We Built This System: Hohokam Irrigation Communities as Social Networks

Author(s): Leslie Aragon

Year: 2016


In the prehispanic Salt River Valley (SRV), the extensive canal systems that provided irrigation to the desert farmers, known by archaeologists as the Hohokam, also serve as tangible networks that link villages along an individual canal’s route. Many of the villages in the valley are incredibly long-lived, spanning hundreds of years and multiple generations, providing unique time-depth in which to study how social relationships changed within a region of the Southwest. In order to better understand the relationships between villages, connectivity between them must be examined based on multiple lines of evidence. The primary objective of this research is to systematically examine the relationship between canal networks and material-based social networks in the SRV. Specifically, this study will address questions of whether or not the social networks linking settlements in the Hohokam core area were structured by their location within an irrigation network, what role irrigation communities played in surviving hardship, and how these networks changed over a millennium, from approximately A.D. 450 to 1450.

Cite this Record

We Built This System: Hohokam Irrigation Communities as Social Networks. Leslie Aragon. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404585)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

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