Exploring Early Agricultural Technological Traditions at Las Capas with Experiments

Author(s): Jenny Adams

Year: 2015


Experiments conducted in concert with the analysis of ground stone artifacts recovered from Las Capas, AZ AA:12:111, (ASM) explored important early agricultural activities including planting and harvesting maize, processing maize, and making stone and fired-clay pipes. Results from the experiments combined with models developed from ethnographic references created workable correlates for evaluating features and tools associated with these activities. Las Capas style fields were planted with two popcorn varieties, Chapalote and Reventador, and one flour variety of maize, Tohono O'odham 60-day. Maize ears were harvested when immature and mature, they were processed fresh, died, and parched, and the stalks were juiced using replicas of the types of manos and metates recovered from Las Capas. Considering only the maize products, the Las Capas inhabitants had the necessary components for a varied and nutritious cuisine.

Descriptions of pipe manufacturing techniques in the archaeological and ethnographic literature of the U.S. Southwest are scarce. At Las Capas, pipes were made from stone and clay. Bifaces used to drill stone successfully replicated the marks on recovered whole and broken pipes. Clay was pressed around wood molds in a successful attempt to replicate the types of fired-clay pipes recovered from Las Capas.

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Cite this Record

Exploring Early Agricultural Technological Traditions at Las Capas with Experiments. Jenny Adams. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396944)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;