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The Hohokam Archaeology of the Tucson Basin

Major construction projects in Tucson over the past several decades have led to new insights into Hohokam archaeology. At the Interstate 10/Interstate 19 interchange pictured here, and in other locations as well, sites were also preserved for the future.

Major construction projects in Tucson over the past several decades have led to new insights into Hohokam archaeology. At the Interstate 10/Interstate 19 interchange pictured here, and in other locations as well, sites were also preserved for the future.

Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 21, No. 3
Free PDF download of this issue

Issue editor: William H. Doelle, Archaeology Southwest (formerly the Center for Desert Archaeology)

This issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine highlights recent research in Hohokam archaeology in the Tucson Basin.

Nearly a century ago, Ellsworth Huntington, a geographer from Yale University, undertook archaeology in the Tucson Basin and on what is now the Tohono O’odham Reservation. Huntington formulated a theory about the strong influence of environment on human behavior that was based in part on his observations at ancient sites around Tucson. The region was also included in studies of the Gila Pueblo Foundation, and Isabel Kelly was hired by the Foundation to excavate Tucson’s Hodges Ruin in the late 1930s. Hohokam archaeology emerged from a period of near-dormancy in the mid-1970s with the advent of several key publications and the initiation of the Northern Tucson Basin Survey in 1981. Ultimately, the pace of contract-funded research, which has risen steadily since the 1980s, has provided the impetus for new research to the present. As a result of these developments, the chronology of the period between A.D. 50 and 1450 has been refined, as has our understanding of settlement patterns, subsistence practice, and population dynamics-in essence, the origins and lifeways of the Hohokam.

This issue proceeds roughly chronologically, beginning with articles about two early village sites; continuing through the development of ballcourt communities and Middle Rincon phase settlements; and rounding out with several pieces on Classic period sites and platform mound communities. It addresses sedentism, population growth, household economy, seasonality, and specialized agricultural production, among other topics.

Articles include:

The Hohokam Archaeology of the Tucson Basin — William H. Doelle, Center for Desert Archaeology

Valencia Vieja: An Early Hohokam Village — Henry D. Wallace, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Early Occupations on Tumamoc Hill — Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, and Gary Christopherson, University of Arizona

Recent Research at the Redtail Site — Eric Klucas, Tierra Right-of-Way Services, Ltd.

The Artisan’s Burial from the Redtail Site — Michael W. Lindeman and J. Homer Thiel, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Ballcourt Communities of the Southern Tucson Basin — Henry D. Wallace, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Specialized Production by Tucson Basin Households — Michael W. Lindeman, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Honey Bee Village: Intensive Exploration of a Ballcourt Village — Henry D. Wallace, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

The Archaeology of Dove Mountain at the Southern Margin of the Tortolita Mountains — Deborah L. Swartz, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Petroglyphs in the Dove Mountain Area — Henry D. Wallace, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Hohokam Life in the Eastern Tucson Basin — Mark D. Elson and Patricia Cook, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

The Yuma Wash Site: A Classic Period Hohokam Settlement — Courtney Rose, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center

The Zanardelli Site — Jeffrey T. Jones, Tierra Right-of-Way, Ltd., and Ellen C. Ruble, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

The Shamrock Ruin: A Late Classic Compound — Robert Heckman and Jeffrey Altschul, Statistical Research, Inc.

Late Classic Period Platform Mound Sites in the Tucson Basin — Henry D. Wallace and William H. Doelle, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Back Sight — William H. Doelle, Center for Desert Archaeology

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