Hohokam Water-Harvesting in the Queen Creek Area: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives of Water Management along Ephemeral Drainages in the Southern Arizona Desert
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Phoenix Basin Hohokam are celebrated for the construction of massive and elaborate canal systems fed by perennial waterways, principally the Salt and Gila rivers. In desert areas, however, along the many ephemeral drainages that crisscross the region, rainfall-harvesting and water-storage technologies largely overshadowed canal irrigation. These technologies permitted the establishment of year-round settlements in the desert interior. Archaeologists with Logan Simpson recently excavated and documented a massive human-constructed reservoir (Sonoqui Reservoir) and an associated intake channel at the Hohokam village site of Sonoqui Ruin, situated in a nonriverine desert environment along an ephemeral drainage, Sonoqui Wash, located about 25 miles southeast of Phoenix. The reservoir’s estimated storage capacity of 1,200 cubic meters (317,000 gallons)—among the largest prehistoric reservoirs documented in Arizona—underscores the site inhabitants’ ability to successfully harvest rainfall for year-round domestic use. Our investigation hinges on various lines of evidence, including a geomorphologic study of feature logistics and capacity and a comparison with ethnographically documented practices of harvesting and storing water among contemporary O’Odham groups in nonriverine areas in the southern Arizona desert.
Cite this Record
Hohokam Water-Harvesting in the Queen Creek Area: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives of Water Management along Ephemeral Drainages in the Southern Arizona Desert. Erik Steinbach, Christopher Garraty, Gary Huckleberry, J. Andrew Darling. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449492)
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min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24419