Building a Village: Excavations at La Villa

Editor(s): Michael W. Lindeman

Year: 2016


The Hohokam village was one of the largest pre-Classic settlements in the Phoenix Basin. The recorded site boundary covers more than 80 acres, extending from the edge of the Salt River floodplain northward. Founded during the Vahki phase (A.D. 500-650), when settlement aggregated around two large plazas, the village thrived until the Santa Cruz phase (A.D. 850950), when people began to leave the village, possibly settling in villages further down the canal system. Final abandonment occurred during the eleventh century A.D., although by that time, La Villa was greatly reduced in scale and, presumably, in importance. The project detailed in this volume is the second conducted by Desert Archaeology, Inc., at La Villa (Lindeman, ed. 2015).

The current archaeological excavations preceded installation of a storm drain, which was part of the larger Downtown Storm Drain Improvements project. The City of Phoenix Jefferson Phase 2 Drainage project entailed installation of 36- and 30-inch diameter storm drains and associated manholes, catch basins, and pipe connections along Jackson Street in downtown Phoenix. In all, 248 features were identified, including 74 pithouses, 144 extramural features, 29 mortuary features, and 1 plaza. The central precincts of major Hohokam villages have only been rarely investigated during the modern era. Uncovering the Eastern Plaza at La Villa represents the first investigation of a plaza along Canal System 2. The large linear transects that structured the project provided a unique sample across a relatively large, albeit narrow, swath of the site, allowing for sampling of contexts from the center of the village to the edges. What was uncovered under the streets of modern Phoenix was incredibly well preserved, providing a robust base for the analyses presented in the following pages.

Cite this Record

Building a Village: Excavations at La Villa. Michael W. Lindeman. 2016 ( tDAR id: 446120) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8446120

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.096; min lat: 33.428 ; max long: -112.032; max lat: 33.462 ;

Record Identifiers

Technical Report No.(s): 2014-07

Arizona Antiquities Act Project Specific Permit No.(s): 2013-104ps

City of Phoenix Project No.(s): ST83130316

Anthropological Paper No.(s): 22

Project No.(s): DAI 12-121C

Pueblo Grande Museum Project No.(s): PGM 2013-12

Burial Agreement Case No.(s): 2013-036

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Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office

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