Rob Ahlirchs


Christopher Hays (2010) proposed that prehistoric ritual behavior is conservative by nature but can be changed by contact with outside groups. This hypothesis is tested using burial data from seven Red Ocher complex sites in Wisconsin. Red Ocher burials are uniquely situated to give an empirical measure of contact with outside groups, due to the inclusion of a relatively large number of non-local raw materials used for the manufacture of burial goods. The hypothesis test consists of comparing the number of different provenances of raw materials to the number of different burial contexts in each of three regions of Red Ocher burials. The resultant distribution of mortuary ritual variability is briefly discussed utilizing a core-periphery framework.