The Gallina of New Mexico: a culture of violence?

Stanerson, Vlisha L., author
Magennis, Ann L., advisor
LaBelle, Jason, committee member
Orsi, Jared, committee member
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This thesis research examines the interpersonal violence occurring within the Gallina cultural group of the Ancestral Pueblo tradition in north-central New Mexico (A.D. 1050-1250/1300). In order to understand actual events of violence, the skeletal material of the Gallina was examined. In-depth analysis of all the remains associated with the Gallina allowed for the creation of a comprehensive view of the age-at-death and sex distribution. Additionally, the use of standard osteological procedures was used to identify and describe traumatic injuries found on the skeletal material attributed to interpersonal violence. These traumas, along with the age-at-death and sex distribution made it possible to compare the Gallina to other samples to determine how prevalent Gallina violence was within the greater Ancestral Pueblo tradition and hypothesize explanations for the violence that are most plausible. The Gallina sample consists of 142 individuals; there are slightly more males than females. There are 86 adults and 36 sub-adults, with a majority of the individuals between the ages of 20 and 40. Of a minimum of 142 individuals, 52 exhibit traumatic injury, though only 17 individuals show clear evidence of interpersonal violence. Twenty-five have been burned, which may or may not have been due to violent events. This is a conservative number as the completeness of the individuals varies and several individuals are fragmented or are missing parts of the skeleton such that if trauma was there it was not observable. This sample demonstrates at least one instance of each of five main types of trauma (blunt force, sharp force, sharp-blunt force, projectile, and cremation), with blunt force trauma and cremation showing the highest frequencies. The violence observed among the Gallina, when compared to that in the La Plata River Valley and the Southwest Basin and Range Region show that the Gallina experienced slightly more violent events, though not overwhelmingly so. As for hypotheses to explain the Gallina violence, domestic violence against women, witchcraft execution, and cannibalism were ruled out as the Gallina did not exhibit all the characteristics of such events. The most logical explanation for the interpersonal violence observed among the Gallina was warfare/conflict, though whether this is intergroup or intragroup violence remains to be explored more carefully.
2012 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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New Mexico
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