The Place of the Storehouses, Roosevelt Platform Mound Study: Report on the Schoolhouse Point Mound, Pinto Creek Complex, Parts 1 and 2

Part of the Roosevelt Platform Mound Study: Pinto Creek Complex, Schoolhouse Point Mound (DRAFT) project

Author(s): Owen Lindauer

Year: 1996


This report describes the archaeological investigation, history, and characteristics of the Schoolhouse Point Mound site, part of the Pinto Creek Complex and the Schoolhouse Management Group. The Schoolhouse Point Mound (U:8:24/13a) is a large site with complex stratigraphy. The investigation of it reported here was intensive.

The Schoolhouse Point Mound is immediately above the floodplain of the Salt River, on a mesa situated where the river makes a sweeping bend. It is also at the point where Pinto Creek meets the Salt River. This location gave the village inhabitants easy access to fields on terraces immediately below, yet the location was high enough to be protected from flooding. Just as the elevated position of the site allowed residents to scan their fields on the river terraces below, the rooms built on platforms allowed their occupants to keep watch over the stored surplus food.

The mound (eventually recorded as U:8:24/13a) was a conspicuous feature on the landscape, and written records and a map of the Schoolhouse Point Mound are part of the first documentation of prehistoric sites in the Tonto Basin during the late 1800s.

The Schoolhouse Point Mound site was a village that was occupied for more than 100 years, during which it grew in size. In the Tonto Basin, where most settlements were small villages that were occupied more briefly, the long-term occupation of Schoolhouse Point Mound reflects unusual stability. This village also differed in having many rooms built on earthen platforms, making it a kind of platform mound. Another distinctive characteristic of the site is that its earthen platforms began to be constructed after most Tonto Basin platform mounds and other neighboring villages were abandoned. Because it is likely people from surrounding settlements came to live at Schoolhouse Point, population aggregation is responsible for the larger size and perhaps the unusual configuration of the site. Thus, population aggregation and settlement stability are the conditions under which this platform mound developed.

We do not know exactly why a village was first established at the site that became Schoolhouse Point Mound, but we do know that it was settled initially by a few families. By the time it was abandoned, it had become a large village with rooms that may have. been residences built on platforms as well as at ground level. Other rooms, filled with large storage vessels and granaries, probably served as storehouses. Storage facilities for surplus food existed at many settlements in the Tonto Basin, but the magnitude of storage and the manner in which stored surplus was protected at the Schoolhouse Point Mound was unusual.

Cite this Record

The Place of the Storehouses, Roosevelt Platform Mound Study: Report on the Schoolhouse Point Mound, Pinto Creek Complex, Parts 1 and 2. Owen Lindauer. Roosevelt Monograph Series ,6. Tempe, Arizona: Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University. 1996 ( tDAR id: 394292) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81N82W3

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 690 to 1630

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.02; min lat: 33.623 ; max long: -110.981; max lat: 33.675 ;

Record Identifiers

Roosevelt Monograph Series(s): 6

Anthropological Field Studies(s): 35

Roosevelt Platform Mound Study, Complex(s): Pinto Creek

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 9-CS-32-06230

Roosevelt Platform Mound Study, Management Group(s): Schoolhouse

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
The-Place-of-the-Storehouses_part-1_ALLOCR-OP.pdf 18.33mb Dec 15, 2014 11:19:07 AM Public
The-Place-of-Storehouses_part-2_OPT_REDUCED_OCR.pdf 300.64mb Dec 15, 2014 11:19:08 AM Public