Walls, Mounds, and Pots: Examining the Classic Period Hohokam

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

The Hohokam Classic Period is characterized as a time of change, social differentiation, and possible stratification. The ubiquitous use of towering compound wall, standardized platform mounds, and the wide-spread adoption of a new kind of pottery, Salado Polychrome, are some of the indicators that a new ideology had spread across the Hohokam region. Archaeological literature has shown that the Phoenix Basin, Tonto Basin, Tucson Basin, and other parts of the Hohokam world were a part of this shared ideology, but differed in how the ideology manifested. The goal of this session is to highlight recent work focused on the Classic Period. Paper topics in this session include ceremonialism and ideology, social and sociopolitical organization, social interaction, exchange, architecture and monumentality, and agriculture and subsistence. These papers, detailing aspects of the Classic Period in different parts of the Hohokam region, will provide a large-scale summary of current Classic Period research.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-14 of 14)

  • Documents (14)

  • Ancestral Ties During a Period of Social Upheaval, An Example from the Early Classic Period in the Tucson Basin (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Lindeman. Henry Wallace.

    The transition to the early Classic Period (ca. A.D. 1100-1300) in the Tucson Basin has its roots in the disintegration of long-lived pre-Classic Period (ca. A.D. 500-1100) villages in the 11th century. The break-up of these villages engendered a variety of responses among the constituent social groups including the use of ancestral ties to place, real or constructed, to stake claims to land. Early Classic period settlement at the site of AA:12:46 begins during the fluid period immediately...

  • Classic Period Settlement Patterns along the Middle Gila River (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chris Loendorf.

    This paper summarizes archaeological data that show a substantial decrease in population occurred between the Sedentary (ca. 950-1150AD) and Classic Periods (ca. 1150-1500) along the middle Gila River in the Phoenix Basin. This decrease coincides with well documented increases along the lower Salt River. Extensive data suggest this pattern subsequently reversed in the Historic period, when people were again concentrated along the middle Gila, and the lower Salt River was extensively depopulated....

  • Cremation Mortuary Ritual among the Classic Period Hohokam and Trincheras Traditions (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jessica Cerezo-Román.

    Cremation and related fiery rituals performed by Phoenix and Tucson Basin Hohokam in Southern Arizona and Trincheras Tradition populations in Northern Sonora are examined and contrasted in order to understand different regional spheres of social interactions. These were done by examine biological profiles and posthumous treatments of individuals to better understand who they were and how they were treated at death in the Classic Period (A.D. 1150-1450/1500). These data were compared between...

  • Geochemical Evidence for Dispersed Ground Stone Tool Production at Hohokam Villages in the Middle Gila River Valley, Arizona. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Craig Fertelmes.

    A recent geochemical provenance analysis of Hohokam vesicular basalt grinding tools argued for the nucleated production of trough manos and metates during the Pre-Classic (A.D. 500-1100) and Classic (A.D. 1100-145) periods (Fertelmes 2014). One locus of production was suggested to have been the primary village of Upper Santan, which acquired vesicular basalt from the Santan Mountains and then distributed finished or nearly complete grinding tools to settlements across the Middle Gila River...

  • The Impact of Changes during the Hohokam Classic Period on Irrigation Agriculture and Irrigation Management in the Middle Gila River Valley, Arizona (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kyle Woodson.

    This paper examines the impact of changes during the Hohokam Classic period on the social organization of canal irrigation management along the middle Gila River in south-central Arizona. A series of important social, political, and environmental changes occurred during the Hohokam Sedentary to Classic period transition. This study examines this transition to see if it represents a hinge point in how irrigation was organized. The focus is on the irrigation organization which is the social...

  • Life Between Two Rivers: A Study of the Sedentary to Early Classic Transition on the Queen Creek Delta, Arizona (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrea Gregory. Alanna Ossa.

    Disruption of exchange networks and settlement patterns during the late Sedentary to early Classic period transition has been well documented along the middle Gila River Valley. Previous research has suggested a trend in population relocation from downstream Gila River sites such as Snaketown in favor of sites upstream such as the Grewe-Casa Grande complex during this time. Based on evidence recovered from residential contexts identified during the PVR FRS project, outlying areas situated along...

  • Measuring Household Inequality in Hohokam Society: An Analysis of Domestic Architecture at Pueblo Grande (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Douglas Craig. David Abbott. Hannah Zanotto. Veronica Judd. Brent Kober.

    Recent archaeological efforts to explain the emergence and persistence of social inequality have been hampered by a lack of information about how wealth was transmitted across generations and how it may have accumulated or diminished over time. Building on studies that have shown domestic architecture to be an excellent material expression of household wealth, we provide a method for reconstructing the amount of labor invested in house construction at Pueblo Grande, taking into account different...

  • Mesa Grande and Its World: An Analysis of Intrusive Pottery Types Recovered from Mesa Grande and Their Social Implications (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jerry Howard. Christopher Caseldine. David Abbott. David Wilcox.

    Mesa Grande, one of the two largest Hohokam platform mound villages in the lower Salt River Valley, Arizona, contains an exceptionally large and diverse excavated sample of intrusive, diagnostic pottery types that have been cross-dated with tree-ring dates in other regions. Complexes of these intrusive types in a stratigraphically defined sequence at the site provide new insight into calendrical age of the mound and its associated compounds, allowing us to test recent suggestions that Mesa...

  • New but Classic: An examination of Hohokam Canal System 1 during the Classic Period (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Caseldine.

    Canal System 1, the largest of the four major systems along the lower Salt River, brought water to fields associated with some of the most well-known Hohokam villages, including Mesa Grande, Los Hornos, and Los Muertos. Previously, it was thought that the system reached its maximum extent prior to the Sedentary Period. Recent data and reconstructions of the development of Canal System 1, however, indicate that the system may not have reached its full extent until the Preclassic/Classic...

  • The Path of Hua’m A Nui: Aggrandizement among the Classic Period Phoenix Basin Hohokam (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Watkins. Christopher Garraty. Travis Cureton. Dave Bustoz. Erik Steinbach.

    O’Odham oral histories describes the overthrow of Hua’m a Nui (Yellow Buzzard) and other arrogant rulers of platform mound villages in the Phoenix Basin. These oral histories are consistent with archaeological data that point to increasing social stratification during the Classic Period. This paper addresses the question of how the household-based egalitarianism of the Preclassic developed into Late Classic hierarchy. Leveling mechanisms that previously channeled aggrandizers into socially...

  • Probing the Nexus between Hohokam Demography and Agricultural Productivity across the Pre-Classic/Classic Transition (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Aaron Wright. Colleen Strawhacker.

    The onset of the Hohokam Classic Period witnessed the consolidation of settlements within the major river valleys of southern Arizona, a demographic reorganization that culminated after centuries of regional expansion, population growth, and cultural florescence. In the Salt River Valley, the resultant demographic packing was unprecedented and appears to have promoted environmental degradation, aggravated biological stress, and suppressed birth rates. It has been suggested that communities...

  • Testing Alternative Settlement Models at Las Colinas with Polychrome Dating (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Caitlin Wichlacz. David Abbott.

    An understanding of the nature of late Classic period settlement at Las Colinas is an important element in understanding the broader social changes that took place across the Phoenix Basin during this time. One perspective on settlement at Las Colinas figures prominently in the recent "core decay" model proposed for the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In response to this model, we propose new alternative scenarios for late Classic period settlement at Las Colinas. We test these alternative settlement...

  • Tucson Platform Mounds in the Context of Classic Period Variability (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Suzanne Fish. Paul Fish.

    The variability among Hohokam platform mounds and their related architectural complexes, the predominant form of public architecture during the Classic period, has now been well documented through ongoing field studies and archival research. Recognition of that variability encompasses multiple dimensions linked to perceptions of leadership, social structure, territorial configurations, civic and ritual affairs, and external relationships. The Tucson regional sector in southern Arizona is no...

  • Visiting a "Villagescape": The Early Classic Period Marana Mound Site (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul Fish. Suzanne Fish. James Bayman. Douglas Gann.

    We explore Early Classic Period Hohokam society through the medium of inhabitants’ lives in the center with a platform mound and over 40 residential compounds in the northern Tucson Basin. We approach the topic as a retrospective based on 30 years of intermittent mapping and excavation at the Marana Mound Site, coupled with insights from advancing Hohokam studies. We ask how the spatial and architectural configuration or "villagescape" of this center reflected and embodied the principles of...