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Connected Communities book cover
February 2018
The University of Arizona Press

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Connected Communities

Networks, Identity, and Social Change in the Ancient Cibola World
Matthew A. Peeples

The Cibola region on the Arizona-New Mexico border has fascinated archaeologists for more than a century. The region’s core is recognized as the ancestral homeland of the contemporary Zuni people, and the area also spans boundaries between the Ancestral Puebloan and Mogollon culture areas. The complexity of cross-cutting regional and cultural designations makes this an ideal context within which to explore the relationship between identity and social change at broad regional scales.

In "Connected Communities," Matthew A. Peeples examines a period of dramatic social and political transformation in the ancient Cibola region (ca. A.D. 1150–1325). He analyzes archaeological data generated during a century of research through the lens of new and original social theories and methods focused on exploring identity, social networks, and social transformation. In so doing, he demonstrates the value of comparative, synthetic analysis.


Matthew Peeples is an assistant professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. He is an archaeologist specializing in the U.S. Southwest and working to integrate archaeological data with methods and models from the broader social sciences to address questions revolving around the nature and dynamics of human social networks and group identities.

Praise for this book

“Peeples, one of the brightest emerging scholars in archaeology, examines decades of high-quality archaeological research in the Cibola region through a new and original use of theories of identity, social networks, and social transformation, demonstrating the added value of comparative, synthetic analysis.”

Judith A. Habicht Mauche
University of California, Santa Cruz

“A major contribution to Southwest archaeology, theories of identity, and network analysis. Peeples uses multiple ways of connecting people in the past, including artifacts and architecture, to show the layered nature of relationships.”

Barbara J. Mills
University of Arizona