Cemeteries, Settlement Development, and Becoming Hohokam in the Northern Tucson Basin

Author(s): Jerry Lyon; Jeffrey Jones

Year: 2017


The transition from hunting and gathering to increased reliance on farming and the subsequent development of distinct regional cultural traditions represent critical processes in the prehistory of southern Arizona. Previous research at the site of Valencia Vieja in the southern Tucson Basin suggests the development of a distinct Hohokam cultural identity began during the Tortolita phase (Red Ware horizon) when significant population aggregation could be maintained and supported with dependable irrigation agriculture. As exemplified at Valencia Vieja, such population aggregation was expressed in a distinctive plaza-oriented spatial structure. Moreover, ideological and mortuary ritual patterns, agricultural strategies, and settlement hierarchies originating in the Tortolita phase appear to foreshadow subsequent Hohokam developments. Recent excavations at Early Ceramic period sites (Dairy, Richter, and Lonetree-Redtail-Coachline) within a four-mile reach of the Santa Cruz River in the northern Tucson Basin provide additional information on sedentism and the emergence of a distinct, local Hohokam tradition. This paper addresses Hohokam origins in the Tucson Basin by examining site structure, occupational histories, and settlement development at three important Early Ceramic localities, two of which were anchored to large, enduring cemeteries.

Cite this Record

Cemeteries, Settlement Development, and Becoming Hohokam in the Northern Tucson Basin. Jerry Lyon, Jeffrey Jones. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428978)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17226