Archaeology of the Virgin Branch Puebloan Culture

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

Since 2006, archaeologists with the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the National Park Service have collaborated to explore the Virgin Branch prehistory of northwestern Arizona and southeastern Nevada. Posters in this session highlight recent findings from this ongoing project.

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  • Documents (4)

  • A Comparison of Ceramic Function between the Virgin Branch and Kayenta Ancestral Puebloan Cultures (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shannon Horton. Karen Harry.

    The Virgin Branch culture is the least understood of the Ancestral Puebloan branches. It is considered most similar to the Kayenta branch; however, there are significant differences between the two, particularly for the Virgin Branch settlements located in the lowland region of southern Nevada. Compared to the Kayenta people, who lived primarily in small settlements and relied on dry farming techniques, the lowland Virgin people occupied more aggregated settlements and relied on irrigation...

  • Not Just any Stones: Virgin Branch Puebloan Sandstone Artifact Distribution on the Southern Shivwits Plateau (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William Willis.

    Throughout the summer of 2015, graduate students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas began the data mining of over 20 years of archaeological site forms pertaining to the prehistoric occupation of the southern portion of the Shivwits Plateau in Northern Arizona. This data, as collected by the National Park Service, was organized and placed into a geodatabase, allowing for the first time a thorough spatial investigation of artifact distributions associated with the upland Virgin Branch...

  • The Proof is in the Pots: Residue Analysis of Virgin Branch Puebloan Ceramics (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brenna Wilkerson.

    This study analyzes ceramics from Virgin Branch Puebloan sites on the Shivwits Plateau and in the Moapa Valley in order to examine differences in the types of foods cooked and stored in each area. Residue analyses, by means of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, were performed on body sherds from ceramic jars. Three types of wares were included in this research: Shivwits Plain Ware, Moapa Gray Ware, and Tusayan Sand-Tempered. The former two ceramic wares were included in a ceramic...

  • Understanding the Architecture of the Virgin Branch Ancestral Puebloan Using a Digital 3D Model-Based Process (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Benjamin Van Alstyne.

    On the Shivwits Plateau, there is scarce information concerning how the Virgin Branch Ancestral Puebloan people constructed their pueblos. This is a result of post-depositional processes that have destroyed much of the building materials. Thus, to further our understanding of the Ancestral Puebloan efforts to live in a semi-arid environment, this research incorporates information obtained from Puebloan ethnographies, experimental archaeology, and excavations. The data is combined through a...