Northern Iroquoian Ethnic Evolution: A Social Network Analysis

TitleNorthern Iroquoian Ethnic Evolution: A Social Network Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHart, JP, Engelbrecht, W
JournalJournal of Archaeological Method and Theory
KeywordsEthnogenesis, Northern Iroquoian ethnicity, Signaling theory, Social network analysis

Ethnicity is one kind of social relationship that archaeologists explore. The evolution of the northern Iroquoian ethnic landscape in New York, southern Ontario, and the St. Lawrence Valley has been of long-standing interest to archaeologists. Since MacNeish’s (1952) pottery typology study, the predominant model for this evolution has been cladistic. Collar decoration served as a means of signaling attributes of the potter and pottery users that mirrored other more visible signals. We use social network analysis to determine whether pottery collar decoration data best fit MacNiesh’s cladistic or an alternative rhizotic model. The results better fit the rhizotic model.