It's Not Rocket Science Contributions to the Archeology of Petrified Forest National Park in Honor of Bob Cooper


FIVE reports in one volume.

1. Dating Adamana Brown Ware

Radiocarbon dating at five Basketmaker II period sites provide the first chronometric determinations for Adamana Brown ware, considered the earliest pottery on the Colorado Plateau. The radiocarbon dates indicate that production of the pottery began between A.D. 1 and A.D. 200 and possibly as early as 400 B.C. The pottery enjoyed long-lived use, possibly produced as late as A.D. 600.

2. Adamana Brown Ware Radiography Study

Among archaeological researchers in the American Southwest, the finishing technique used in the manufacture of Adamana Brown Ware ceramics has traditionally been the subject of speculation. This study was designed to determine if four Adamana Brown Ware vessels recovered from Sivu’ovi, a prehistoric Basketmaker II pithouse village site located in the Petrified Forest National Park, were finished using the paddle-and-anvil technique. In addition, identification of the primary fabrication techniques used to manufacture the vessels was also considered.

Ceramic construction was studied using x-ray radiography. Identification of manufacturing techniques was determined through study of three comparative specimens - two prehistoric Hohokam vessels and one replicated Tohono O’Odham vessel. This was done in order to establish radiographic criteria for recognizing characteristics of specific methods used in the fabrication of the Adamana Brown Ware vessels.

The results of the study of four Adamana Brown Ware vessels indicate that press molding was the primary fabrication technique for the bases of two (possibly three) of the vessels and that ring building was the primary fabrication method for the sidewalls of two of the vessels. All four of the vessels exhibited paddle-and-anvil as the finishing, or secondary fabrication, along with minor scraping and wiping.

3. Preliminary Examination of Temper Particles in Adamana Brown Ware Pottery

The following are preliminary results from examinations and analyses of temper particles in six Adamana Brown Ware pottery sherds. It has commonly been assumed that white to creamcolored lamellar temper particles on the surfaces of Adamana Brown Ware were gypsum. The

ware was first named and described by Mera (1934). Although Mera suggested that mica resembling shell was used in the sand temper, Jones (1987) postulated the material could be heat-altered selenite (see also Shepard 1953:190-191). Selenite, a type of gypsum, is common in

the Petrified Forest region. The temper particles are soft and have a basal cleavage, which fits the description of gypsum. Gypsum has also been found near the sites where the sherds were recovered. Our initial investigations have shown that this is not correct and the purpose of this

report is to document the findings. A number of sherds, generally no larger than 3 by 4 cm, from six localities in the general vicinity of Petrified Forest were examined (Figure 3.1).

4. Burial Salvage at Black Ax Pueblo

Five eroding burials were excavated and reburied at Hummingbird Pueblo, a large PIII-PIV site within Petrified Forest National Park. The burials included that of a young mother and her 8-month old fetus, two other young adults, and a child. The excavation and reburial were undertaken primarily to protect inhumations in danger of erosion. However, physical

anthropological analysis of the five individuals and consideration of the items buried with them also provides information about their lives.

5. Petrified Forest Backcountry Roads Inventory

At the request of Park management, all unsurveyed backcountry roads of Petrified Forest National Park were surveyed to complete an inventory of cultural resources along all backcountry roads to aid Park staff in managing cultural resources. Many of the sites were recorded between 1976 and 1994 in conjunction with 16 miscellaneous archeological

projects in the Park. WACC project number PEFO 1995 A was devoted entirely to the completion of the backcountry roads survey. The backcountry roads comprise 35 linear miles. All of these roads surveyed included a one-quarter mile wide corridor. A total of 154 sites have been located and recorded within this corridor; 135 of these are prehistoric, 19 are historic, while seven include both prehistoric and historic components. The predominant site types include artifact scatters, lithic scatters, masonry rooms, multiple-room masonry structures, pithouse/slab features, petroglyph, and historic sites. The sites range in date

between the Early Archaic to the Pueblo IV periods (6000 B.C. to A.D. 1380). Historic use was related to activities of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Park operations, and private enterprises. Virtually all of the sites have been adversely affected by various disturbances including erosion, development, and visitation. Many are also under threat of further

disturbance. Recommendations for the preservation of these cultural resources are given.

Cite this Record

It's Not Rocket Science Contributions to the Archeology of Petrified Forest National Park in Honor of Bob Cooper. Jeffery F. Burton, Robert M. Cooper, Lynne D. D'Ascenzo, Elaine A. Guthrie. Publications in Anthropology ,100. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 2007 ( tDAR id: 4368) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8HQ3XW2

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -109.987; min lat: 34.775 ; max long: -109.575; max lat: 35.181 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Paul M. Adams; Christine E. Goetze; Reuben V. Naranjo

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