Dispersed Centrality: A Ceremonial Organization Underpinning Hohokam Platform Mound Ceremonialism

Author(s): Christopher Caseldine

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "WHY PLATFORM MOUNDS? PART 1: MOUND DEVELOPMENT AND CASE STUDIES" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The period between the collapse of the ballcourt system (ca. A.D. 1070) and the formalization of Civano phase platform mounds (ca. A.D. 1300) has long perplexed Hohokam scholars. Before and after this period, members of Hohokam society gathered together at centralized locations to participate in and observe public activities and ceremonies. Given a possible long history of centralized public ceremonialism during the Hohokam cultural sequence, above the scale of the household, it is unlikely that such activities ceased between the ballcourt system collapse and the Civano phase. In this paper, I will introduce the concept of "dispersed centrality". Public ceremonialism was likely socially-central throughout the entire Hohokam cultural sequence, but centralized nodes of ceremonies also were present at various levels of the community and not just at locations of monumental architecture. To support my argument, I will provide settlement and artifact data from the Casa Grande community and from Phoenix basin settlements. These data suggest that platform mounds were the most conspicuous manifestation of centralized ceremonialism during the Civano phase, but public ceremonies also occurred at lower levels of social organization.

Cite this Record

Dispersed Centrality: A Ceremonial Organization Underpinning Hohokam Platform Mound Ceremonialism. Christopher Caseldine. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451627)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23696