Refinement of Early Agricultural Site Chronology in the Tucson Basin

Author(s): James Vint

Year: 2015


A sample of 140 radiocarbon dates from 14 Early Agricultural sites was used to model the chronology of settlements in the Tucson Basin using OxCal v.4.2.3; one site in northern Sonora was also included in this analysis. The sites range in age from about 2100 BC to 700 BC, spanning two phases of the Late Archaic/Early Agricultural period: the "Silverbell Interval" (ca. 2100-1200 BC) and the San Pedro Phase (ca. 1200-800 BC). Most dates are AMS assays of maize kernels, cupules, or cobs, other annuals, and only a few on wood charcoal. Results of the analysis provide a detailed site-specific chronology for the site of Las Capas, and places the 13 other sites in temporal space with each other that is not possible using simple calibrated ages alone. Significant patterns in site age and occupation duration are revealed that relate to changes in settlement patterns, the adoption and florescence of irrigation agriculture, and responses to change in environmental and riverine conditions that adversely affected irrigated farming along the Santa Cruz River during this time period.

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Cite this Record

Refinement of Early Agricultural Site Chronology in the Tucson Basin. James Vint. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396950)

Spatial Coverage

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