Matching Items (8)

158118-Thumbnail Image.png

Hohokam Irrigation Longevity and Agricultural Success in the Lower Salt River Valley, Arizona

Description

The primary focus of this research is the poorly understood relationship between water insufficiency and broad-scale social change, in the semi-arid lower Salt River Valley, in central Arizona. The overarching

The primary focus of this research is the poorly understood relationship between water insufficiency and broad-scale social change, in the semi-arid lower Salt River Valley, in central Arizona. The overarching research question guiding this research is if water insufficiency could have prompted sociopolitical change among the Hohokam. Specifically, the research investigates if long-term water deficits were a catalyst for the two most consequential transformations in Hohokam history – the Preclassic/Classic transition (A.D. 1070-1100/1150) and the early to late Classic period transition (ca. A.D. 1300).

This research used extensive historical aerial photographs and cultural resource management excavation data to complete the largest-scale reconstruction of Hohokam irrigation. These lines of evidence provided exceptional insight into the developmental histories of eight major irrigation systems along the lower Salt River, four of which are newly defined here. Also, historic Salt River streamflow trends are leveraged to refine previously reconstructed annual flow discharges. The irrigation system reconstruction provided the means for estimating irrigation demand through irrigated acreage, and monthly streamflows supplied the amount of water available during key points in the two agricultural cycles per year. Together, irrigation demand and water availability provided necessary data to identify persistent water shortages during Hohokam history between A.D. 740 and 1450.

The findings discussed in this dissertation demonstrate that water insufficiency likely had no notable effect related to either the Preclassic/Classic or early to late Classictransitions in the lower Salt River Valley. Instead, there was possibly enough water through time for Hohokam farmers to meet agricultural demands. Three substantial additional insights were gained from this research. First, an extremely large flood, occurring either during the late Colonial or early Sedentary periods, may have profoundly altered irrigation agriculture and social organization in the valley. Second, during at least the Sedentary and Classic periods, Hohokam irrigation was structured into standardized irrigation units (SIU), a far more complex and efficient method of irrigation than previously perceived along the lower Salt. Third, a bedrock reef located near Canal System 2, and not at other lower Salt irrigation systems, is plausibly a determinate in Canal System 2’s longevity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

151699-Thumbnail Image.png

Innovation in context: the process of stylistic change among Hohokam potters in the Phoenix Basin, A.D. 800-1300

Description

The causes and consequences of stylistic change have been a concern of archaeologists over the past several decades. The actual process of stylistic innovation, however, has received less attention. This

The causes and consequences of stylistic change have been a concern of archaeologists over the past several decades. The actual process of stylistic innovation, however, has received less attention. This project explores the relationship between the process of stylistic innovation on decorated pottery and the social context in which it occurred in the Hohokam area of south-central Arizona between A.D. 800 and 1300. This interval was punctuated by three episodes of reorganization, each of which was characterized to varying degrees by significant shifts in ideology, economics, and politics. Each reorganization episode was also accompanied by a rapid profusion of stylistic innovation on buff ware pottery. The goal of this study was to build a framework to understand the variation in the process of innovation as a response to different incentives and opportunities perceived in the changing social environment. By bringing stylistic analyses and provenance data together for the first time in Hohokam red-on-buff studies, I investigated how the process of innovation was variously influenced by social reorganizations at three different periods of time: the 9th, 11th, and 12th centuries A.D. Four variables were used to evaluate the process of innovation at each temporal period: 1) The origin of a stylistic invention, 2) the rate of its adoption, 3) the pattern of its adoption, and 4) the uniformity of its adoption among all buff ware potting communities. To accomplish the task, stylistic innovations and provenance were recorded on over 3,700 red-on-buff sherds were analyzed from 20 sites in the Phoenix Basin. The innovation process was found to vary with each reorganization episode, but often in different ways than expected. The results revealed the complexity and unpredictability of the process of stylistic innovation among the Hohokam. They also challenged some assumptions archaeologists have made regarding the scale and extent of the changes associated with some of the reorganization episodes. The variables utilized to measure the innovation process were found to be effective at providing a composite picture of that process, and thus warrant broader application to other archaeological contexts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

155478-Thumbnail Image.png

Casas Montezumas: chorographies, ancient ruins, and placemaking in the Salt and Gila River valleys, Arizona, 1694-1868

Description

This dissertation uses the narrative practice of chorography as a genre for assessing the history of placemaking in the Salt and Gila River region of central Arizona from the late

This dissertation uses the narrative practice of chorography as a genre for assessing the history of placemaking in the Salt and Gila River region of central Arizona from the late seventeenth century through the mid-nineteenth century. Chorography concerns the descriptive representation of places in the world, usually of regions associated with a particular nation. Traditionally, chorography has served as a written method for describing geographical places as they existed historically. By integrating descriptions of natural features with descriptions of built features, such as ancient ruins, chorography infuses the physical landscape with cultural and historical meaning. This dissertation relies on a body of Spanish- and English-language chorographies produced across three centuries to interpret how Euro-American descriptions of Hohokam ruins in the Salt and Gila River valleys shaped local placemaking. Importantly, the disparate chorographic texts produced during the late-seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries reflect ‘discursive continuity’—a continuity of thought spanning a long and frequently disregarded period in the history of central Arizona, in which ruminations about the ruins of ancient cities and irrigation canals formed the basis for what people knew, or thought they knew, about the little-known region. When settlers arrived in the newly-formed Arizona Territory in the 1860s to establish permanent settlement in the Salt and Gila River valleys, they brought with them a familiarity with these writings, maps, and other chorographical materials. On one hand, Arizonans viewed the ancient ruins as literal evidence for the region’s agricultural possibilities. On the other hand, Aztec and Cíbola myths associated with the ruins, told and retold by Europeans and Americans during the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, offered an imaginative context for the establishment and promotion of American settlement in central Arizona.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

149471-Thumbnail Image.png

Hohokam core area sociocultural dynamics: cooperation and conflict along the middle Gila River in southern Arizona during the Classic and Historic periods

Description

Patterns of social conflict and cooperation among irrigation communities in southern Arizona from the Classic Hohokam through the Historic period (c. 1150 to c. 1900 CE) are analyzed. Archaeological survey

Patterns of social conflict and cooperation among irrigation communities in southern Arizona from the Classic Hohokam through the Historic period (c. 1150 to c. 1900 CE) are analyzed. Archaeological survey of the Gila River Indian Community has yielded data that allow study of populations within the Hohokam core area (the lower Salt and middle Gila valleys). An etic design approach is adopted that analyzes tasks artifacts were intended to perform. This research is predicated on three hypotheses. It is suggested that (1) projectile point mass and performance exhibit directional change over time, and weight can therefore be used as a proxy for relative age within types, (2) stone points were designed differently for hunting and warfare, and (3) obsidian data can be employed to analyze socioeconomic interactions. This research identifies variation in the distribution of points that provides evidence for aspects of warfare, hunting, and the social mechanisms involved in procuring raw materials. Ethnographic observations and archaeological data suggest that flaked-stone points were designed (1) for hunting ungulates, or (2) for use against people. The distribution of points through time and space consequently provides evidence for conflict, and those aspects of subsistence in which they played a role. Points were commonly made from obsidian, a volcanic glass with properties that allow sources to be identified with precision. Patterns in obsidian procurement can therefore be employed to address socioeconomic interactions. By the 18th century, horticulturalists were present in only a few southern Arizona locations. Irrigation communities were more widely distributed during the Classic Period; the causes of the collapse of these communities and relationships between prehistoric and historic indigenes have been debated for centuries. Data presented here suggest that while changes in material culture occurred, multiple lines of evidence for cultural continuity from the prehistoric to Historic periods are present. The O'Odham creation story suggests that the population fluctuated over time, and archaeological evidence supports this observation. It appears that alterations in cultural practices and migrations occurred during intervals of low population density, and these fluctuations forced changes in political, economic, and social relationships along the middle Gila River

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010

155203-Thumbnail Image.png

Social boundaries and the organization of plain ware production and exchange in 14th century central Arizona

Description

In the proposed project I simultaneously and reflexively identify and characterize social boundaries in the archaeological record by examining material culture distributions in novel ways to re-assess the scale of

In the proposed project I simultaneously and reflexively identify and characterize social boundaries in the archaeological record by examining material culture distributions in novel ways to re-assess the scale of the Verde Confederacy, a proposed regional-scale multi-settlement alliance in Late Prehistoric central Arizona. I focus on boundaries between entities larger than villages, but smaller than regions or culture areas. I propose three innovations to better accomplish these goals. First, unlike previous conceptualizations of social boundaries as monolithic, I argue that they are better conceived of as a heterogeneous, multi-faceted phenomenon. Second, I investigate social boundaries by examining multiple lines of evidence. Previous researchers have tended to focus on one category of data at the expense of others. Third, I associate boundaries with relational and categorical collective social identification. An alliance requires regular collective actions including communication and coordinated action between large groups. These actions are most likely to emerge among groups integrated by relational networks who share a high degree of categorical homogeneity.

I propose a plain ware ceramic provenance model. Seven reference groups represent ceramic production in specific geographic areas. The reference groups are mineralogically and geochemically distinct, and can be visually differentiated. With this provenance model, I reconstruct the organization of utilitarian ceramic production and exchange, and argue that plain ware distribution is a proxy for networks of socially proximate friends and relatives. The plain ware data are compared to boundaries derived from settlement patterns, rock art, public architecture, and painted ceramics to characterize the overall nature of social boundaries in Late Prehistoric central Arizona.

Three regions in the study area are strongly integrated by relational networks and categorical commonality. If alliances existed in Late Prehistoric central Arizona, they were most likely to emerge at this scale. A fourth region is identified as a frontier zone, where internal connections and shared identities were weaker. As seen among the League of the Iroquois, smaller integrated entities do not preclude the existence of larger social constructs, and I conclude this study with proposals to further test the Verde Confederacy model by searching for integration at a broader spatial scale.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

153125-Thumbnail Image.png

Vesicular basalt provisioning practices among the prehistoric Hohokam of the Salt-Gila basin, southern Arizona

Description

This study evaluates five different hypotheses potentially accounting for the prehistoric movement of vesicular basalt during the Hohokam occupation of the Salt-Gila Basin (ca. A.D. 700-1450): 1) direct procurement; 2)

This study evaluates five different hypotheses potentially accounting for the prehistoric movement of vesicular basalt during the Hohokam occupation of the Salt-Gila Basin (ca. A.D. 700-1450): 1) direct procurement; 2) direct exchange; 3) down-the-line exchange; 4) market exchange; and 5) elite-controlled exchange. The plausibility of each hypothesis is assessed by examining the relative frequency of different vesicular basalt source types at sites as related to the geographic distance from their source; intra-site variance in vesicular basalt source type diversity; inter-site variance in vesicular basalt source type diversity; and temporal specificity and continuity in source preference. The study sample is comprised of 484 vesicular basalt artifacts recovered from nine Hohokam sites: Casa Grande, Gila Crossing, the Hospital Site, La Plaza, Las Colinas, Los Hornos, Lower Santan, Pueblo Grande, and Upper Santan. Geographic provenance data for artifacts are generated by comparing their chemical composition to a geochemical reference database composed of more than 700 vesicular basalt raw material samples from 17 different source areas in the Salt-Gila Basin. Geochemical data for both artifact and raw material samples were collected using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and a newly developed sampling procedure that provides an efficient, reliable, and nondestructive means of analysis.

The results of the hypothesis testing found that direct procurement is a possible material provisioning practice for perhaps only a small number of households in the Salt-Gila Basin; specifically those located less than 10 km from a vesicular basalt outcrop. Direct exchange is also an unlikely explanation, though it cannot be rejected outright. The other exchange hypotheses, down-the-line, market, and elite-controlled exchange, as defined in this study, are all rejected as possible explanations. From these results, a new model of Hohokam vesicular basalt provisioning practices is developed for future testing. This model posits that vesicular basalt groundstone tools were produced by specialists in a handful of locations during both the Preclassic and Classic periods, and that finished tools were acquired through workshop procurement or local distributers. The implications of these findings for understanding the organization of Hohokam domestic and political economies are also discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

151863-Thumbnail Image.png

A multi-factor analysis of the emergence of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam

Description

This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the

This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the products of a few concentrated pottery producers developed in the absence of political centralization or hierarchical social arrangements. The factors that promoted intensified pottery production, therefore, are the keys to addressing how economic systems can expand in small-scale and middle-range societies. This dissertation constructs a multi-factor model that explores changes to the organization of decorated pottery production during a substantial portion of the pre-Classic period (AD 700 - AD 1020). The analysis is designed to examine simultaneously several variables that may have encouraged demand for ceramic vessels made by specialists. This study evaluates the role of four factors in the development of supply and demand for specialist produced red-on-buff pottery in Hohokam settlements. The factors include 1) agricultural intensification in the form of irrigation agriculture, 2) increases in population density, 3) ritual or social obligations that require the production of particular craft items, and 4) reduced transport costs. Supply and demand for specialist-produced pottery is estimated through a sourcing analysis of non-local pottery at 13 Phoenix Basin settlements. Through a series of statistical analyses, the study measures changes in the influence of each factor on demand for specialist-produced pottery through four temporal phases of the Hohokam pre-Classic period. The analysis results indicate that specialized red-on-buff production was initially spurred by demand for light-colored, shiny, decorated pottery, but then by comparative advantages to specialized production in particular areas of the Phoenix Basin. Specialists concentrated on the Snaketown canal system were able to generate light-colored, mica-dense wares that Phoenix Basin consumers desired while lowering transport costs in the distribution of red-on-buff pottery. The circulation of decorated wares was accompanied by the production of plainware pottery in other areas of the Phoenix Basin. Economic growth in the region was based on complementary and coordinated economic activities between the Salt and the Gila River valleys.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

The organization and evolution of the Hohokam economy: agent-based modeling of exchange in the Phoenix Basin, Arizona, AD 200-1450

Description

The Hohokam of central Arizona left behind evidence of a culture markedly different from and more complex than the small communities of O'odham farmers first encountered by Europeans in the

The Hohokam of central Arizona left behind evidence of a culture markedly different from and more complex than the small communities of O'odham farmers first encountered by Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries A.D. Archaeologists have worked for well over a century to document Hohokam culture history, but much about Pre-Columbian life in the Sonoran Desert remains poorly understood. In particular, the organization of the Hohokam economy in the Phoenix Basin has been an elusive and complicated subject, despite having been the focus of much previous research. This dissertation provides an assessment of several working hypotheses regarding the organization and evolution of the pottery distribution sector of the Hohokam economy. This was accomplished using an agent-based modeling methodology known as pattern-oriented modeling. The objective of the research was to first identify a variety of economic models that may explain patterns of artifact distribution in the archaeological record. Those models were abstract representations of the real-world system theoretically drawn from different sources, including microeconomics, mathematics (network/graph theory), and economic anthropology. Next, the effort was turned toward implementing those hypotheses as agent-based models, and finally assessing whether or not any of the models were consistent with Hohokam ceramic datasets. The project's pattern-oriented modeling methodology led to the discard of several hypotheses, narrowing the range of plausible models of the organization of the Hohokam economy. The results suggest that for much of the Hohokam sequence a market-based system, perhaps structured around workshop procurement and shopkeeper merchandise, provided the means of distributing pottery from specialist producers to widely distributed consumers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results of this project are broadly consistent with earlier researchers' interpretations that the structure of the Hohokam economy evolved through time, growing more complex throughout the Preclassic, and undergoing a major reorganization resulting in a less complicated system at the transition to the Classic Period.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013