AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: TRACE ELEMENTS, RESIDUES AND DNA MICROSATELLITE DATA IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOBILITY STUDIES: EVALUATING DEMOGRAPHIC BARRIERS TO PANMIXIA IN RAPA NUI (EASTER ISLAND)
Author: JOHN DUDGEON, AMY COMMENDADOR, MONICA TROMP   
Date/Time: Thu., 4:30 PM
Co-Author(s): JOHN DUDGEON, AMY COMMENDADOR, MONICA TROMP 
Abstract: The observation of regional lineages and corporate social groups on Rapa Nui after A.D. 1500 (Stevenson 1984, 2002) has been argued as evidence of the development of social hierarchy and differential access to subsistence and prestige resources, as well as barriers to gene flow in the form of mate choice restrictions by region and sex (Stefan 2001). For such a small and isolated island (e.g., 164 km2 in size and over 2000 km from the nearest habitable island, Pitcairn) Rapa Nui challenges our notions of archaeological mobility studies, focusing attention away from the traditional research topics of Polynesian migration across vast oceanic frontiers and onto the demographic and ecological features responsible for the pattern of residential and ritual features—platform mounds (ahu) populated with stone effigies (moai)—across the island. Through the analysis of archaeological microsatellite DNA, coupled with regional trace element biochemistry and microfossil dietary residues, we evaluate the empirical departures from demographic panmixia on Rapa Nui, with special emphasis on testing previous models of social structure, lineage construction and archaeological mobility. We argue that demographic infilling and ecological redundancy on small geographic scales created niche environments where mobility was not only socially-constrained, but also largely unnecessary for subsistence and economic activities. Evolutionary outcomes of these demographic challenges include a high degree of social competition, lineage inbreeding and control of reproductive resources—notably the decreased mobility of reproductive-age females. In this sense an alternative, evolutionarily-grounded framework for archaeological models of ‘matrilocal residence pattern’ and residential mobility will be presented.

Program Number: 2-0800
Session Title: MOTION CHECK: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSIGHTS ON THE CIRCULATION OF SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): DAVID PETERSON, ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago)  
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