How Were Hohokam Palettes Used? Testing a Novel Hypothesis

Author(s): Walter Dodd

Year: 2017


Palette means "little shovel" in French. The name derives from a commonly held belief that these curious objects were shallow, hollowed-out containers in which paint pigments were prepared. Another suggestion is that they were used as snuff trays, i.e., surfaces for grinding up hallucinogens prior to chewing or inhalation. This paper advances a new hypothesis with testable implications. It is argued that palettes were employed as mirrors, possibly in ritual contexts. Test results from a series of simple experiments are presented that enable tentative acceptance or outright rejection of the hypothesis. Relevant facts from archaeology, ethnography, geology, and physics are interwoven to build and try a case for specular reflection.

Cite this Record

How Were Hohokam Palettes Used? Testing a Novel Hypothesis. Walter Dodd. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429025)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15018