The Early Agricultural Period at La Playa, Mexico, A Geoarchaeological Investigation

Author(s): Rachel Cajigas

Year: 2018


La Playa (SON F:10:3), in Sonora, Mexico, has the remains of an irrigation canal system associated with the Early Agricultural period (2100 B.C.-A.D. 50), a period characterized by the development of agriculture in the southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Satellite imagery analysis and magnetic gradiometry surveys covering over 53,000 m2 of the site, document almost 8,700 m2 of agricultural fields, 15 km of irrigation canals, and over a dozen circular structures. Irrigation canals were excavated and examined for stratigraphic, textural, and hydraulic information. Finally, a dating strategy utilizing both AMS 14C on ecologically specific, short lived, semi-aquatic succinids and single grain Optically Stimulated Luminescence on canal sediments was used to constrain the timing of canal use. The environmental and geochronological data have been synthesized to gain an understanding of the changing depositional conditions on the La Playa floodplain throughout the Early Agricultural period. These data contribute to a comprehensive chronology of the archaeological site within the greater context of the origins of early agriculture in the Southwest U.S./Northwest Mexico region.

Cite this Record

The Early Agricultural Period at La Playa, Mexico, A Geoarchaeological Investigation. Rachel Cajigas. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442975)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18754