The Sky Harbor Project, Early Desert Farming and Irrigation Settlements, Archaeological Investigations in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center, Volume 4: Special Studies, Synthesis, and Conclusions

Editor(s): David H. Greenwald; Jean H. Ballagh

Year: 1996


This volume, which presents the results of special studies, a project synthesis, and overall conclusions for the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center archaeological investigations, is the last of four. The City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department sponsored the project, which was coordinated by Mr. Robert J. Wojtan of the City of Phoenix and David H. Greenwald of SWCA, Inc., Environmental Consultants. The project area, approximately 800 acres located immediately west of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, included portions of two sites, Dutch Canal Ruin (AZ T: 12:62, ASM) and Pueblo Salado (AZ T: 12:47, ASM).

During the pre-Classic periods, Dutch Canal Ruin consisted of field house settlements scattered along various main canals. The canals fell into disuse, and the Hohokam abandoned the area as an agricultural zone by the Sedentary period. During the Classic and post-Classic periods, they reoccupied the area and constructed new canals. However, the later farmers replaced the field house settlements with sparsely settled farmsteads and hamlets. By contrast, the Hohokam first occupied Pueblo Salado during the Soho phase, residing in small settlements scattered along Canal Salado. The Civano phase witnessed the construction of a compound and population aggregation. Accretionary growth resulted in one of the largest compounds on record in the Phoenix Basin. Occupation of the compound appears to have extended into the Polvoron phase of the post-Classic period, possibly until A.D. 1500 or 1550, with family units occupying pit houses and perhaps continuing to use preexisting adobe surface structures.

Volume 1 of the series focuses on the testing phase of this project and presents a research design and plan of work for the data recovery phase. Volume 2 presents the results of the field investigations and analyses associated with Dutch Canal Ruin, and Volume 3 those associated with Pueblo Salado. In addition to summarizing the findings of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center investigations, Volume 4 presents in-depth explorations of selected aspects of the Hohokam occupation at Dutch Canal Ruin and Pueblo Salado in relationship to regional Hohokam settlement and cultural patterns. Issues discussed in Chapters 1-4 are historic and prehistoric irrigation and settlement in the Phoenix Basin, the effects of urbanization and alluviation on Hohokam sites, site autonomy within the Phoenix Basin, and the social implications of field houses. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 consider Hohokam use of the environment as understood through investigation of the buried agricultural fields at Pueblo Salado, project area canals and their hydraulic capacities, and the use of project area resource zones. The discussions in Chapters 8 and 9 explore the attributes and chronology of the post-Classic period Polvoron phase. Chapters 10-13 assess implications of Hohokam material culture within the project area and in regional perspective through analysis of the project burials, ceramic temper studies and whole vessel analysis, intraregional comparison of lithic assemblages, and a diachronic analysis of the project shell assemblage. Chapter 14 summarizes the project findings and discusses the place of Dutch Canal Ruin and Pueblo Salado in the Hohokam cultural continuum. Although the editors prepared each volume in this series to stand alone, the first three volumes should be referred to for more detailed information on the topics discussed in Volume 4.

Cite this Record

The Sky Harbor Project, Early Desert Farming and Irrigation Settlements, Archaeological Investigations in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center, Volume 4: Special Studies, Synthesis, and Conclusions. David H. Greenwald, Jean H. Ballagh. SWCA Anthropological Research Paper ,4. Tucson, AZ: SWCA Inc., Environmental Consultants. 1996 ( tDAR id: 399001) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8J96848

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.285; min lat: 33.364 ; max long: -112.115; max lat: 33.444 ;


General Note: The curation of this report was supported by a Seed Grant from the Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University as part of the Digital Archive of Hohokam Archaeology (DAHA) Project.

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