Archaeological Investigations at the Gila Butte Site: Hohokam Irrigation and Economic Systems Along the Gila River, Arizona

Author(s): Thomas N. Motsinger

Editor(s): Richard V. N. Ahlstrom

Year: 1993


This report details the results of testing and data recovery efforts in the northern portion of the Gila Butte Site, a medium-sized Hohokam village located on the north side of the Gila River south of Phoenix, Arizona. Although the main portion of the site has not been subjected to substantial data recovery efforts, the primary occupation of the site is believed to date at least from the Estrella phase through the Sacaton phase of the Hohokam sequence (ca. A.D. 500-1100 [Dean 1991]), although minor components suggest that Archaic, Classic period Hohokam, and Protohistoric Piman peoples also made use of the site. The site’s greatest research potential lies in its apparent position as the prime supplier of micaceous-schist tempering material for Hohokam buff, red, and plain pottery. It is also possible, if not probable, that the residents of the site specialized in the production of some, most, or all of the distinctive buffware pottery that was used throughout the Hohokam region.

Several canals and other agriculture-related features were recorded during the present project. In addition to adding to our understanding of irrigation agriculture at the Gila Butte Site, the project met with some success in providing additional data and presenting new, testable models related to Gila Butte’s position in the irrigation communities north of the Gila River and the site’s possible economic relationship with Snaketown and the rest of the Hohokam regional system.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at the Gila Butte Site: Hohokam Irrigation and Economic Systems Along the Gila River, Arizona, 84. Thomas N. Motsinger, Richard V. N. Ahlstrom. 1993 ( tDAR id: 406827) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8406827

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.161; min lat: 32.907 ; max long: -111.59; max lat: 33.312 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

Contributor(s): Linda Scott Cummings; Susan B. Bierer; Gary Huckleberry; Kathryn Puseman; Mary-Ellen Walsh-Anduze

Principal Investigator(s): Richard V. N. Ahlstrom

Repository(s): Salt River Project

Prepared By(s): SWCA, Inc. Environmental Consultants

Submitted To(s): The Gila River Indian Community

Record Identifiers

Salt River Project Library Call No.(s): E78.G55M681993

Salt River Project Library Barcode No.(s): 00090926

SWCA Archaeological Report No.(s): 93-84

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1993_SWCA_ArchaeologicalInvestionsButte_OCR_PDFA.pdf 48.91mb Jul 1, 1993 Feb 21, 2017 4:22:03 PM Confidential
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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager