Files in this item



application/pdfSarah_Rowe.pdf (94MB)
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Community and memory at the Late Valdivia site of Buen Suceso, Ecuador
Author(s):Rowe, Sarah
Director of Research:Silverman, Helaine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Silverman, Helaine I.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Pauketat, Timothy R.; Lucero, Lisa J.; Zeidler, James A.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Formative Cultures
Abstract:This dissertation is an examination of the use of social memory in community processes. The intersection of negotiated memory and community practices is addressed through an analysis of the material assemblage the Late Valdivia (2400-1800 BC) site of Buen Suceso on the coast of Ecuador. I argue that elements of earlier periods were utilized in the creation of a unique community identity at Buen Suceso that emphasized communal relationships and which distinguish it from other Valdivia sites of this time period. In this study I draw on a theoretical approach that emphasized that communities are always in process, always being created through the practices of their members, both at large scales such as feasts, and in smaller contexts of bodily practices. This emphasis on the process and practice involved in community formation and maintenance means that archaeologists examine instances of community, rather than external or pre-existing bounded entities. Likewise, the meaning of the past is socially mediated, through processes and practices of remembering and forgetting, of commemoration and alteration. These social meanings given to the past are thus part of the political processes implicated in community maintenance. I build a model for the investigation of Valdivia communities that explores the temporal, spatial, and power dimensions of community processes. I identify temporalized village spatial forms, a dedicatory deposit, and decorative elements within the ceramic assemblage that indicate community processes at Buen Suceso focused on a period some 1,000 years in the Valdivia past. The selection of this period posed the community at Buen Suceso in contrast to increasing social hierarchy at other contemporaneous sites in this region. Through a comparative analysis of ceramic assemblages from four Late Valdivia sites I highlight differences in ceramic use and assemblage composition that point to two diverging ways of fomenting community through participation in communal eating. These differences interrupt any singular or monolithic understanding of “Valdivia social life” and instead highlight the need for locally-developed and historicized examinations of social practices. The work presented here contributes to wider archaeological and anthropological discussions by illustrating how, even in so-called simple societies, communities were always politicized and negotiated. It further interrupts easy expectations for incremental increases in social hierarchy through time by presenting a case in which people rejected increasing social differentiation in favor of community practices that emphasized communalism without hierarchies.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Sarah Rowe
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics