Barbara Roth – “Households, Community, and Social Power at the Harris Site, Mimbres Valley, New Mexico”
The Harris Site, located in the north-central portion for the Mimbres River Valley of southwestern New Mexico, is a large Pithouse period (A.D. 500-1000) site that is best known for its role in Emil Haury’s definition of the Mogollon as a distinct Southwestern cultural group. Excavations conducted at the site since 2007 have focused on the northern portion of the site where Haury did not excavate. The goals of these excavations have been to investigate household organization during the Pithouse period and to examine how households changed over time in response to the shift to irrigation agriculture. Our work has documented clusters of related households that appear to be extended families, and some of these households had significant amounts of social power that made them central to community development at Harris. In this presentation, I discuss the results of our research, including excavations of a large communal structure this past summer that has helped us to examine the role of ritual in integrating the community. I explore the implications of these findings for understanding Pithouse period communities throughout the Mimbres region.