Crismon Ruin: A Hohokam Settlement at the Head of the Lehi Canal System

Editor(s): T. Kathleen Henderson

Year: 2011


Crismon Ruin is a large Hohokam settlement located on the lower terraces of the Salt River, near the head of the prehistoric Lehi Canal System. Data recovery excavations at the site were conducted in the spring and early summer of 2001. Over 500 archaeological features were documented during the fieldwork, including prehistoric pithouses, adobe rooms, borrow pits, pits, homos, roasting pits, inhumation and cremation burials, canals, and other miscellaneous features. Most of these features composed a prehistoric village situated at the southwestern end of the site; a smaller number represented fieldhouse and farmstead locales scattered more widely across the site. Chronological analyses indicated two primary occupations of the Crismon Ruin village, one during the middle to late Sacaton phase (AD. 1000-1120) and the other during the Civano phase (AD. 1290-1390). The field locales were all middle to late Sacaton phase.

A small number of historic features were also documented, but not the historic Denmark School (1884-1906), which is known to have once been present inside the project area. The historic features reflect a variety of disparate agrarian activities in this portion of Mesa.

The Crismon Ruin investigations were designed to provide new insight and understanding of human use and occupation of the alluvial terrace adjacent to the Salt River. Analyses were especially focused on determining the nature of the site, discerning the range of activities conducted by its inhabitants, and defining the spatial configuration and temporal duration of its contexts. A new picture of the prehistoric Crismon settlement emerged from the research. Previously, Crismon Ruin was thought to have been a large primary village and local center for secular and ritual activities on the floodplain. Instead, the attributes of the Crismon settlement indicate a heavy focus on the practice of agriculture, and although a village was present, it was little more than a large agricultural hamlet at any point in its occupation. This finding, along with the analyses generating that conclusion, are presented in this report. Perspectives are provided about the settlement reflected in the Crismon Ruin remains, the implications of its age, and possible relationships with other nearby sites. The project findings provide an important baseline of information for future archaeological studies of sites in the prehistoric Lehi Canal System.

Cite this Record

Crismon Ruin: A Hohokam Settlement at the Head of the Lehi Canal System. T. Kathleen Henderson. 2011 ( tDAR id: 428158) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8428158

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.787; min lat: 33.466 ; max long: -111.752; max lat: 33.495 ;

Record Identifiers

Desert Archaeology Project No.(s): 01-105

Arizona Antiquities Act Project Specific Permit No.(s): 2001-62ps

ADOT Project No.(s): STP-600-8(10)

Arizona State Museum Accession No.(s): 2009-244

Anthropological Papers No.(s): 44

TRACS No.(s): 202L MA 017 H5299 01C

SHPO Project No.(s): SHPO-2000-476

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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

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