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Documenting Ancient Hohokam Irrigation Systems along the Middle Gila River and the Social Organization of Irrigation

Author(s): Kyle Woodson ; Wesley Miles

Year: 2015

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The Gila River Indian Community’s Cultural Resource Management Program has conducted a long-term study of canal irrigation along the middle Gila River in south-central Arizona. The work has been conducted in conjunction with the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project with funding by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. These efforts have provided a wealth of information on prehistoric Hohokam canal systems, which were used between A.D. 450 and 1450. Principal contributions of these studies are a greatly clarified map of the canal systems, a major increase in the number of excavated canal segments, and a new understanding of the layout, size, and capacity of the canal systems and their development through time. Soil studies of irrigated fields within these systems, along with experiments in traditional crop production, have greatly augmented our knowledge of Hohokam irrigated agriculture. Other studies have focused on the social organization of irrigation management and canal labor. This paper gives an overview of the major highlights of these studies on canal irrigation.

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Documenting Ancient Hohokam Irrigation Systems along the Middle Gila River and the Social Organization of Irrigation. Wesley Miles, Kyle Woodson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397153)


Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America