Modeling Cross Cultural Interaction In Ancient Border Lands

Published: Monday, June 11, 2018 - 4:48pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 8:53am
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University of Florida Press

A new volume of research entitled "Modeling Cross-Cultural Interaction in Ancient Borderlands," compiled in part by a Mesa Community College professor of archaeology is helping to visually represent cultural interaction between Native American tribes in South America.

The idea arose from Kirk Costion’s anthropological research of the Wari culture that existed in Peru from 500-1000 AD.

"They are the only truly archaeological military empire that we know of because they didn’t have a written language,” he said. 
 
As a result, Costion relied solely on artifacts, which led him to realize tribes overtaken by the Wari retained their own cultural practices.  
 
“There’s been some studies in North America of Spanish missionaries in California. There’s always the assumption they dominated the local Native Americans, but when you actually look at the archaeological record you can see that the Native Americans were still exerting their identity.”  
    
Costion said one takeaway from his research is that military societies like the Wari relied on a “give and take mentality” and not one of total domination for longevity.

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