Archaeological Investigations at Honey Bee Village, a Prehistoric Hohokam Ballcourt Village in the Cañada del Oro Valley of Southern Arizona: Description of Excavated Structures

Editor(s): Deborah L. Swartz

Year: 2011


Honey Bee Village, AZ BB:9:88 (ASM), is a large, prehistoric ballcourt village in the northern Tucson Basin. It is situated on the southeastern bajada of the Tortolita Mountains in the southern Cañada del Oro Valley. The site area is adjacent to a large alluvial basin at the juncture of Big Wash and Honey Bee Canyon at a mean elevation of 878 m (2,880 ft) above sea level.

In this report, descriptions of the excavated structures are provided for the most recent and most extensive archaeological investigations at the site, which were conducted in 2006 and 2007, by Desert Archaeology, Inc., personnel. The project provided a rare opportunity to investigate large portions of a minimally disturbed ballcourt village on the margins of the Tucson Basin. The research approach examined the diversity in social, economic, ritual, and ethnic spheres of Hohokam society from the perspective of households and villages. The research domains examined through this framework include subsistence production, specialized production, social standing, settlement structure, Hohokam markets, and ritual and religion. More detailed discussions of the results of data recovery in relation to the research issues are provided by Wallace (ed., 2012).

The investigated project area covered nearly 37 acres surrounding the 13-acre preserve. One of the goals of the data recovery program was to create a detailed map of the overall site structure and to provide dates for the site occupation. Another goal was to determine the relationship of burial areas to residential areas, focusing on identifying and removing as many human remains as possible, to allow for repatriation so they would not be disturbed by development of the land. Based on the map that was created, a sampling strategy was used to collect samples from various households and time periods and to excavate all mortuary features that could be located. The sampling strategy and field methods are provided in Swartz and Wallace (2012).

The structures described here were excavated in three areas for different landowners, with the largest area encompassing 31 acres to the east, south, and west of the preserve. The other two areas, covering nearly 6 acres identified at the site 2,004 primary features, including 331 structures: 295 pit structures, 33 possible pit structures, and 3 adobe structures. Of those, 183 structures were sampled or completely excavated: 179 pit structures, 1 possible pit structure, and 3 adobe structures. Results indicate that the site was occupied from as early as the Tortolita phase (A.D. 500-700) to the most intensive occupation during the Middle and Late Rincon phases (A.D. 1000-1150), with a relatively minor continuation and possible reoccupation of the site in the Tanque Verde phase (A.D. 1150-1300).

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at Honey Bee Village, a Prehistoric Hohokam Ballcourt Village in the Cañada del Oro Valley of Southern Arizona: Description of Excavated Structures, 08. Deborah L. Swartz. 2011 ( tDAR id: 448343) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448343

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.021; min lat: 32.388 ; max long: -110.969; max lat: 32.419 ;

Record Identifiers

Burial Agreement For Honey Bee Village Investigations(s): 06-12

Accession Number(s): 2006-14

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tr2011-08_final_OCR_PDFA_Redacted.pdf 212.62mb Nov 12, 2020 2:29:43 PM Public
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tr2011-08_final_OCR_PDFA.pdf 214.22mb Dec 5, 2011 Mar 29, 2019 11:31:40 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

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