of the directions for the project in the future.