Linear Ground Features Upon and Adjacent to Perry Mesa, Yavapai County, Arizona

Part of the Legacies on the Landscape project

Author(s): Will Russell

Year: 2007


Although not ubiquitous, unique cultural features known as “racetracks” are characteristic (Ahlstrom et al. 1992) of the Perry Mesa Tradition (Fish et al. 1975), which existed in Central Arizona’s mesa and canyon complex between ca A.D. 1300 and 1400 (Ahlstrom et al. 1992) . Prior to this season’s research, eight racetracks had been identified at pueblos upon Perry Mesa and neighboring Black Mesa (Wilcox et al. 2001). As a result of research this semester, the number of confirmed and likely racetracks has risen to 17. Although several ethnographic proxies and intuitive possibilities exist, the exact nature, context and purpose of these features remain unknown. Despite the area’s “frontier” nature between the worlds of the Ancestral Pueblo, Mogollon, Salado and Hohokam, the members of the Perry Mesa Tradition had no kivas, ballcourts or platform mounds. The tracks may represent the only known evidence of communal ritual in the Perry Mesa region. This paper, as part of Arizona State University’s larger Legacies on the Landscape Project, examines regional variation among the racetracks, inner-site correlations between these and other features and possible interpretations and social implications.

Cite this Record

Linear Ground Features Upon and Adjacent to Perry Mesa, Yavapai County, Arizona. Will Russell. 2007 ( tDAR id: 406894) ; doi:10.6067/XCV89G5PQT

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1200 to 1450

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.162; min lat: 34.079 ; max long: -111.907; max lat: 34.296 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Racetrack-Paper---Will-Russell.doc 4.35mb Aug 3, 2016 1:55:15 PM Public