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P.C. in the PIII: Ceremonial Racing as an Integrative Stategy in the PIII-PIV Communities of Central Arizona

Part of the Legacies on the Landscape project

Author(s): Will Russell ; Hoski Schaafsma ; Katherine A. Spielmann

Year: 2008

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Throughout the Southwestern United States and Mesoamerica, prehistoric people used running and racing as a means of religious expression, personal sacrifice and community cohesion. In such context, the physical location of racing was often unimportant and constructed facilities were relatively rare. In the Perry Mesa region of Central Arizona, however, manufactured “racetracks” were highly formalized and represent the only form of communal architecture in this area. We studied these features with the goal of better understanding the behavior and beliefs of Native Americans along the middle Agua Fria and Verde Rivers between A.D. 1100 to 1400, and how they fit into the surrounding social landscape. Our data suggest that rapid aggregation from disparate origins led to the avoidance of dissimilar ritual architecture and a subsequent focus on a shared social-ritual activity: racing.

Cite this Record

P.C. in the PIII: Ceremonial Racing as an Integrative Stategy in the PIII-PIV Communities of Central Arizona. Will Russell, Hoski Schaafsma, Katherine A. Spielmann. 2008 ( tDAR id: 406966) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8JH3P46


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 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Landowner(s): Bureau of Land Management

Sponsor(s): Arizona State University, Department of Anthropology

Repository(s): Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Russell_Racetrack-Manuscript_2008.doc 9.89mb Aug 4, 2016 11:20:08 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America