Protecting Places on the Land: Redington Ballcourt
On December 30, 2011, Archaeology Southwest acquired a portion of one of the San Pedro Valley’s most remarkable Hohokam sites, the Redington Ballcourt.
The site lies within a working ranch property that has been owned by the same family since it was homesteaded in 1910. Through our outreach work and research reporting to valley residents, as well as the work of Archaeology Southwest staff member Jacquie Dale, who lived in the valley for many years, we have enjoyed a long-standing friendship with the family.
When the landowners decided to sell a portion of their ranch property, they called Jacquie. Thanks to generous donations to our Site Protection Fund, Archaeology Southwest was able to move quickly and make the purchase. Through several generations of the family’s fine stewardship, the site has remained free of vandalism. They trust Archaeology Southwest to continue this stewardship, and we are honored to do so.
Ballcourts were built by Hohokam communities beginning in the late eighth century A.D. Archaeologists believe that these massive earthworks served intertwined ritual, social, and economic functions. Due to the efforts of a number of conservation organizations, several known ballcourt sites along the San Pedro River are now in protective ownership. Archaeology Southwest is pleased to protect this most impressive ballcourt through direct ownership.
What does that mean for the Redington Ballcourt site, in real terms? It means that Archaeology Southwest will regularly monitor conditions at the site, and take protective actions as may become necessary. (In the near term, we expect very little change on the property. It has been used intermittently for grazing, and that does not present a problem.) We will provide research and educational access that is aligned with our conservation approach. And—as a landowner and partner—we will continue to advocate for long-term protection of the incredible natural and archaeological resources of the San Pedro River Valley.