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Kruschek, Michael H. (2003) THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOGOTÁ CHIEFDOM: A HOUSEHOLD VIEW. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this investigation was to examine the evolution of Muisca chiefdoms from the viewpoint of household dynamics at the scale of a particular polity. The Bogotá polity, located near the modern town of Funza, was the core of one of the most powerful Muisca chiefdoms encountered by the Spanish. The investigation focused on the evolution of the Bogotá polity through the Herrera (800 B.C. - A.D. 800), Early Muisca (A.D. 800-1200), and Late Muisca (A.D. 1200-1600) periods. Artifacts were recovered through shovel probes and surface collections at 40 sites in order to identify discrete residential areas and recover samples of artifacts for inter-household comparison. Artifact distribution maps were used to delimit individual houselots from each of the three periods. Evidence for wealth and status differences among households was apparent as early as the Herrera period. The evidence from the Early Muisca and Late Muisca periods indicated increasing restrictions on access to wealth and status within the Bogotá polity over time. Feasting activities as a means of elite competition seem to have been more important early in the development of the Bogotá chiefdom. Evidence for craft production and regional exchange were scarce, indicating that these activities were not particularly intensive. Furthermore, such evidence was not exclusively associated with elite households. Some elite households may have had a slight advantage in access to better quality soils, although the soils in the area are generally quite good for agriculture. The examination of the relationship between households and raised fields within the Bogotá polity produced mixed results. From the perspective of top-down elite control, there was little evidence of elite association with the construction and maintenance of raised fields. However, the contrasting bottom-up perspective of intensive agriculture as a commoner initiative was also not supported, as there were no indications of any economic advantage for the households located nearby raised fields. Overall, the results of the investigation are somewhat puzzling given the ethnohistoric accounts of powerful chiefs, social complexity, and intensive economic activities. Based on the evidence presented here, economic factors do not appear to be central to the development of Muisca chiefdoms.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kruschek, Michael H.kruschek@pitt.eduKRUSCHEK
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDrennan, Robert Ddrennan@pitt.eduDRENNAN
Committee MemberFrechione, Johnjfrech@pitt.eduJFRECH
Committee MemberBermann, Marcbermarc@pitt.eduBERMARC
Committee Memberde Montmollin, Olivierolly@pitt.eduOLLY
Date: 29 May 2003
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 March 2003
Approval Date: 29 May 2003
Submission Date: 30 April 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeology; chibcha
Other ID:, etd-04302003-143044
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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