THE RELATIONSHIP ENVIRONMENT DYNAMIC SETTLEMENT

THE RELATIONSHIP ENVIRONMENT DYNAMIC SETTLEMENT
THE RELATIONSHIP OF ENVIRONMENT AND DYNAMIC DISEQUILIBRIUM
TO HOHOICAM SETTLEMENT ALONG THE SANTA CRUZ RIVER
IN THE TUCSON BASIN OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA
by
Laurie Vivian Slawson
Copyright © Laurie Vivian Slawson 1994
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
In the Graduate College
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
1994
2
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
GRADUATE COLLEGE
As members of the Final Examination Committee, we certify that we have
read the dissertation prepared by Laurie Vivian Slawson
entitled
The Relationship of Environment and Dynamic Disequilibrium to
Hohokam Settlement Along the Santa Cruz River in the Tucson
Basin of Southern Arizona
and recommend that it be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation
requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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Owen
Dean
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Final approval and acceptance of this dissertation is contingent upon
the candidate's submission of the final copy of the dissertation to the
Graduate College.
I hereby certify that I have read this dissertation prepared under my
direction and recommend that it be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation
requirement.
/4
Dissertation Director William A. Longacre
a 1/ V #0-/
Date
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STATEMENT BY AUTHOR
This dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced
degree at The University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made available
to borrowers under the rules of the Library.
Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided
that accurate acknowledgement of source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation
from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the copyright holder.
SIGNED:
4
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
No matter what the subject matter of the manuscript is, it is the acknowledgements
section preceding it that often is the hardest to write. As for this author, there are many people
who directly or indirectly contributed to the following dissertation. First and foremost, I must
thank my parents who introduced me to the wonder of archaeology at the impressionable age of
seven by taking me to a special archaeology exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. They
continued to encourage my interest through trips to Mexico, Central America, and South
America, until I was convinced that archaeology was to be my career. Through the long years
of undergraduate and graduate study at the Universities of Michigan, Cincinnati, Arizona State,
and Arizona, their support (financial and otherwise) never wavered. Therefore, I wish to thank
them for all they have done for me through the years by dedicating this study to them.
There were a number of professors who had particular influence on my studies. In
addition to his excellent tutelage, Dr. Kent V. Flannery of the University of Michigan helped me
to realize that the study of archaeology should be enjoyable. Dr. Kent D. Vickery of the
University of Cincinnati provided the encouragement so necessary to a brand-new graduate
student, while instilling an insistence on detail and interest in the overall picture into my
work--along with the tendency to focus on research topics that often are out of the ordinary.
Above all, Dr. Stanley J. Olsen of the University of Arizona, who is a former member of my
doctoral committee and friend, deserves a special thank you for his support, guidance, and
unswerving belief that a professor's primary purpose is to teach students.
I also wish to acknowledge the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the
University of Arizona who accepted me, challenged me, and encouraged me in the pursuit of my
doctoral degree. Their genuine interest in me as a student and as a person enabled me to
complete my doctoral program and obtain my degree. There is no question in my mind that
Anthropology is one of the best departments at the University of Arizona and that the faculty is
student-oriented.
To conclude, the members of my dissertation committee, Drs. William A. Longacre,
Vance Haynes, Michael B. Schiffer, Owen K. Davis, and Jeffrey S. Dean, deserve special
recognition for working with the unusually short deadline for completion of this study. Less
than five months were spent between the submittal of the dissertation proposal and the scheduling
of the final defense. In January 1994, after having lost my committee chairman, Dr. Kenneth L.
Kvamme, to Boston University, Dr. Longacre stepped in and agreed to serve as chairman, on
one condition--he was leaving on sabbatical at the end of the semester and I would have to finish
before then. Not only did my committee work with me on this difficult deadline, but they also
provided valuable support, criticism, and encouragement. For that, I am very grateful.
5
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 8
LIST OF TABLES 10
ABSTRACT 12
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION Regional Settlement Pattern Studies: An Historical Overview Purpose of Study Description of the Study Area 2. ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING Physiography of the Tucson Basin Geology and Soils of the Santa Cruz River Valley Geomorphology of the Tucson Basin Geomorphological Studies in the Northern Tucson Basin Geomorphological Studies in the Southern Tucson Basin Climate of the Tucson Basin Prehistoric Climatic Changes of the Last Millennium Biotic Communities of the Tucson Basin Surface Hydrology of the Tucson Basin Geological History of the Santa Cruz River 3. PREHISTORY OF THE TUCSON BASIN Tucson Basin Chronology Culture History of the Tucson Basin Paleo-Indian Period Archaic Period Hohokam Period 4. HISTORY OF HOHOKAM RESEARCH IN THE TUCSON BASIN 1884 to 1933 1934 to 1963 1964 to 1982 1983 to Present 14
15
22
24
30
31
32
38
39
43
46
49
58
63
64
71
72
74
74
75
82
90
92
95
100
106
6
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
5. HOHOICAM SETTLEMENT PATTERNS IN THE STUDY AREA Settlement Pattern Research Methodology Sources Consulted Site Selection Procedures Data Base Quality Distribution of Hohokam Habitation Sites in the Study Area Pioneer Period Cafiada del Oro Phase Rillito Phase Rincon Phase Tangue Verde Phase Tucson Phase Settlement Pattern Change in the Study Area Site Classification System Pioneer Period Cafiada del Oro Phase Rillito Phase Rincon Phase Tangue Verde Phase Tucson Phase 6. SETTLEMENT PATTERN CHANGE IN THE SOUTHERN TUCSON BASIN The San Xavier Archaeological Project Site Definition Procedures SXAP Settlement Pattern Research: Theory and Methods Data Limitations Intensity of Occupation Classifications Prehistoric Settlement in the SXAP Area Pioneer Period Colonial Period Sedentary Period Classic Period Settlement Pattern Change in the SXAP Area Colonial Period Sedentary Period Classic Period Hohokam Settlement Patterns in the Tucson Basin 111
111
111
113
115
117
118
121
123
127
130
133
136
136
140
145
149
153
157
161
165
165
169
171
175
176
179
180
182
189
205
213
217
218
219
220
7
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The Anasazi Adaptation Model Applicability of the Anasazi Model to the Hohokam Environmental Variability Demographic Variability Behavioral Variability Conclusions 225
226
229
230
231
231
232
APPENDIX
A. LISTS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS IDENTIFIED IN THE SXAP AREA 234
B. HOHOKAM SITES IN THE STUDY AREA DATA BASE 252
C. SAN XAVIER ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT SITE DATA 301
REFERENCES 320
8
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Location of the Tucson Basin. 25
2. Location of the study area within the Tucson Basin. 26
3. Prehistoric sites recorded in the SXAP area showing distribution concentrated
along the old channel of the Santa Cruz River. 28
4. Geohydrological base map of the study area 34
5. Soil associations in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River. 36
6. Geomorphic surfaces in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River in the
northern Tucson Basin. 40
7. Geomorphic units in the SXAP area in the southern Tucson Basin 45
8. Chronological comparison of climatic data from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado,
and California. 51
9. Generalized geological cross-section of the Santa Cruz River. 66
10. Historic map of the Santa Cruz River illustrating perennial and intermittent reaches,
locations of former cienegas, and the locations of headcuts prior to 1890. 69
11. Tucson Basin chronology. 73
12. Locations of major sites in the Tucson Basin 93
13. Survey coverage in the study area. 116
14. Pioneer period site distribution in the study area, A.D. 200/300 to 700. 120
15. Cafiada del Oro phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 700 to 850. 122
16. Rillito phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 850 to 950. 126
17. Rincon phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 950 to 1150. 128
18. Tanque Verde phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 1150 to 1300. 132
19. Tucson phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 1300 to 1450. 135
20. Distribution of site sizes in the data base. 21. Pioneer period settlement pattern, A.D. 200/300 to 700. 138
142
9
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
(continued)
22.
Cafiada del Oro phase settlement pattern, A.D. 700 to 850. 146
23.
Rillito phase settlement pattern, A.D. 850 to 950. 150
24.
Rincon phase settlement pattern, A.D. 950 to 1150. 154
25.
Tanque Verde phase settlement pattern, A.D. 1150 to 1300. 158
26.
Tucson phase settlement pattern, A.D. 1300 to 1450. 162
27.
Location of the San Xavier
28.
The San Xavier Archaeological Project area.
29.
Distribution of prehistoric sites with decorated ware ceramics in the SXAP
Tohono O'odham Multiple Resource Area. Archaeological Project area. 166
167
period sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 200/300 to 700. 170
30.
Distribution of Pioneer
31.
Distribution of Canada del Oro phase sites in the SXAP
32.
Distribution of Rillito phase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 850 to 950. 184
33.
Rillito phase settlement pattern, A.D. 850 to 950. 188
34.
Distribution of Early Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP
35.
Distribution of Middle Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP
36.
Distribution of Late Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP
area, A.D. 700 to 850. area, A.D. 950 to 1000. area, A.D. 1000 to 1100. area, A.D. 1100 to 1150. 181
183
191
192
193
37. Early Rincon subphase settlement pattern, A.D. 950 to 1000. 195
38. Hypothesized Early Rincon subphase settlement pattern, A.D. 950 to 1000 196
39.
Middle Rincon subphase
settlement pattern, A.D. 1000 to 1100. 40. Late Rincon subphase settlement pattern, A.D. 1100 to 1150. 41.
Distribution of Tanque Verde phase sites in the SXAP
42.
Distribution of Tucson phase sites in the SXAP
43.
Tanque Verde phase settlement pattern, A.D. 1150 to 1300. area, A.D. 1150 to 1300. area, A.D. 1300 to 1450. 199
203
206
207
209
10
LIST OF TABLES
1. Glossary of Geological Terms for the Tucson Basin 33
2. Characteristics of Geomorphic Surfaces in the Northern Tucson Basin 41
3. Patterns of Reconstructed Salt River Streamflow and Associated Geomorphic
Processes 53
4. Modem and Prehistoric Riparian Vegetation Along the Santa Cruz River 62
5. Stratigraphy, Cultural Sequences, and Geochronology of the Santa Cruz
River Alluvium 67
6. Continuity of Site Occupation in the Study Area 124
7. Distribution of Sites By Classification and Period or Phase 141
8. Distribution of Red-on-Brown Vessels from SXAP Sites 172
9. Intensity of Occupation Shifts in the Southern SXAP Area 204
10. Distribution of SXAP Sites by Classification and Time Period 215
11. Classes of Variability in the Anasazi Adaptation Model 228
12. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Marana, Arizona 7.5 Minute Quadrangle Map 253
13. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Avra, Arizona 7.5 Minute Quadrangle Map 255
14. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Ruelas Canyon, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 256
15. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Jaynes, Arizona 7.5 Minute Quadrangle Map 257
16. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Tucson North, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 264
17. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Tucson, Arizona 7.5 Minute Quadrangle Map 265
18. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Cat Mountain, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 268
19. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - San Xavier Mission, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 273
11
LIST OF TABLES (continued)
20.
21.
Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Tucson SW, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 275
Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Sahuarita, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 294
22. Hohokam Sites in the Study Area - Green Valley, Arizona 7.5 Minute
Quadrangle Map 299
23. San Xavier Archaeological Project Site Data - Site Size and Features 302
24. San Xavier Archaeological Project Site Data - Material Culture 311
12
ABSTRACT
Since the 1970s, the Tucson Basin has been the focus of an increasing number of research
and cultural resource management archaeological projects. A vast body of data has been accumulated
relevant to the prehistoric environment and culture history of the basin. One research area that has
received special attention in the last two decades is Hohokam settlement patterns. This study was
designed to examine that issue, in addition to producing an overview of the cultural and
environmental setting of the basin.
The study area consists of a 5-kilometer-wide corridor along the Santa Cruz River between
the towns of Marana and Continental. In order to provide the necessary background for the
settlement pattern research, data first were compiled on the environmental setting of the basin,
including geological, climatic, biotic, and hydrological aspects. The environmental overview that is
provided in Chapter 2 is the first such study, of this scale, to be produced for the Tucson Basin.
In conjunction with the environmental overview, a cultural overview was developed that
encompasses the Paleo-Indian through Protohistoric periods. Current thoughts relevant to the Tucson
Basin temporal sequence were synthesized to produce a chronology and culture history, which is
presented in Chapter 3. The culture history is accompanied by a research history of Tucson Basin
archaeology in Chapter 4, which classifies prior research into four major periods and discusses
current research trends.
The main body of the study, presented in Chapters 5 and 6, contains Hohokam site
distribution and settlement pattern data, which are discussed in relationship to the environment and
other relevant factors. The study area as a whole is examined in Chapter 5, whereas a subset of the
data, consisting of southern Tucson Basin Hohokam sites, is discussed in Chapter 6.
13
The study concludes with a comparative review of cultural-environmental studies that have
been conducted on the Colorado Plateau. A settlement pattern model, known as the AnaAnzi
adaptation model, that uses a dynamic disequilibrium approach to understanding settlement pattern
change, is examined and its applicability to an analysis of Hohokam settlement patterns is discussed.
14
Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION
The recognition of the role that environment plays in cultural development is not a recent
phenomenon in archaeological studies. However, it is a phenomenon that has undergone many
changes over the last century from a view of the environment as a determining factor in cultural
development to one that posits a distributional association between environmental features
(e.g., topography, geology, biotic communities, hydrology) and a prehistoric people's selection of
site locations and resultant patterns of regional settlement. The study of environmental features and
their patterned relationship to human behavior has been a developing discipline within archaeological
method and theory for over 40 years. The increased availability in the last decade of sophisticated
computer data base management and spatial analysis programs not only has permitted detailed
analyses of human settlement patterns and activities in regard to specific features of the environment
in which they are located, but also has enabled the refinement of predictive modeling studies of where
sites and activities should and should not be located.
Settlement pattern studies focusing on the Hohokam culture in the Tucson Basin of southern
Arizona exemplify this trend of increasing sophistication in archaeological theory and methods
through time. From the early years of this century, when environmental determinism was viewed as
the operating mechanism in the prehistoric development of cultures and their settlement patterns, to
the present-day sophistication of computer-generated regional settlement pattern analyses and
predictive locational models of behavior, archaeologists working in the Tucson Basin have
endeavored to expand, improve, and refine their knowledge of the prehistory of this region. This
study offers a critical overview of these efforts, in conjunction with a summary of current data
regarding the environment, culture history, and archaeological data base of the Tucson Basin, from
15
which basinwide settlement pattern changes through time within the selected project area will be
examined.
Regional Settlement Pattern Studies: An Historical Overview
To provide a background for this study, an overview of how regional settlement pattern
analysis has evolved through time is essential. The study of regional settlement patterns can trace its
inception to that of the Viril Valley Project, which began in 1946 under the direction of Gordon R.
Willey. Preceding that landmark study, however, were several decades of archaeological research
that markedly contrasted with the post-World War II theoretical orientation of American
environmental archaeology. It was this change in archaeological theory that led to the development of
regional settlement pattern studies. In contrast with British environmental archaeology, which
emphasized interdisciplinary techniques to reconstruct past environments, American environmental
archaeology focused more on cultural aspects (Butzer 1982:4; Trigger 1989:247-248). The earliest
approach to the relationship of culture and the environment was known as environmental
determinism, which was an approach adopted from geographical studies of the late 1800s that was
characterized by a simplistic mechanism that tended to look for direct connections between climate,
topography, and culture type (Murphy 1977:21). Although prevalent in American archaeology in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this view was not restricted to that time period. For
example, as late as the mid-1940s, Ellsworth Huntington, a geographer and proponent of
environmental determinism who conducted fieldwork in the northern Tucson Basin in the early 1910s,
stated that in an environmental situation of a given type, a given culture will be found. To quote
Huntington (1945:384):
It is quite possible that innate ability, natural resources, and the cultural endowment
derived from earlier generations are more important than climatic-efficiency as
primary conditions of civilization, but in the United States, as in the entire world,
16
the broad geographic pattern of civilization conforms more closely to climatic
efficiency and the weather than to any other factor [italics in original].
The influence of environment on culture as prescribed by a "possibilism" view of
environmental determinism is perhaps best seen in the culture-area concept that typically is associated
with Alfred L. Kroeber, who published his views on the relationship of environment and culture in
Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America. Kroeber's (1939:205)
recognition of the
possible effect that environmental factors can have on a population is evident in his statement that,
"no culture is wholly intelligible without reference to the noncultural or so-called environmental
factors with which it is in relation and which condition it." One of Kroeber's students was Julian H.
Steward, whose interest in human geography and awareness of environmental factors was developed
through the influence of Carl Sauer, a geographer and associate of Kroeber at Berkeley (Harris
1968:662). Steward's interest in the environment as a factor in cultural development was
consolidated by his fieldwork in the late 1920s among the Eastern Mono and Paiute of California,
who became the catalysts for his later theories on cultural ecology (e.g., Steward 1936, 1937, 1949,
1955; Steward and Setzler 1938) (Harris 1968:662; Murphy 1977:6). As a result, by the mid-1930s,
Steward became one of the first American anthropologists to espouse the theory of cultural ecology,
turning away from the environmental determinism and culture history approaches that characterized
much of the work at that time.
Following World War II, and due in great part to the influence of Steward, there was an
increasing awareness of the ecological approach, of which one of the first manifestations was the
1947 Viking Fund Conference on Peruvian archaeology. During the next 20 years following that
conference, a variety of multidisciplinary teams employed ecological approaches to study prehistoric
cultures in various parts of the world, including the 1946-1948 Virti Valley Project directed by
Willey, the 1948-1955 Iraq Jarmo Project directed by Braidwood, the 1960-1968 Tehuaan
Archaeological-Botanical Project directed by MacNeish, the 1960-1974 TeotihuacAn Valley Project
17
directed by Sanders, and the 1967-1971 Texcoco Valley Project directed by Parsons (Clarke,
1977b:32; Parsons 1971:xvii, 1-2; Trigger 1989:280, 282).
Within the context of environmental studies, a new emphasis on settlement pattern studies
appeared with Willey's 1953 publication, Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Vira Valley, Peril.
Steward's influence on the research design for this project is well known and his contribution is
acknowledged by Willey (1953:xviii) who stated, "in the summer of 1945, Julian H. Steward had
suggested to me the lack of, and necessity for, settlement pattern studies in archeology. It was his
belief that archeology could best place itself in the position of contributing to the interpretation of the
nonmaterial and organizational aspects of prehistoric societies through a study of habitation and
settlement types." Until the Vird Valley Project, archaeological studies essentially had viewed
settlement patterns as evidence of the relationship between human groups and the natural
environment. Although archaeologists paid little attention to settlement patterns prior to the 1940s,
site maps were prepared and sometimes the locations of sites in reference to terrain features were
recorded (Willey and Sabloff 1974:148), however, not to the extent of documenting the overall
patterned arrangement of the cultural and natural features. In contrast, Willey (1953:1) treated
settlement patterns as a source of information about aspects of human behavior and cultural processes,
defining settlement patterns as the way in which people arranged themselves over the landscape on
which they lived. More importantly, he viewed settlement patterns as "a strategic starting point for
the functional interpretation of archaeological cultures" (Willey 1953:1), observing that there were
many other factors of a social or cultural nature that were reflected in the archaeological record that
did not appear to be directly due to a general pattern of ecological adaptation (Parsons 1972:128;
Trigger 1989:282; Willey 1953:6, 371, 1981:159). Therefore, with the publication of the Vird
Valley monograph, settlement pattern studies not only rejected ecological determinism, they replaced
ecological studies as the primary means for interpreting social and political aspects of the
archaeological record (Trigger 1989:284-285).
18
Three years after the publication of the Vird Valley report, Willey served as the editor of
Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the New World, which grew
out of a symposium he chaired at the
1954 meeting of the American Anthropological Association entitled, "Settlements and Society: A
Symposium in Archeological Inference" (Willey 1956b:v). The publication of the papers in this
volume marked the point at which large numbers of American archaeologists first became fully aware
of the potential significance of settlement pattern studies (Clarke 1977b:32; Parsons 1972:129).
However, as Parsons (1972:129) notes, nearly all of the contributors had to use material that had been
collected for purposes other than settlement pattern analysis, and there is a noticeable lack of
agreement on what were the objectives of the settlement pattern studies. For example, in his
introduction to the book, Willey (1956a:1) stated, "Let it be made clear that there is no 'settlementpattern approach' to archaeology." Vogt (1956:173-174), however, who concludes the book,
commented, "the concept of 'settlement pattern' is a key one . . . because it provides an approach
to inferences about physical environmental relationships. . . . point of departure for talking about
common problems concerning the ecological determinants of human settlement patterns and the
interrelationships between settlement patterns and other features of cultures."
Another significant event in the development of settlement pattern studies took place in the
mid-1950s as part of an archaeological seminar series. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, four
seminars were held in the summer of 1955 in Santa Fe, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, and Washington,
D.C. (Wauchope 1956:v). Each seminar focused on a different issue relating to archaeological
research, including the classification of culture contact situations, the study of cultural stability, and
the cultural isolation of the American Southwest. The fourth seminar, which was chaired by Richard
Beardsley, dealt with the functional and evolutionary implications of community patterning. During
that seminar, the participants developed a unilinear scheme that was based on differential community
mobility and cultural complexity. Seven primary types of community patterning were defined: Free
Wandering, Restricted Wandering, Central-Based Wandering, Semi-Permanent Sedentary, Simple
19
Nuclear Centered, Advanced Nuclear Centered, and Supra-Nuclear Integrated. The seven types,
which form a sequence from extreme community mobility to complete sedentariness, were believed to
have functional, evolutionary, and descriptive validity, as well as being identifiable archaeologically
(Beardsley eta!. 1956:135, 156).
The various regional settlement pattern multiyear studies that were conducted in the late
1940s through early 1970s acquired vast amounts of data relevant to site types, site locations, and
environmental factors. However, in most cases, the projects' objectives were dominantly
sociological, economic, or ecological--spatial archaeology remained a secondary interest (Clarke
1977b:32). Furthermore, the settlement patterns that were reported were largely subjective in nature,
being based on visual inspection in the field or of site distribution maps (Kvamme 1992:127). Thus,
claims often were made that sites were located along waterways, on ridgetops, or near productive
soils, without any quantification of the settlement pattern.
In the late 1970s, Clarke (1977a:9) defmed settlement pattern analysis as "spatial
archaeology," or the study of a set of elements and relationships that represent "human activity at
every scale, the traces and artifacts left by them, the physical infrastructure which accommodated
them, the environments that they impinged upon and the interaction between all these aspects." At
the macroscale level of spatial archaeology, which is the level with which regional settlement pattern
studies are concerned (Clarke 1977a:9; Trigger 1968:55), a trend toward the quantification of
settlement pattern data began in the 1960s, increasing in scope during the 1970s. The quantitative
study of regional archaeological distributional patterns primarily was achieved through the use of a
variety of geographic and economic models, including gravity models, site catchment models, central
place models, von Thilnen land-use models, nearest neighbor models, and resource concentration
models (e.g., Butzer 1982; Flannery 1976a; Hodder and Orton 1976; Johnson 1977; Morrill 1974;
Paynter 1983). Although the use of computers and specialized software to process the vast amounts
20
of spatial data became increasingly commonplace, the level of sophistication of the fmal product often
was not impressive (e.g., SYMAP).
Two long-term research projects that exemplified the trends that took place in regional
settlement pattern studies in the late 1960s and 1970s were the Reese River Ecological Project and the
Southwestern Anthropological Research Group. The former was designed as an integrated effort to
use archaeological data to empirically test Steward's (1938) theory of Great Basin Shoshonean
cultural ecology, subsistence, and regional settlement patterns (Thomas 1973:155). The Reese River
Ecological Project was one of the first to use random sampling, operational defmitions of artifact
types, computer simulation, quantitative data analysis (e.g., coefficient of dispersion, Mann-Whitney
u test, chi-square test), and predictive modeling in its research program design. Through its design,
the Reese River Ecological Project exemplified a new trend in regional settlement pattern studies, and
is recognized as the forerunner to the present-day "distributional or nonsite archaeology" approach to
the study of regional settlement patterns. The project did not merely record what was there
archaeologically; instead, a multilevel approach was used to empirically test a cultural anthropological
theory by means of computer simulation, quantitative data analysis, predictive modeling, stratified
random sampling, and field verification. In this manner, it established a new standard for
archaeological subsistence-settlement studies.
The other long-term research project that exemplified the changing trends in regional
settlement pattern studies that began in the late 1960s, was the Southwestern Anthropological
Research Group (SARG), which developed out of discussions that took place at the 1969
Southwestern Ceramic Conference. The original research design for SARG was proposed in 1971,
and it was based primarily on answering the question: Why did prehistoric populations locate sites
where they did? Essentially, the purpose of SARG was to explain variability in the distribution of
prehistoric sites, particularly variability in the spatial distribution of sites (Plog 1981:46; Plog and
Hill 1971:8). To accomplish this, it was realized that rigorous and consistent measures had to be
21
followed in the recording of a site's formal attributes, spatial location, and temporal location, and in
the construction and testing of models (Plog 1971:46-47, 54). In regard to a site's relationship to its
environment, the following data were to be recorded: water resources (rainfall, availability and kind
of surface water, distance to surface water, periodicity of rainfall, runoff), soil resources (areal extent
and slope of soil types, propensity to depletion and alkalinity), landforms (kind, accessibility, slope,
visibility into and out of), and plant-animal community (type, density, biomass per square unit) (Plog
1971:47-48). The purpose of the detailed recording was to enable quantitative data analysis and to
predict site locations (Plog and Hill 1971:11). The uniqueness of this large-scale project was its
effort to assemble a large data base containing site data collected by different researchers working on
a variety of archaeological projects throughout the Southwest. The scale of the project can be
demonstrated in that by 1975, two years after data entry began, the data base consisted of seven
projects totaling 2,500 sites (Plog 1981:47). However, the enormity of the project was such that in
1981, eight years after initial data entry, only preliminary results had been obtained (Plog 1981:51).
The ambiguous nature of the stated problem, inconsistencies in the locality data sets, and inaccurate
and incomplete field recording of data, were the primary reasons for the lack of results (Dean 1978;
personal communication 1994). Nevertheless, the basic premise of the project was laudable, and the
cooperative efforts of the SARG researchers to produce a standardized format for detailed recording
of environmental and cultural data were, for the most part, successful.
A trend toward data quantification, computer analysis and mapping, and predictive modeling
distinguished regional settlement pattern studies of the 1970s. This trend has continued to the
present-day, accompanied by an increasing sophistication in methods due principally to the
development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are specialized data base management
systems with a spatial component that allow the manipulation, storage, analysis, capture, retrieval,
and display of data that can be referenced to geographic locations (Kvamme 1989:139). A
fundamental premise of regional settlement pattern analysis is that prehistoric peoples selected specific
22
environmental conditions when locating their habitation and activity areas; that is, sites were not
randomly distributed over the landscape. It has been argued that a locational correlation with certain
conditions including level ground, proximity to water and shelter, south-facing slopes, good views,
and good soil conditions occurred prehistorically in a variety of geographical regions (e.g., Butzer
1982; Jochim 1976). Until the advent of GIS, however, many regional settlement pattern studies that
attempted to document these tendencies were less than successful (Kvamme 1989:168). Through the
use of GIS, and a terrain form analysis procedure called the ridge-drainage index, landform contexts
can be quantitatively identified in conjunction with the spatial analysis of archaeological site
distributions (Kvamme 1992:133).
To conclude this overview, regional settlement pattern studies, as with many other aspects of
archaeological research, have evidenced a historical trend toward increasing exactness of data
collection methods, increasing specificity of analyses, and increasing creativity in the development of
models, theories, and hypotheses. From the broad-based view prevalent in the first few decades of
this century that environment determined culture, to the present consensus that prehistoric site
selection was a nonrandom process partially dependent on specific environmental conditions, the
study of human settlement in relationship to the landscape has been an evolving process.
Purpose of Study
This study comprises three major parts that together aim to provide a critical overview of the
Tucson Basin and its prehistory, with an emphasis on the Hohokam culture, particularly that of the
late Colonial through Classic periods. Although the Tucson Basin has been the focus of increasing
numbers of research and contract survey projects in the last decade, most of which have yielded
reports containing detailed overviews of the environment and prior work in their specific areas
(e.g., Czaplicld 1984; Doelle et al. 1985a; Downum 1993; Downum et al. 1986; S. Fish et al. 1992;
Heuett et al. 1987; Madsen et al. 1993a), a study with a basinwide scope has yet to be presented.
23
Similarly, the results produced by a number of settlement pattern studies that have appeared in the
literature (e.g., Betancourt 1978b; Czaplicki and Mayberry 1983; Wallace and Holmlund 1984) have
been obsolesced by the great increase in fieldwork in the Tucson Basin since the late 1970s and early
1980s. The growth of the Tucson Basin data base that has resulted from the increase in the number of
major fieldwork projects since the 1970s is graphically illustrated by Doe lle and Fish
(1988:Figure 1.1). According to data obtained during the Pima County Archaeological Inventory
Project (Dart and DoeIle 1987), approximately 250 sites were recorded during the 1960s in Pima
County, 580 sites during the 1970s, and 1,450 sites during the 1980s (i.e., 1980 through 1986).
To update the results of the study conducted by Dart and DoeIle (1987), Arizona State
Museum site records for Pima County from 1987 through mid-1994 were examined. The same
methods and geographical constraints as were used by Dart and DoeIle (1987) were followed for this
additional research, which was conducted on July 15, 1994. The research results indicated that
626 sites were recorded between 1987 and 1989, which yields a total of 2,076 sites recorded during
the 1980s. In contrast, 487 sites were recorded between 1990 and mid-1994. Of the sites recorded to
date in the 1990s, 243 (49.9%) are located in the Tucson Basin, which is a notable decrease from the
period of 1987 to 1989, when 424 sites (67.7%) were recorded in the basin. A growing interest in
areas outside the basin proper, particularly in western Pima County (e.g., Papaguerfa, Organ Pipe
Cactus National Monument), is reflected by these figures. When the number of sites recorded per
year in the 1990s is compared with the rates for the three preceding decades, it is apparent that the
rate of site recording has significantly decreased following the peak years of the 1980s. For example,
an average of 25 sites per year were recorded during the 1960s, 58 sites per year during the 1970s,
and 208 sites per year during the 1980s. The current rate for site recording in the 1990s, based on a
period of 4.5 years, is an average of 108 sites per year.
Although the rate at which new sites are being recorded in the Tucson Basin has decreased in
this decade, the numerous large surveys that were conducted in the 1980s produced a greatly
24
expanded data base of known archaeological sites. This data base merits a new look at prehistoric site
distributions in order to examine prior settlement pattern research and to confirm or revise previous
findings. Therefore, there is a need for an overview of this type, which is the primary goal of this
study. Nevertheless, it should be realized that although this study is described as being basinwide, in
that it examines the Tucson Basin from its north to south limits along the Santa Cruz River, it does
not consider the basin in its entirety and, thus, is not a true regional study. That is a study that
remains to be done.
The first part of this study consists of a summary of current data regarding the environment
of the Tucson Basin and its culture history in the study area. The second part is an overview of prior
settlement pattern research that has been conducted in the study area, in conjunction with a summary
of the current status of archaeological site locational data and research coverage (i.e., site
distributions and survey coverage). The third part of the study incorporates the environmental and
site distributional data into a synthesis of Hohokam settlement patterns through time in the study area
while considering the environmental aspects of the area.
Description of the Study Area
The geographic region in which the study was conducted is the Santa Cruz River Valley in
the Tucson Basin, which is located in southern Arizona within 60 kilometers of the Mexican border
(Figure 1). Traditionally, the Tucson Basin has been defined as the area encompassed by the Santa
Catalina, Tortolita, Tucson, Sierrita, Santa Rita, and Rincon mountains. For the purposes of this
study, the towns of Marana to the north and Continental to the south served as general boundary
markers along the Santa Cruz River, which yields a study area length of about 80 km (Figure 2).
Within this 80-kilometer-long corridor, the study area was limited to the Santa Cruz River floodplain
and adjacent nonriverine land for an average distance of 2.5 km on either side of the river and its
Spring and West branches. The width of the study area was selected to allow a broader view of the
25
Figure 1. Location of the Tucson Basin.
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27
floodplain settlement patterns and to compensate for the many channel changes that have been made
by the Santa Cruz River through time. By expanding the width of the study area along the river,
shifts in the channel's location through prehistoric, historic, and recent times were taken into account.
The degree to which the river has shifted in the southern Tucson Basin is illustrated in
Figure 3 by the spatial distribution of Hohokam village sites. The sites, which were recorded in
1983-1984 during the San Xavier Archaeological Project (SXAP), are located primarily along the old
channel of the Santa Cruz River. The construction of an artificial headcut in 1888 within the Tucson
city limits accelerated headward entrenchment of the northward-flowing river (i.e., upstream
erosion). This situation was exacerbated in 1915 by the construction of an artificial channel that
connected the main channel of the river with the Spring Branch Arroyo to the east. By the 1930s, the
headward entrenchment had extended 20 km south of the 1889 headcut, which resulted in the river
shifting eastward from its prehistoric channel to the Spring Branch Arroyo (Betancourt 1987:18, 23).
The current course of the Santa Cruz River in this area remains along the Spring Branch Arroyo,
which is part of the San Xavier Reach. Although this is an extreme example of a channel shift, it
demonstrates that the modern river channel does not necessarily represent the prehistoric location of
the Santa Cruz River. The relationship of the old Santa Cruz River channel to that of the Spring
Branch is also shown in Figure 3.
The 80-kilometer-long by 5-kilometer-wide corridor along the Santa Cruz River, Spring
Branch Arroyo, and West Branch Arroyo yields a study area of more than 40,000 hectares extending
over 13 U.S.G.S. 7.5 Minute quadrangle maps. However, environmental and site distributional data
from the study area are highly variable in their availability and quality, in part because the city of
Tucson has encroached on a large portion of the central basin. Little archaeological fieldwork was
conducted prior to development of much of the city, and, as a result, cultural resources have been lost
under pavement and buildings. In addition, a review of site cards and files at the Arizona State
Museum revealed that much of the work that was done in the 1930s through 1970s either failed to
28
SAN XAVIER ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT
SAN %ABER
MISSION
Zone:
BAC
MARTINEZ
HILL
I = Mountain Tops and Slopes
II = Upper Bajada
ifi = Lower Bajada-Nonriverine
IV = Lower Bajada-River Edge
V = Floodplain
Figure 3. Hohokam sites recorded in the SXAP area showing distribution of village sites
concentrated along the old channel of the Santa Cruz River (adapted from Hanna
1987:Figure V.1).
29
produce detailed site and artifact descriptions or that the data are unreliable and cannot be checked
because sites no longer exist or collections were never made. There were, however, notable
exceptions to this pattern. Similarly, although it was observed that most of the post-1980 fieldwork
projects produced more detailed data regarding site locations, features, artifacts, and dates of
occupation, not all site cards and files contain this necessary information, either because it was not
recorded or it simply was not forthcoming.
30
Chapter 2
ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING
According to Butzer (1964:vii, 5, 1982:5), the ultimate goal of archaeologists should be to
determine the interrelationship between culture and environment by emphasizing archaeological
research that is directed toward a fuller understanding of the human ecology of prehistoric
communities. He defines his suggested methodological approach to achieving this goal as that of
contextual archaeology, wherein the environment is considered to be a dynamic factor in the analysis
of archaeological context:
The basic goal of a contextual approach is study of the archaeological record as part
of a human ecosystem within which communities once interacted spatially,
economically, and socially with the environmental matrix into which they were
adaptively networked. . . . Contextual archaeology is concerned with the location of
sites in a contemporaneous landscape, the function of such sites, the subsistence and
interactive networks defined by groups of contemporary sites, and the changing
configurations of such sites and networks through time (Butzer 1982:211, 230).
Contextual archaeology is closely associated with ecosystems theory in that the basic premise of
contextual archaeology is that an archaeological site (i.e., cultural landscape) was part of a prehistoric
physical and biological landscape that together made up the components of a complete human
ecosystem. A theoretical framework based on ecosystems theory assumes that in any given area a
human population will belong to an interacting complex of living and nonliving things, or ecosystem,
and that human behavior is best understood as a series of processes involving exchanges of matter and
energy within that system (Salmon 1982:168). Therefore, Waters (1989:122) is correct in his
statement that without the reconstruction of the prehistoric landscape context of a site or group of
sites, a major component of the environment is missing, and complete archaeological reconstructions
are not possible. However, in order to maintain a true contextual archaeological approach to the
31
study of settlement patterns and their reconstruction, the biological aspects of the environment should
not be overlooked, either.
The methodological procedures and theoretical approach of contextual archaeology can be
applied to settlement pattern research in the defined study area. This chapter provides an overview of
the environmental setting of the Tucson Basin, with an emphasis on the Santa Cruz River and its
environs. Various pertinent aspects of geology, geomorphology, soils, hydrology, biology, and
climatology relevant to the physical and biological landscapes of the basin are discussed.
Physiography of the Tucson Basin
The Tucson Basin is located in the Mexican Highlands subregion of the Basin and Range
physiographic province, which was characterized in the geologic past by simultaneous uplift and
sinking of blocks of the continental crust (Chronic 1983:34; Fenneman 1931:379). Structurally, the
Basin and Range province is distinguished by a series of linear, almost parallel, folded and thrustfaulted discontinuous mountain ranges that are separated by broad alluvium- and colluvium-filled
valleys (Chronic 1983:1-3; Wilson 1962:93; Wilson and Moore 1959:98). The mountain ranges, and
the basins they form, generally trend in a north-south or northwest-southeast direction. Within the
Basin and Range province, the Tucson Basin may be defined more specifically as a graben, which is a
down-faulted block bounded by a normal fault (Plummer and McGeary 1988:334). The mountain
ranges that today delimit the 2,500-square-kilometer basin (Santa Catalina, Tortolita, Tucson,
Sierrita, Santa Rita, and Rincon mountains) were formed by block-faulting during the late Tertiary
and early Quaternary periods. Volcanic extrusions that accompanied this geologic activity resulted in
the formation of Sentinel Peak (i.e., "A" Mountain), Tumamoc Hill, Martinez Hill, and Black
Mountain.
Prior to the middle Pleistocene, the Tucson Basin was a basin-confined system, at which
time the proto-Santa Cruz River began eroding and cutting to form a course through the central part
32
of the basin to the northwest, ultimately establishing a through-flowing drainage system (Davidson
1973:35). The opening of the basin by the drainage would have resulted in an increase in stream
gradients and concomitant erosion upstream from the basin outlet. Several episodes of downcutting
and lateral erosion occurred, producing the Cemetery and Jaynes terraces and the present-day
floodplains (Pashley 1966:161). Thus, with the draining of the Tucson Basin, a cycle of erosion
began that lasted until approximately 11,000 years B. P., following which, a new period of deposition
began that resulted in the slow filling of the basin to its current level and the establishment of the
topographic landforms as they appear today (Davidson 1973:31-32).
Geology and Soils of the Santa Cruz River Valley
A brief summary of the geology and soils of the Santa Cruz River Valley is presented in this
section to provide background information on the study area. Several common geological terms used
in this section, which also are referred to in later sections and other chapters, are defined in Table 1.
An additional comment needs to be made concerning the environmental and geological setting of the
Tucson Basin. Although sometimes used as a synonym for alluvial, the term fluvial is more
appropriately employed when discussing the processes and deposits of riverine environments, which
the Santa Cruz River Valley is not (Waters 1992:114). Despite the presence of the river, the Tucson
Basin is best described as an alluvial environment.
A geohydrological base map of the Santa Cruz River and surrounding vicinity between the
towns of Marana and Continental is provided in Figure 4. As can be seen on this map, which
illustrates the locations of stream and floodplain alluvial deposits, youngest terrace deposits
(underlying the Jaynes terrace), and bedrock, the Tucson Mountains are the only mountains situated
within the study area; Black Mountain is located near, but just outside, the limits of the 5-kilometerwide study corridor that is centered on the river. The Tucson Mountains are defined primarily as
undifferentiated plutonics, which are igneous rocks formed at great depth, whereas Black Mountain is
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35
a volcanic extrusive. However, the geological situation for the Tucson Mountains actually is more
complex in that they consist of a series of folded and thrust-faulted Paleozoic and Cretaceous
sedimentary rocks, upon whose eroded edges lie a series of Tertiary igneous extrusives (Brown
1939:701; Chronic 1983:61). In contrast, Black Mountain and the surrounding smaller volcanic hills
are mid-Tertiary extrusives consisting of andesite porphyry outcrops and flows, other basaltic and
andesitic materials, and conglomerate beds (Chronic 1983:77; Miller 1987:4 citing Heindl 1959).
Both the Tucson Mountains and Black Mountain formed during the late Tertiary and early Quaternary
between about 1 and 5 million years ago.
According to the Geologic Map of Arizona (Reynolds 1988), the study area comprises five
geologic units. The largest unit is Qy, which is described as young alluvium of Holocene to latest
Pleistocene age located within the channels of the Santa Cruz River and major washes, and on their
associated floodplains and playas. The second largest unit within the study area is designated as Q,
which includes surficial deposits of Holocene to middle Pleistocene age consisting of alluvium in
valleys, on piedmonts, and in eolian deposits. Qo, a geologic unit located along the east edge of the
Tucson Mountains and on the east side of the study area north of Sahuarita, is defined as older
surficial deposits of middle Pleistocene to latest Pliocene age. The Qo unit is characterized as
alluvium with less abundant talus and eolian deposits. As noted above, the Tucson Mountains largely
are composed of Late Cretaceous volcanic (rhyolitic to andesitic) rocks and locally associated
sedimentary and subvolcanic intrusive rocks. The designation for the geologic unit in this area of the
Tucson Basin is Kv. The smallest geologic unit in the study area comprises Black Mountain and two
small areas in the Tucson Mountains that are recorded as Tv, which are volcanic rocks of middle
Miocene to Oligocene age. This unit is composed of silicic to mafic flows and pyroclastic rocks.
Six soil associations occur within the study area, the distribution patterns of which can be
seen in Figure 5. Classified as thermic (hot) arid and semiarid soils, the characteristics of each are
discussed below based on information obtained from the Report and Interpretations for the General
36
KEY:
5 = Grabe-Gila-Pima Association
6 = Anthony-Sonoita Association
7 = Continental-Sonoita-Tubac Association
9 = Pinaleno-Nickel-Palos Verdes Association
10 = Rillino-Latene-Cave Association
13 = Rock Outcrop-Lampshire-Cellar Association
Figure 5. Soil associations in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River (adapted from Richardson and
Miller 1974).
37
Soil Map of Pima County, Arizona, which was prepared by Richardson and Miller (1974:6-14). The
primary soil association in the study area is the Grabe-Gila-Pima Association, which includes the deep
soils of the Santa Cruz River floodplain and its tributaries. Soils in this association are more than
150 centimeters deep and form in recent alluvium from distant mixed sources. Grabe soils constitute
about 25 percent of the unit, Gila soils about 20 percent, and Pima soils about 15 percent. The
remaining 40 percent of the unit comprises the moderately coarse Comoro, Anthony, and Agua
series. The Grabe-Gila-Pima soils are finer in texture, consisting of loam, sandy loam, or silty clay
loam.
The other five soil associations in the study area are nonriverine in origin and are found on
the edges of the study area. Located at the central to southern end of the study area, the AnthonySonoita Association consists of deep arid soils on the alluvial fans and valley slopes that border the
Santa Cruz River. At the northern and southern ends of the study area is the Continental-SonoitaTubac Association, which includes deep, arid soils located on the uplands along the tops and ends of
the terraces on either side of the Santa Cruz River. The main body of this association is in the
southern Tucson Basin. The Pinaleno-Nickel-Palos Verdes Association, defined as deep, arid,
gravelly soils on deeply dissected uplands, is located on the narrow tops, steep sides, and ends of
long narrow ridges formed by dissection of old terraces and alluvial fans from the Tortolita and
Tucson mountains. Within the city of Tucson in the central basin are deep to very shallow, arid
calcareous soils on uplands that are included in the Rillino-Latene-Cave Association. This association
principally is located on old alluvial fan and terrace remnants. Finally, the Rock Outcrop-LampshireCellar Association consists of rock outcrop and very shallow to shallow, semiarid soils of the
mountains and foothills; this association is characteristic of the Tucson and Tortolita mountains.
38
Geomorphology of the Tucson Basin
Although reports containing general information on Tucson Basin geomorphology are
available (e.g., Anderson 1987; Davidson 1973; Pashley 1966), detailed studies of the basin have
tended to be localized either in the north or the south, primarily because of the destructive effect that
the city of Tucson has had on the natural environment in the central portion of the basin. With a few
exceptions (e.g., Haynes and Huckell 1984, 1986), most geomorphological studies in the Tucson
Basin have been conducted in conjunction with cultural resource management projects, including both
surveys and excavations. For example, the Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project (TACAP),
Northern Tucson Basin Survey (NTBS), and San Xavier Archaeological Project (SXAP) all produced
detailed geomorphological analyses of their respective study areas (Brakenridge 1984; Field et al.
1993; Gee/Resource Consultants 1987; Miller 1987; Schuster and Brakenridge 1986). The following
discussion of Tucson Basin geomorphology is based primarily on reports that originated from work
conducted for those three projects, which are the largest Class III (100 percent coverage) surveys
undertaken in the basin to date, consisting of 7,317 hectares (TACAP), 7,492 hectares (SXAP), and
53,827 hectares (NTBS) (Czaplicki 1984:xi; Downum et al. 1986:xv; Heuett 1987:1; Madsen et al.
1993b:Table 2.1).
The foci of recent geomorphological studies conducted in the northern and southern portions
of the Tucson Basin generally have been mutually exclusive, although at least one study (Waters
1989) has incorporated research findings from both areas into an overview of landscape processes and
Hohokam settlement patterns. Research in the northern basin typically has concentrated on the
geomorphology of alluvial fan surfaces in relationship to site locations and agricultural potential
(e.g., Brakenridge 1984; Brakenridge and Schuster 1986; Field 1992; Field et al. 1993; Schuster and
Brakenridge 1986; Waters 1987b; Waters and Field 1986), whereas the focus in the southern basin
has been on the alluvial geology and history of the San Xavier Reach of the Santa Cruz River
(e.g., Betancourt 1987; Haynes and Huckell 1984, 1986; Stafford 1987; Waters 1987c, 1988). This
39
difference in research emphasis reflects not only the contrasting geological processes and resulting
landscapes in the northern and southern basin, but also the interests of the geoarchaeologists involved.
A summary of research findings produced by geonaorphological studies undertaken in the northern
basin is presented in the following section. The alluvial geology of the San Xavier Reach, for which
considerable data are available, is discussed in a later section on the findings of geoarchaeological
research that has been conducted in the southern Tucson Basin.
Geomorphological Studies in the Northern Tucson Basin
Several of the geological studies conducted in the northern Tucson Basin have concentrated
on geomorphological mapping and description of landscape features that record the Quaternary
geological history of the area (Brakenridge and Schuster 1986; Field et al. 1993; Schuster and Katzer
1984). The end result of this work, which employed geological reconnaissance surveys in
conjunction with photogeological analysis of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 scale ortho-photoquadrangles and
1:12,000 scale aerial photographs, was a detailed map of geomorphic surfaces in portions of the
U.S.G.S. Red Rock, Silver Bell Peak, Cortaro, Ninety-Six Hills SE and SW, and Picacho Reservoir
SE, Arizona 7.5 and 15 Minute quadrangle maps in the northern Tucson Basin (Field et al. 1993:33).
A section of the geomorphic map of the northern basin that was produced through these efforts is
presented in Figure 6; the map section shown encompasses and borders the study area defined in
Chapter 1. Various characteristics of the six geomorphic surfaces shown in Figure 6 are summarized
in Table 2.
In addition to bedrock, six geomorphic surfaces are present in and near the study area along
the Santa Cruz River in the northern basin. Each surface is distinguished by several characteristics,
including relief, drainage network pattern, active geomorphic processes, sedimentology, degree of
development of soil carbonate, and soil redness (Field et al. 1993:36). Each geomorphic surface,
40
KEY: Q1
Q2rt
Q2a
Q2b
Q3
Q4
Br
Undifferentiated Pleistocene alluvial fans
Early Holocene river terrace
Undifferentiated mid-to-early Holocene alluvial fans
Undifferentiated late Holocene alluvial fans
Historic floodplain
Active washes, floodplains, and alluvial fans
Bedrock
Figure 6. Geomorphic surfaces in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River in the northern Tucson Basin
(adapted from Field et al. 1993:Figure 3.1).
•
•
41
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42
which also is known as a geomorphic unit, can be categorized as either a dynamic or constant
landscape component (Waters 1989:82).
From oldest to youngest, the geomorphic surfaces in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River in
the northern basin consist of undifferentiated Pleistocene alluvial fans (Q1), undifferentiated Holocene
alluvial fans (Q2a and Q2b), early Holocene river terrace segment (Q2rt), historic floodplain (Q3),
and active river channel, washes, floodplains, and alluvial fans (Q4). Surfaces recorded as Q1 are
deeply dissected, remnant Pleistocene alluvial fans, which may predate Paleo-Indian occupation in the
basin (Field et al. 1993:43, 45, 46). From oldest to youngest, Q2 surfaces consist of a river terrace
(Q2rt) that may be a remnant of the proto-Santa Cruz River, a moderately dissected alluvial fan
surface (Q2a), and a slightly dissected alluvial fan surface (Q2b); all are Holocene in age (Field et al.
1993:41-42). Historic floodplains of streams that flow along the valley bottoms are identified as
Q3 surfaces. The Q3 floodplains are considered to be historic in age, because entrenchment of the
Santa Cruz River has rendered them inactive (Field et al. 1993:39). The Santa Cruz River channel,
active washes and their floodplains, and active alluvial fans are designated as Q4 surfaces. According
to Field et al. (1993:38), active alluvial fans are characterized by a high potential for flooding, the
presence of sheetwash bedforms, and lack of dissection. This classification system can be compared
with that used by Brakenridge (1984), Schuster and Brakenridge (1986), and Waters (1989) in
geomorphological assessments of areas within the TACAP-Phase A and B project areas (descriptions
in parentheses follow the TACAP designations): Q1 surfaces are equivalent to Qfo (older alluvial fan
sediments), Q2 surfaces are equivalent to Qfy (younger alluvial fan sediments), Q3 surfaces are
equivalent to Qvo and Qvy (older and younger valley fill deposits), and Q4 surfaces are equivalent to
Qal (Santa Cruz River alluvium); Field et al. (1993) do not discuss an equivalent geomorphic surface
for Qeo surfaces (eolian dunes).
To conclude this discussion of northern Tucson Basin geomorphology, the potential for
burial of sites on the various geomorphic surfaces, and the types of agricultural activities that the
43
different surfaces were used for prehistorically, can be addressed (see Table 2). Q1 and Q2a surfaces
predate the Hohokam culture and, therefore, have a low potential for buried sites of that period. In
regard to Paleo-Indian and Archaic sites, Q1 surfaces predate the Archaic period and the degree of
soil formation on these surfaces suggests that they also predate the Paleo-Indian period. However,
insufficient information currently is available regarding the age of the Q2a surfaces relative to the
Pale,o-Indian and Archaic periods (Field et al. 1993:46). In contrast, Q2b and Q3 surfaces have a
high potential for buried sites, including Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Hohokam occupations, whereas
the active erosion on Q4 surfaces has resulted in the destruction of sites (Field et al. 1993:46), a
phenomenon that is ongoing. Finally, the types of land use that the different geomorphic surfaces
may have experienced in prehistoric times vary, depending largely on the surfaces' permeability, the
frequency of sheetflooding, and the availability of potable water (Field et al. 1993:47). As shown in
Table 2, Q3 surfaces would have been preferable for irrigated farming and Q2b surfaces would have
served well for floodwater farming, whereas the lower quality of agricultural land on the Q2a and
Q1 surfaces that results from differences in moisture availability and soil condition, would have made
wild plant gathering and agave cultivation the most likely subsistence activities to occur in those
areas.
Geomorphological Studies in the Southern Tucson Basin
With the exception of the considerable amount of research that has been conducted
concerning the geological history of the Santa Cruz River, geomorphological studies in the southern
Tucson Basin have been limited. The principal sources of information on this topic are the TACAPPhase B report (Schuster and Bralcenridge 1986) and the SXAP report (Miller 1987; Stafford 1987).
The only other large survey projects conducted to date in the southern portion of the Tucson Basin
consist of a nonintensive survey between Tubac and Sahuarita (Frick 1954) and the Southern Tucson
Basin Survey (Doelle et al. 1985a); the former contains some information on the geology and
44
landforms of the area, the latter none. Additional information on the geomorphology of the southern
basin is available in a report that was prepared by Waters (1987a) as part of a data recovery program
conducted at the Continental Site (AZ EE: 1:32), located at the southern end of the Tucson Basin.
Although most reports on excavation projects in the southern basin provide a basic geological
background in their introductory sections, a data recovery report (Huntington 1986) on the West
Branch Site, AZ AA: 16:3, is an exception. Nevertheless, the majority of the information presented
in the excavation reports typically summarizes prior work in the area and is broad in scope. A
significant contrast to this practice is the detailed alluvial geological study that was prepared for the
San Xavier Bridge Site (AZ BB:13:14) report (Waters 1987c). Because of its comprehensive nature,
the following discussion on the geomorphology of the southern Tucson Basin is derived principally
from data obtained during the SXAP (Heuett et al. 1987; Miller 1987; Stafford 1987).
The SXAP area extended south from Martinez Hill approximately 11.6 km along the Santa
Cruz River; the project width varied from 4.9 km to 11.4 km. Within the main project area, which
constituted 7,492 ha, five geomorphic units, or landforms, were identified. A separate 192-hectare
area located southwest of the main project area contained only two units. As can be seen in Figure 7,
the five units in the main area consist of mountain tops and slopes, upper bajada, lower bajadanonriverine, transitional lower bajada-river edge, and floodplain. The mountain tops and slopes unit
comprises Black Mountain (Chuk Tho'ag) and the adjacent volcanic ridges. The upper bajada
includes the area near the base of the lower slopes of Black Mountain on all but its east side. Moving
downslope, the lower bajada-nonriverine unit, which was formed by the erosional products of the
Sierrita Mountains, is the major landform in the project area. This expansive area of coarse alluvium
grades slowly toward the northeast at a rate of 15 meters/kilometer and is dissected by shallow,
roughly parallel washes (Miller 1987:2). The fourth geomorphic unit, which consists of the narrow
interface of the lower bajada and floodplain landforms, is marked by the transition and merging of
geological units. Essentially, this landform, the lower bajada-river edge unit, is the region of overlap
45
Key:
1 = Mountain Tops and Slopes
2 = Upper Bajada
3 = Lower Bajada-Nonriverine
4 = Lower Bajada-River Edge
5 = Floodplain
Figure 7. Geomorphic units in the SXAP area in the southern Tucson Basin (adapted from Miller
1987:Figure IIA.1).
46
between the coarser Pleistocene alluviums and the finer Holocene sediments (Miller 1987:2; Stafford
1987:1). The last unit is that of the floodplain, which extends to the east outside the SXAP area into
that of the Southern Tucson Basin Survey. The floodplain is characterized as an approximately
1.6-kilometer-wide strip consisting of relatively flat, recent alluvium that gently slopes (3.8 m/km) to
the north-northwest (Miller 1987:2). Excluding the mountain tops/slopes and upper bajada units, the
geomorphic units in the SXAP area essentially represent three Quaternary age geomorphic surfaces:
the modern to Holocene floodplain, the dissected Pleistocene alluvium to the east, and the less
dissected bajada sediments on the western border of the valley (Stafford 1987:1, Figure IIC.1).
When the coverage of the SXAP area is compared with that of the geological study
conducted for the TACAP-Phase B area, an extensive overlap is apparent. A geomorphic map
produced for the TACAP survey (Schuster and Brakenridge 1986 :Figure 2.3) classifies the SXAP
area south of Black Mountain and west of the Santa Cruz River as a single geological unit. This unit
is classified as Qfy, which is equivalent to the Q2a and Q2b geomorphic surfaces mapped by Field et
al. (1993) in the northern Tucson Basin. As discussed earlier, the Qfy/Q2 geomorphic surface
represents undifferentiated Holocene alluvial fan sediments, which would have been suitable for use
in floodwater farming, agave farming, and gathering of wild resources (see Table 1).
Climate of the Tucson Basin
The present-day climatic setting of the Tucson Basin is typical of the Lower Sonoran Desert
Region in which it is located. Annual precipitation is low and biseasonal, with a considerable variety
in diurnal and seasonal temperatures. On the valley floor, annual precipitation averages 30.5 cm;
however, due to elevation differences, areas of greater annual rainfall occur in the basin, such as in
the Santa Catalina and Santa Rita mountains where precipitation rates exceeding 63.5 cm per year
have been recorded (Fish 1989:21; Fish and Nabhan 1991:30; Sellers and Hill 1974:8). Slightly
more than half of the annual precipitation on the valley floor occurs in the form of intense, localized
47
thunderstorms during the summer monsoon months of July, August, and September; winter
precipitation takes the form of generally longer-lasting and more widespread thunderstorms (Sellers
and Hill 1974:8-9, 466, 510, 526). Although winter thunderstorms, which extend from December
through the middle of March, are more extensive areally, summer rainfall is less variable in total
amount and has a more seasonally predictable onset (Fish and Nabhan 1991:37 citing McDonald
1956; Sellers and Hill 1974:8).
The summer monsoonal pattern of precipitation is convective in origin and primarily results
from the flow of moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean over strongly
heated mountainous terrain; however, tropical hurricanes off the west coast of Mexico also have
produced late summer precipitation that has its origins in deep surges of tropical air from the Gulf of
California and the Pacific Ocean (Sellers and Hill 1974:12, 14). In contrast, the winter precipitation
pattern in the Tucson Basin is derived from large-scale cyclonic storms embedded in the prevailing
westerlies that are located between 25 and 60 North latitude, which reach maximum velocities in
0
0
excess of 160 miles per hour at 9,144 m to 12,192 m above mean sea level (Sellers and Hill
1974:14). On the North American continent, the westerlies typically follow a path around the north
side of a semipermanent ridge of high pressure off the west coast and enter the continent in northern
Oregon and Washington. Under normal conditions, the winter storms produced by the westerlies
seldom result in more than partly cloudy skies and strong winds in Arizona (Sellers and Hill
1974:14).
Hot summers and mild winters also characterize the Tucson Basin with average daily
temperature ranges on the valley floor of 29° Centigrade to 32° Centigrade in July, and
7° Centigrade to 10° Centigrade in January; record high temperatures range from 43° Centigrade to
49° Centigrade (Sellers and Hill 1974:Figure 11b, 466, 510, 526). However, as with the differences
noted for precipitation rates, elevation differences within the basin also result in cooler temperatures
in summer and winter at higher altitudes, such as on Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains,
48
which has an elevation of over 2,743 m. According to Sellers and Hill (1974:19), in the summer,
temperature decreases with height at the rate of 1° C per 130 m.
In conjunction with precipitation and temperature, relative humidity also varies considerably
throughout the year in the Tucson Basin, with the highest values occurring in the winter, and the
lowest, in late spring-early summer. Relative humidity, which usually is expressed in percentage
units, is a function of both the moisture content and the temperature of the air (Sellers and Hill
1974:25). Based on data gathered between 1931 and 1972 at the University of Arizona weather
station in northwestern Tucson, average annual relative humidity recorded at 6:00 A.M. ranged from a
low of 28 percent in May and June to a high of 60 percent in December and January, although the
average annual relative humidity recorded for August was 58 percent (Sellers and Hill 1974:530). In
order to examine the combined effect of temperature and humidity, the U.S. Weather Service devised
a temperature-humidity index, which originally was called the discomfort index (Sellers and Hill
1974:29). According to data obtained from long-record weather stations, an estimated average daily
maximum temperature-humidity index figure for the Tucson Basin valley floor is 80.7 for June,
83.6 for July, and 83.5 for August; values above 86 are considered extreme (Sellers and Hill
1974:27, Table 2).
Two major factors affecting the survival, growth rate, and reproductive success of
domesticated and semidomesticated plant species is occurrence of frost and duration of freezing
temperatures throughout a night, the following day, and the following night (McGinnies 1981:121).
The growing season for the basin as a whole averages about 240 consecutive frost-free days, which
not only is suitable for most aboriginally cultivated crops, it is considered sufficient for producing
two crops annually (Hecht and Reeves 1981:49). However, the number of consecutive frost-free days
can vary significantly as a result of inversions, cold air drainages, absolute elevation, and local
topography. For example, hillsides and slopes will remain substantially warmer than lower or flatter
49
areas, whereas valley-margin areas can be warmed by overnight air flow that is channeled
downstream along the drainages (McGinnies 1981:122).
Prehistoric Climatic Changes of the Last Millennium
The reconstruction of prehistoric climatic patterns is of primary concern when attempting to
document environmental changes that may have resulted from a changing climate. Data from treering, pollen, macrofloral, and faunal analyses are key components to investigations of past climatic
conditions and processes, as is information relevant to dating the onset of climatic changes that can be
provided by alluvial stratigraphy and chronometric techniques. To date, the Tucson Basin has not
been the focus of a large-scale dendroclimatic research project concerned with prehistoric climatic
change. The principal reason for this is that currently available living tree chronologies from the
mountains surrounding the basin do not extend far enough back in time to overlap tree-ring data from
archaeological sites, which precludes establishing a climatic reconstruction for the prehistoric period
(Jeffrey S. Dean, personal communication 1994). However, data applicable to this topic have been
accumulated during detailed studies of the alluvial stratigraphy of the Santa Cruz River (e.g., Haynes
and Huckell 1986; Stafford 1987; Waters 1987c), and individual site-level and subregional-level
studies have produced pollen, macrofloral, and faunal data that have provided insights into the
prehistoric climate and environment of the Santa Cruz River Valley (e.g., Fish 1985; Fish and
Gillespie 1987; Miksicek 1985; Szuter 1985).
Nevertheless, if one wishes to investigate prehistoric climatic change during the last
millenium in the Tucson Basin on a broader scale, it is necessary to examine the results of research
conducted outside the basin in southern Arizona and elsewhere. Climatic data from southeastern
Arizona (Eddy and Cooley 1983), the Salt-Gila Basin (Graybill 1989a, 1989b), central Arizona and
central and southwestern Colorado (Davis 1994; Dean 1994), the Colorado Plateau (Peterson 1988;
Schoenwetter 1970; Wills et al. 1994), southwestern New Mexico (Dean 1994), and east-central
50
California (Graumlich 1993; LaMarche 1973) were compiled and compared with alluvial stratigraphie
data from the San Xavier Reach (Waters 1987c). The data from these 11 studies are illustrated in
Figure 8 for the period of A.D. 200/300 to 1500, which encompasses the Hohokam sequence. The
San Xavier Reach data were discussed earlier in this chapter; the non-Tucson Basin studies are
discussed below.
Research conducted by Eddy and Cooley (1983) in the nearby Cienega Valley, 40 km to the
southeast of the Tucson Basin, is of particular interest because of the valley's proximity to the San
Xavier Reach. Although the Cienega Valley study is based on work conducted by Eddy in 1958 for
his master's thesis (supplemented by Cooley's alluvial geological studies), the methods and results are
applicable to present-day studies of climatic and environmental change. According to Huckell,
(1983:57), the work remains an excellent example of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of
past human adaptations to changing environmental conditions and, despite its age, continues to be
viable and useful.
Archaeological investigations in the Cienega Valley by Eddy and Cooley (who obtained their
data primarily from pollen analysis [Martin 1963] and alluvial stratigraphy, and secondarily from
gastropod [Drake 1958], wood, and faunal analyses) documented climatic fluctuations between
A.D. 200/300
to 600 and between A.D. 900 to 1300. The fluctuations included a shift from stable to
less stable environmental conditions around A.D. 900 to 1000; that is, from an environment
characterized by reliable and steady precipitation, slow streamflow, steady deposition, and a high
water table to one characterized by unreliable precipitation, flash floods, rapidly expanding arroyo
systems, and a low water table (Eddy and Cooley 1983:37, 47).
Eddy and Cooley (1983:47, 50) suggest that a probable shift in environmental conditions,
due to climatic changes in the Cienega Valley during the late Pioneer period, resulted in the formation
of an apparently integrated system of channels that subsequently filled. At the same time, cienegas
decreased in size and alluvial deposition enlarged the potential farming area. During the Colonial and
51
CLIMATIC CHANGES FROM A.D. 200/300 to 1500
Pioneer Period
Geographical Area
and Reference
A.D.
Cienega Valley
Unstable wet-dry; cutting and filling
200/300
400
600
500
Sedentary Period
Colonial Period
I
700
tI
800
900
(Eddy and Cooley 1983)
San Xavier Reach
(Waters 1987c)
> Broad floodplain, floodwater
Entrenched floodplain, no farming on floodplain or on river bottom
farming, ephemeral discharge
Predictable flow
Salt River
(Graybill 1989a, 1989b)
Wet
Salt/Verde/Tonto Drainages
(Dean 1994)
Wet
Wet Dry Wet
Wet
Southwestern New Mexico
(Dean 1994)
Colorado Plateau
(Schoenwetter 1970)
Dry until A.D. 275, wet
from A.D. 300 to 400
Average precipitation
Wet
Wet following
short average period
1200
Discontinuous
gullies, floodplain
entrenchment
Six above average
flows
Favorable; relatively predictable discharge
Wet Wet
Wet
Dry
Wet
Average precipitation
Cienega
formed
Stable wet, slow and steady precipitation
Stabilization and filling of
river channel
Cienega smaller; floodplain farmable; discontinuous
gully filled
Three above average
flows; more variation
Dry
Wet
High variability, 33-year-long drought
at end of sequence
Wet Dry
Dry
Average
Wet
Average Dry Average
>
Dry, winter precipitation decreased (low); summer Winter precipitation
precipitation increased; cooler
increased, warmer
1358
Dry
Wet
Low temporal variability in precipitation
High winter precipitation
Catastrophic flow in
A.D.
Wet
Dry
> Wet
Wet
Drop in water tables
Dry, low winter and summer precipitation;
summers cooler after A.D. 1200
Onset of cold and dry conditions in summer, abrupt climatic change at A.D. 1100/1200
East-Central California
Warmer temperatures in summer
(Graumlich 1993)
Figure 8. Chronological comparison of climatic data from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and California.
Greater summer precipitation than at present
Cooler temperatures
Average Wet
> Increase in temporal variability in precipitation
East-Central California
(LaMarche 1973)
Southwest
(Davis 1994)
1500
1400
1300
Fluvial deposition ceased
Rising alluvial water tables and effective moisture
Colorado Plateau
(Wills et al. 1994)
Colorado Plateau
(Petersen 1988)
1100
1000
Unstable wet-dry, rapid precipitation, fast runoff,
fluvial deposition
> Alternating stable wet and unstable wet-dry
Classic Period
If
Maximum warmth A.D. 1100 to 1200
> Summers cooler
Summers cold
52
Sedentary periods, climatic conditions continued to be unstable, which resulted in the filling of the
cienegas. The rate of alluvial deposition increased throughout the valley during the Sedentary period,
producing an increase in effective farmland on the floodplain. Alluvial deposition probably ceased by
the early Classic period, with stripping and arroyo cutting beginning shortly thereafter. Eddy and
Cooley (1983:50) state that a situation favoring erosion was caused by unstable environmental
conditions, which reflect the past presence of an unstable climate, particularly precipitation.
Although they infer that drought occurred in the Cienega Valley during the late Sedentary and early
Classic periods, Eddy and Cooley (1983:50) suggest that its severity would have been less than that
of modern droughts, due to the smaller size of the arroyos and their more limited distribution at that
time. Nevertheless, modification of floodplain cultivation methods in the vicinity of the newly
formed arroyos would have been necessary (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50). Although the drought
conditions abated by approximately
A.D. 1300,
in conjunction with the stabilization of the
environment and increased reliability of precipitation, settlement in the Cienega Valley decreased and
the area was abandoned by the end of the Classic period (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50).
Additional episodic climatic fluctuations in southern Arizona can be seen in a reconstruction
of annual streamflow of the Salt River between A.D. 740 and 1370; the reconstruction is based on
tree-ring data that were calibrated with historic streamflow records (Graybill 1989a, 1989b). The
reconstructed patterns of streamflow in the Salt River for six periods between A.D. 740 and 1370, and
the geomorphic processes that probably resulted from variations in the frequency and intensity of the
discharges, are summarized in Table 3. Essentially, the streamflow data indicate that it was wet
during the Colonial and Sedentary periods, whereas the early Classic period was characterized by a
highly variable climate that culminated in a prolonged drought, which was followed by a catastrophic
flood in A.D. 1358.
Recently completed tree-ring analyses have reconstructed streamflow data for the periods of
A.D. 530
to present for the Gila River, and A.D. 570 to present for the Salt and Verde rivers and
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54
Tonto Creek, combined (Dean 1994). The new data not only span a period of time 200 years earlier
than previously available (Graybill 1989a) to include the late Pioneer period of the Hohokam, they
also encompass the prehistoric-historic transition. The streamflow data show that during the
prehistoric period, high magnitude discharges occurred on the Gila River in A.D. 750, 900, and 1380.
The notable discharge in A.D. 750 was preceded by several lower high magnitude discharges in
A.D 650, 730,
and 748; a lower magnitude discharge also occurred in the decade before the A.D. 900
high magnitude discharge. The remainder of the graph shows considerable fluctuation through time,
with possible droughts occurring in A.D. 565 to 580, A.D. 600 to 619, A.D. 751 to 760, A.D. 901 to
910, and A.D. 1030 to 1040.
A slightly different, more variable pattern is evident for the Salt/Verde/Tonto streamflow in
that high magnitude discharges occurred at A.D. 620, 730, 800, 900, and 990. Lower, albeit high,
magnitude discharges occurred in A.D. 570, 630, 690, 830, 1075 through 1080, 1090, 1140, and
1310. Periods of possible drought on the Salt/Verde/Tonto streamflow graph include A.D. 695 to
725, A.D. 1090 to 1100, A.D. 1150 to 1160, A.D. 1170 to 1195, A.D. 1215 to 1230, and A.D. 1385 to
1410. In summary, these data indicate that the Pioneer, Colonial, and Sedentary periods experienced
frequent wet periods, that culminated in several periods of drought in the Classic period.
The streamflow data for the Salt River, Gila River, and Salt/Verde/Tonto drainages can be
compared with the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) for the month of June that has been
compiled for the Reserve/Black Mountain area in southwestern New Mexico for the period of
A.D. 530
to present (Dean 1994). The PDSI indicates that the area was characterized by significant
climatic variability between drought conditions and times of above-average rainfall, with little
evidence of climatic stability. However, notably high precipitation (PDSI value 4.00) occurred in
multiple years around A.D. 650, 750, 900, and 990. All of the years of unusually high rainfall were
preceded, and also sometimes followed, by years of exceptionally severe drought. These findings
55
suggest that the late Pioneer period and much of the Colonial period were characterized by a wet
climate.
Although the reconstructions of Salt and Gila river streamflow may not be directly applicable
to the Tucson Basin, the major environmental perturbations evidenced prehistorically in the Salt-Gila
Basin very likely extended to the Tucson Basin, due to their proximity to each other. Therefore, an
extrapolation of the documented climatic fluctuations to the Santa Cruz River Valley is warranted.
Furthermore, the patterns of reconstructed Salt River streamflow discharge (Niais et al. 1989)
demonstrate a general similarity to the patterns hypothesized by Eddy and Cooley (1983) in the
Cienega Valley, particularly for the late Sedentary through Classic periods (i.e., A.D. 1100 to 1300).
Both studies concur that increasing precipitation and stream discharge followed a period of drought
that occurred between the end of the Sedentary period and the beginning of the late Classic period.
Therefore, it is likely that the Tucson Basin experienced similar climatic conditions during this time
period. It also may be suggested that prehistoric climatic conditions in the Tucson Basin during the
Hohokam period were characterized by variability, rather than stability. Based on alluvial
stratigraphic data from the San Xavier Reach, the Pioneer through middle Sedentary periods probably
experienced the most stable streamflow and, possibly, climate, of the Hohokam period. As indicated
by the notable increase in the number of channel cutting and filling events documented for the Santa
Cruz River following that time, streamflow and climate in the Tucson Basin probably destabilized at
the middle of the Sedentary period (about A.D. 1000 to 1050) to one of even greater variability.
The streamflow records from the Salt and Gila rivers and the Salt/Verde/Tonto drainages
also can be compared with climatic data produced by a pioneering study in pollen analysis on the
Colorado Plateau (Schoenwetter 1970), which resulted in the development of the Colorado Plateau
Pollen Chronology (CPPC). The study was predicated on changes in relative effective moisture
through time, as indicated by specific pollen type frequencies, and it was developed to serve as an
independent method for dating archaeological sites and reconstructing paleovegetation patterns.
56
Postulating a direct relationship between the density of arboreal vegetation in the vicinity of a site and
the frequency of arboreal pollen, the CPPC is based on an adjusted arboreal pollen sum consisting of
pollen frequencies from six anemophilous (i.e., wind-pollinated) species: fir (Abies), juniper
(Juniperus), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga), spruce (Picea), pine (Pinus), and oak (Quercus). Because the
density of these arboreal species at higher elevations most often is a response to effective moisture,
Schoenwetter (1970:41) hypothesized that arboreal density could be used as an index of precipitation
values, although the influence of local conditions precludes a statistically significant correlation
between the two. The CPPC compares favorably with the Gila, Salt, and Salt/Verde/Tonto
streamflow records at several periods in time, such as the wetter periods from A.D. 600 to 700 and
A.D. 1000 to 1100,
and the period of drought from A.D. 1100 to 1150. However, as can be seen in
Figure 8, there are more instances of conflicting data than comparable data.
At the same time, it can be seen that the basic patterns yielded by the CPPC essentially
correlate with the summary of prehistoric environmental change on the Colorado Plateau as discussed
by Wills et al. (1994). In their article on complex adaptive systems and southwestern prehistory, the
authors note that from about A.D. 800 to 1300, alluvial water tables rose in conjunction with effective
moisture on the Colorado Plateau; from A.D. 1000 to 1300, low temporal variability in precipitation
occurred; and, just before A.D. 1300, water levels experienced a precipitous drop and temporal
variability in precipitation increased (Wills et al. 1994:320). This overall pattern also was
characterized by brief episodes of departure, which may correlate with the short intervals of wet, dry,
or average moisture recorded by the CPPC (see Figure 8).
Not only did the rate and frequency of precipitation vary through time in the Southwest, but
also average daily temperatures. In his study of the Dolores River Anasazi, Petersen (1988) utilized
palynological techniques to examine changes in precipitation and temperature through time on the
Colorado Plateau. His findings suggest that the prehistoric climate in the Dolores River area can be
divided into four basic intervals (Petersen 1988:115-127), the earliest of which, A.D. 600 to 700, was
57
characterized by high winter precipitation. By
A.D. 800,
the climate had become drier and cooler
with a decrease in winter precipitation to low levels, although summer precipitation increased. This
interval of climate continued until about A.D. 1000, at which time the average daily temperature
increased, as did the rate of winter precipitation. However, this was a short-lived phase that lasted
only about 100 years. By A. D. 1100, the climate on the Colorado Plateau was again dry, both winter
and summer rainfall were low, and, after A.D. 1200, summers were cooler. This type of climate
continued until about A.D. 1300, at which time most of the high-altitude agricultural areas on the
Colorado Plateau were abandoned by the Anasazi (Petersen 1988:127). When these climatic intervals
are compared with the Hohokam sequence in the Tucson Basin, the first interval corresponds with the
late Pioneer period, the second with the middle Colonial through early Sedentary periods, the third
with the middle Sedentary period, and the fourth with the late Sedentary through early Classic
periods.
The climatic changes documented by Petersen (1988) for A. D. 1100 to 1300 are corroborated
by treeline research conducted by LaMarche (1973) in the White Mountains of east-central California.
Based on his analysis of fluctuating treelines, LaMarche (1973:632, 655) identifies the period of
A.D.
1100 to 1500 as being characterized by the onset of cold and dry summer conditions that began
shortly after A.D. 1100. As shown in Figure 8, this period includes the late Sedentary and Classic
periods of the Tucson Basin Hohokam.
In contrast, an analysis of tree-ring data from the southern Sierra Nevada in eastern
California documented fluctuations on centennial, and longer, time scales that include a period of
higher temperatures from about A.D. 1100 to 1375, which corresponds to the Little Climatic
Optimum or Medieval Warm Period (Graumlich 1993:249, 253). In the Tucson Basin, this interval
encompasses the late Sedentary period through most of the late Classic period of the Hohokam. The
warmest 20-year-long and 50-year-long periods in the record occurred during the mid-1300s
(Graumlich 1993:253).
58
A similar finding to that of Graumlich's was obtained by Davis (1994:10) from pollen
samples collected from lakes in central Arizona and central and southwestern Colorado, although his
data indicate that the period of maximum warmth occurred between
A.D. 1100
and 1200. The pollen
data also record a period of cooler temperatures from A.D. 880 to 1020 and a period of maximum
summer moisture from A.D. 700 to 1350 (Davis 1994:1, 3).
According to Graumlich (1993:253), both the short-term and long-term temperature
variations in the Sierra Nevada tree-ring record may be associated with forcing by volcanic aerosols
or with solar variability; the former is supported by acidity profiles of a Greenland ice core.
Although the timing of the occurrence of the Medieval Warm Period and its intensity varies
regionally, this period of climatic perturbation has been recognized elsewhere in North America and
Europe (Graumlich 1993:253), and its effects may have been felt in southern Arizona. For example,
the penultimate interval (A.D. 1197 to 1355) of Salt River streamflow reconstructed by Niais et al.
(1989) contains a 33-year-long timespan that was characterized by extremely low mean annual
discharge (see Table 3). This interval corresponds to the Hohokam Classic period and the middle to
the end of the Medieval Warm Period. If similarly low precipitation rates and higher mean annual
temperatures occurred in the Tucson Basin during the Classic period, the effects probably would have
had significant impacts on the population, even one that was acclimated to a marginal desert
environment and its often variable climate.
Biotic Communities of the Tucson Basin
From north to south, the study area along the Santa Cruz River between the towns of Marana
and Continental comprises three biotic communities: (1) Lower Colorado Subdivision of the Sonoran
Desertscrub Formation, (2) Arizona Upland Subdivision of the Sonoran Desertscrub Formation, and
(3) Semidesert Grassland of the Grassland Formation (Brown and Lowe 1980; Lowe 1964:Table 1).
The three communities are roughly defined by climate and topographic factors (Miller 1987:7). The
59
first community includes the study corridor from Marana to northern Tucson, the second from
northern Tucson to Continental, and the third from Sahuarita to Continental. Whereas the Arizona
Upland and Lower Colorado subdivisions are part of the Lower Sonoran life-zone, the Semidesert
Grassland community represents a transitional region or ecotone between grassland and desert that is
considered to be an Upper Sonoran life-zone (Lowe 1964:13, 36).
The two plant communities that typify the Arizona Upland Subdivision are paloverdesaguaro (Cercidium-Cereus) and creosote-bursage (Larrea-Franseria); the Lower Colorado
Subdivision is commonly associated with the latter community only (Lowe 1964:24, 27). Depending
on the availability of water along intermittent streams, a variety of riparian species can occur within
both life-zones, including cottonwood (Populus fremontii), ash (Fraxinus velutina), willow (Salix
spp.), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), sycamore (Platanus wrightii), mesquite (Prosopis velutina),
blue paloverde (Cercidium floridum), netleaf hackberry (Celtis hackberry), smoketre,e (Dalea
spinosa), catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), and jumping bean (Sapium biloculare) (Adams 1988; Lowe
1964). In contrast, the Semidesert Grassland community consists of a transitional type of grass-
dominated landscape that commonly is positioned above a desert and below an evergreen woodland or
chaparral (Lowe 1964:40).
Although it is a standard reporting practice to discuss the environmental setting of an
archaeological project, whether survey or excavation, few projects conducted in the Tucson Basin
have had the opportunity to examine an area that has been relatively undisturbed by agriculture or
development in recent times. Furthermore, most lists included with project reports are short and
contain only the major plants and animals that were observed in the area during fieldwork. A
complicating factor is that rarely are professional botanists or biologists employed in the field,
especially on smaller projects. Two exceptions to this are reports prepared as part of the NTBS and
SXAP, both of which were large areal coverage surveys, the former in the northern basin, and the
latter in the southern. Both surveys published detailed information on the biotic communities of the
60
project areas as part of the main archaeological report and not as separate, usually unattainable
appendices (Miller 1987; Reichhardt 1993).
The SXAP biological study is the most extensive conducted to date in the southern Tucson
Basin and, possibly, the entire basin. Two teams of professional botanists and biologists conducted a
year-long survey spanning four seasons during this project. The surveys were conducted both during
the day and at night. In addition, sightings of animals noted by the archaeological crew chiefs during
the survey of the 7,492-hectare project area were recorded. A separate report (Tierra Madre
Consultants 1985) was produced detailing the results of this biological study as was required for the
Draft Environmental Impact Statement; the plant and animal species lists that were compiled also
were included in the main body of the archaeological report as part of the environmental overview
(Heuett et al. 1987; Miller 1987). These lists are provided in Appendix A as a source of information
on the types of plants and animals that could occur at archaeological sites in the Tucson Basin.
Although the SXAP area is located within the Arizona Upland Subdivision of the Lower Sonoran lifezone, many of the species listed in Appendix A could be found at localities throughout the basin.
Nevertheless, the list of species should not be considered to be complete, but rather, representative,
because of the conspicuous absence of large carnivores. Their absence from the list may accurately
reflect their absence in the wild, or it may reflect the fact that specialized measures not taken during
the SXAP study are necessary to observe them, or a combination of the two. A comparison of the
lists with historic accounts of the Tucson Basin suggests that there have been substantial changes in
faunal occurrence, population, and distribution since the mid-1800s (Miller 1987:12). For example,
early records of the area indicate the presence of panther, jaguar, Sonora grizzly, and timber wolf,
none of which were observed during the SXAP. The prehistoric presence of muskrat, beaver, and
Sonoran mud turtle in the Santa Cruz River also is indicated by the recovery of skeletal elements of
these species from excavations conducted at the San Xavier Bridge Site (AZ BB:13:14) in the
southern Tucson Basin (Fish and Gillespie 1987:75).
61
To investigate further the types of riparian vegetation that were present along the Santa Cruz
River in prehistoric times, pollen and macrofloral data were compiled from reports on several major
excavation projects conducted in the study area between Marana and Continental. The data are
presented in Table 4, along with the relevant references. For additional comparisons, information on
modem riparian vegetation along the Santa Cruz River that was collected during the NTBS
(Reichhardt 1993) and during a hydrological survey of the river channel near Tumacacori, just south
of the Tucson Basin (Homer 1981), are included in the table. Only riparian species and species that
are commonly found in culturally produced wet areas such as irrigated fields, of which spiderling
(Boerhaavia sp.) is an example, are listed in Table 4. Cactus, nonnative, and nonlocal modem
vegetation, pollen, and macrofloral data were excluded from the table. Excluded species include
cholla, barrel, and saguaro cacti, Bermuda grass, tamarisk, and pine. Pollen and macrofloral
evidence of prehistoric domesticated and cultivated plants (e.g., maize, beans, squash, cotton, and
agave) also was not included in Table 4.
The formerly lush riparian environment along the Santa Cruz River, and the more varied
environment of the adjoining lower and upper bajadas, would have provided many suitable locales for
the prehistoric populations of the Tucson Basin to inhabit and utilize. Raw materials for construction,
tool manufacture, and pottery production would have been readily available, and the landforms and
soils would have been capable of supporting a variety of agricultural crops. The Santa Cruz River,
tributaries, cienegas, and springs would have provided water for fields located on the floodplain,
whereas higher precipitation on the lower and upper bajadas would have permitted the development of
a variety of water control and diversion techniques that could have expanded agricultural areas
suitable for the growing of traditional Southwestern crops and enhancement of wild plants. The wide
variety of wild plants and animals that characterized the prehistoric Santa Cruz River Valley would
have provided a wide subsistence base perhaps equally as important as the diversification of
agricultural methods.
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Surface Hydrology of the Tucson Basin
The Santa Cruz River and its tributaries and arroyos, which enter along both entrenched and
unentrenched segments of the river (Waters 1987c:39), constitute the primary drainage system in the
study area. All Tucson Basin drainages are intermittent streams and flow only after heavy rains,
usually for three days or less (Davidson 1973:1). Although the major streams generally are dry for
more than 300 days a year, shallow pools of water often can be seen in the bottom of the larger
channels between storm events. Mean annual streamflow in the basin varies from 10,000 to
20,000 acre-feet, whereas mean annual streamflow out of the basin averages slightly more than
17,000 acre-feet (Davidson 1973:1). An acre-foot is a hydrological measurement of the amount of
streamflow required to inundate 1 acre (0.4 ha) with 1 foot (30.5 cm) of water.
The Santa Cruz River is a 360-kilometer-long, northward flowing stream that heads in the
Canelo Hills of the San Raphael Valley, 85 km southeast of Tucson (Waters 1987c:39). All of the
water in the upper Santa Cruz River drainage basin originates as precipitation (Davidson 1973:9).
The river is formed by drainage from the south slope of the Canelo Hills and the southwestern slopes
of the Huachuca, Patagonia, Atascosa, Pajarito, San Cayetano, Tumacacori, Santa Rita, and Sierrita
mountains, which is a drainage area in excess of 4,000 square km (Miller 1987:6). Prior to
beginning its northward flow to discharge ultimately into the Gila River, the Santa Cruz River flows
south into Mexico. Along its north-flowing channel, the river comprises three major segments. The
first segment is from the Canelo Hills to the southern end of the San Xavier District of the Tohono
O'odham Indian Reservation near Pima Mine Road. This is a distance of 20 km, along which the
river is characterized by an unentrenched, wide, shallow channel (Cooke and Reeves 1976:47; Waters
1987c:39). The second segment is that of the 70-kilometer-long San Xavier Reach, which is a deeply
entrenched channel. The majority of the San Xavier Reach is within the study area, which also
extends approximately 15 km south of Pima Mine Road to include a portion of the unentrenched
segment of the river. Downstream of the San Xavier Reach, about 45 km north of Tucson, the third
64
segment of the Santa Cruz River is a poorly defined network of shallow, braided channels and short
entrenched segments forming a broad plain, known as the Santa Cruz Flats, that extends for
approximately 120 km to the Gila River (Cooke and Reeves 1976:47; Waters 1987c:39). The three
segments of the Santa Cruz River drain over 23,000 square km in southern Arizona and northern
Sonora (Czaplicki 1983:7 citing Bowden 1981).
Geological History of the Santa Cruz River
The geological history of the Santa Cruz River in the Tucson Basin, particularly that of the
San Xavier Reach, is characterized by changing alluvial sequences. Over the last 8,000 years,
cyclical episodes of degradation and aggradation have occurred along the river, which have resulted
in significant disruptions of prehistoric, historic, and recent settlement patterns along portions of its
channel. Although the cyclic episodes are believed to be primarily a response to climatic change,
particularly the effects of changes in the intensity of precipitation, natural geomorphic-sedimentologic
processes no doubt also have contributed (Patton and Schumm 1981:25; Schumm and Hadley
1957:161). Historic and modern attempts to control or divert the river's water for agricultural
purposes have exacerbated its degradation to the extent that alluvial adjustment no longer is possible
in major sections of its length, most notably along the San Xavier Reach. As a result, permanent
entrenchment has occurred, thus ending the periodic cycle of degradation and aggradation.
Geoarchaeological studies of the Santa Cruz River in the Tucson Basin, particularly within the San
Xavier Reach, have produced detailed information on the stratigraphy and geochronology of the
river's alluvial sequences. Through the use of this information, it is possible to reconstruct the
alluvial prehistory of the Santa Cruz River in the Tucson Basin.
Alluvial Sequences of the Santa Cruz River
Geomorphological and geoarchaeological studies (Haynes and Huckell 1984; Stafford 1987;
Waters 1987c) conducted at various points along the San Xavier Reach (e.g., Brickyard Arroyo, San
65
Xavier Bridge Site, SXAP area) have intensively examined a 15-kilometer-long segment of this
portion of the Santa Cruz River. By combining the results of those studies with data obtained from a
variety of riverbank profiles located elsewhere in the southern and northern portions of the Tucson
Basin that have been recorded by Haynes and Huckell (1986), it is possible to construct a generalized
geological cross section of the river showing alluvial units, stratigraphic relationships, and associated
cultural sequences (Figure 9). The geological events represented by the alluvial units shown in
Figure 9 are described in Table 5. The two instances of missing data in Table 5 reflect the fact that
Pleistocene stratigraphy (Unit A) was not present at the San Xavier Bridge Site (Waters 1987c),
whereas Unit I was not present in the bank exposures examined by Haynes and Huckell (1986).
The generalized geological cross section shown in Figure 9 reflects the alluvial history of the
Santa Cruz River, which was characterized by a major period of channel erosion and widening
between 8000 and 5500 years B.P. This erosional sequence was followed by five episodes of alluvial
deposition, or floodplain aggradation, that were separated by relatively brief episodes of channel
entrenchment (Haynes and Huckell 1986:26; Stafford 1987:3; Waters 1987c:60). Although this
reconstructed alluvial sequence can be directly related to the cultural prehistory of the Tucson Basin,
gaps are present in the archaeological record and unanswered questions remain, particularly in regard
to the Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic periods.
Historic Channel Changes of the Santa Cruz River
Historically, the Santa Cruz River was a permanent stream until it reached a point
approximately 50 km north of the Mexican border in the vicinity of the Canoa Ranch, where it sank
beneath the sand. However, just south of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a subterranean volcanic
formation consisting of flat-lying basaltic extrusions (i.e., a dike), which outcrop at Black Mountain,
Martinez Hill, and Grotto Hill, blocked the northward flow of ground water and forced the river to
the surface (Betancourt 1987:2). A spring and cienega known as Agua de la Misi6n formed on the
east side of the valley, whereas on the west side of the valley, the subsurface dike created a smaller
66
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68
spring, called Punta de Agua. A second set of springs and cienegas formed at Sentinel Peak where
Pleistocene terraces from the east converge with the western mountain front (Betancourt 1987:2).
The historic locations of these springs and cienegas are shown in Figure 10. Increased groundwater
pumping and the entrenchment of the San Xavier Reach effectively lowered the water table and led to
the demise of the cienegas and springs after the 1890s.
Tucson's first water company was inaugurated in late 1882 when Sylvester Watts and J. W.
Parker buried a redwood flume at the base of an active headcut that had deepened sufficiently to
intersect the underflow of the Spring Branch Arroyo at Valencia Road (Betancourt 1987:14). In
1888, an artificial headcut was dug by Sam Hughes just north of where St. Mary's Road crossed the
Santa Cruz River; his intent was to supply irrigation water to the farmers south of St. Mary's Road
(Betancourt 1987:18). However, extensive flooding that occurred in July and August 1890
accelerated headward entrenchment of the northward-flowing river (i.e., upstream erosion) that had
begun in 1889 subsequent to the creation of the artificial headcut. The severity of the situation was
such that on August 4, 1890, Hughes' ditch began to widen, and the resulting headcut retreated
rapidly in the direction of Congress Street at the rate of 30 m per hour (Betancourt 1987:18;
Betancourt and Turner 1985). During the winter of 1914-1915, floods adversely affected the
configuration of the Santa Cruz River channel throughout the Tucson Basin, widening the channel to
twice its former width within the city limits and destroying the east approach to the Congress Street
Bridge (Betancourt 1987:22; Arizona Daily Star, 1 and 3 February 1915). The construction of an
artificial channel in 1915, which connected the main channel of the river (west arroyo) with the
Spring Branch (east arroyo), worsened the situation. By the 1930s, headward entrenchment had
extended 20 km south of the 1889 headcut, resulting in the river shifting eastward from its prehistoric
channel to what had been the Spring Branch of the river (Betancourt 1987:18, 23). The current
course of the Santa Cruz River in this area remains along the Spring Branch channel (see Figure 3,
Chapter 1). Sediment eroded from the San Xavier Reach accumulated in the widened channel near
69
EXPLANATION
R 13 EIR 14E TUCSON
Pre-I900 spring, now dry
(21••••••-,
Heodcut
1889 headcut
from Hughes'
ditch
ST
Pre-I900 morsh,now dry
Present mainstem channel of
the Santa Cruz River
A
B!
.44141
°MkSa
.
A- Perennial reaches in
CONGRESS ST
1.
Warner s
Mill
1890, now dry
13- Intermittent reaches
in 1890
MARY'S ROAD
TUMAMOC
HILL
SENTINEL PEAK
Warner's :.
Lake ''''' •
Modern Tucson urbanized area
•.
•
Si/ver
Lake
T. 14
Kilometers
0
2
1
4
3
Miles
I
O
I
S.
T 15 S.
I
2
5
N
f
3
çJ
Contour interval 30 meters
Compiled from U.S GS.
base mop 1 , 62,500
Dry pre-I871 headcut (base
of headcut intersects
watertable by 1882) VALENCIA ROAD
.!?(
(2
)?
tr)
1 1(;
MARTINEZ
HILL
ILIII
Ç . Aguo de la
,,Misiiin
T. 15 S.
I
Artificial channel
built in 1915 to
join west and
east arroyos
T 16 S.
Figure 10. Historic map of the Santa Cruz River illustrating perennial and intermittent reaches,
locations of former cienegas, and the locations of headcuts prior to 1890 (adapted from
Betancourt 1987:Figure BB.8).
70
Tucson until the 1950s, when encroachment by landfill operations, highway construction, and
increasing urbanization constricted the Tucson channel and shifted the zone of maximum aggradation
to the northern end of the basin (Betancourt 1987:23; Betancourt and Turner 1985). The locations of
naturally occurring pre-1871 headcuts, the 1882 headcut where the redwood flume was placed, the
headcut resulting from Hughes' 1888 ditch, and the 1915 artificial channel can be seen in Figure 10.
Recent Channel Changes of the Santa Cruz River
Through the use of aerial photographs, reconnaissance survey, and ARC-INFO Geographic
Information Systems computer software, a study (Guber 1988) was conducted of channel changes
between 1971 and 1988 along a 7.2-kilometer-long segment of the San Xavier Reach. The examined
segment is located just south of Mission San Xavier del Bac within the SXAP area. Between 1971
and 1976, the San Xavier Reach in this area consisted of a single, unvegetated channel (Guber
1988:43). As a direct result of flooding and excess discharge in 1977, 1978, and 1983, the Santa
Cruz River experienced widening of the primary channel and concomitant floodplain erosion (Guber
1988:48). The most significant widening of the channel occurred in response to the major flood of
October 1983, following which, the channel expanded in width by more than 30 m. However, by
1988, the river experienced a relaxation period and the primary channel narrowed its width by more
than 30 m, essentially returning to its pre-1983 size (Guber 1988:87, 92). Based on his research of
channel changes between 1971 and 1988, Guber (1988:viii, 94) concluded that his study area was
dominantly controlled by equilibrium conditions rather than catastrophic events, of which the 1983
flood was the only example. Even in the case of the catastrophic 1983 flood, equilibrium forces
rapidly adjusted the form of the river's primary channel. Therefore, Guber's study of recent channel
changes along a portion of the San Xavier Reach not only indicates that present-day channel forms in
this area are controlled by floods only for very short periods, but also that a rapid adjustment toward
equilibrium currently characterizes the form of the river's primary channel.
71
Chapter 3
PREHISTORY OF THE TUCSON BASIN
Prehistoric human occupation in the Tucson Basin spans almost 12 millennia and three major
cultural periods, consisting of Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Hohokam. The dating of the temporal
subdivisions within these periods, which are defined by their associated cultural attributes, is of longstanding concern to archaeologists working in the basin. Refinements to the prehistoric chronology
of the Tucson Basin continue to be proposed in the archaeological literature as prior research is
reexamined and additional cultural attribute data and chronometric dates are obtained through ongoing
research.
The chronology of the Hohokam cultural sequence not only has been the center of the
greatest debate among archaeologists working in the Tucson Basin, but it also has undergone the most
revisions of the three prehistoric cultural periods, primarily because it is the most intensively studied
and, thus, the best known of the three. A contributing problem is the need for Tucson Basin
archaeological studies to rely principally on radiocarbon and archaeomagnetic dating, both of which
are less precise and more subject to sample contamination (e.g., "old wood" problem, intrusive
wood, reuse of hearths, post-occupational fires) than are dendrochronological dating techniques.
Owing to the lack of sensitive species in the desert environment of the basin, this latter technique
cannot be used effectively to date Hohokam sites, unless wood from a sensitive species originating
elsewhere than in a desert environment is found, such as the fir beams that were recovered during
excavations at AZ AA: 12:251, the Marana Mound Site (Downum and Fish 1992; Jeffrey S. Dean,
personal communication 1994). The beams probably came from the Canadian life-zone, or fir forest,
on the north slopes of Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, which reaches an elevation of
2,791 meters (Lowe 1964:70-71).
72
Nevertheless, as new finds are made and dating techniques improve, it can be anticipated that
revisions to the Tucson Basin Hohokam chronology will be an ongoing phenomenon, although major
revisions probably will not occur. For example, after reviewing culture histories and chronologies
presented in cultural resource management and research reports, books, and journal articles published
in the last several years, it appears that a consensus may have been reached among archaeologists
working in the Tucson Basin concerning the dating of the Sedentary and Classic periods, and even the
Colonial period, to an extent. However, until a larger data base is accumulated, dating of the Pioneer
period will remain a topic of debate. This, unquestionably, is also true for the preceding Archaic and
Paleo-Indian periods.
Tucson Basin Chronology
A chronology for the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Hohokam periods in the Tucson Basin is
provided in Figure 11. The date ranges associated with the three main cultural periods, and the
Hohokam period and phase sequence, are based on a review of available literature concerning this
topic and discussions with other archaeologists who have worked, or are currently working, in the
basin. The Paleo-Indian and Archaic sequences principally reflect the views of Huckell (1984a,
1984b, 1988; Roth and Huckell 1992), who has investigated a wide variety of Paleo-Indian and
Archaic sites throughout the Tucson Basin and southeastern Arizona. However, research conducted
by Roth (1989, 1992) in the northern Tucson Basin, Haynes (1967, 1980, 1982, 1987a, 1987b,
1991a, 1991b, 1992; Haynes and Huckell 1986) in the southern Tucson Basin and San Pedro River
Valley, and Waters (1986, 1987c) in the Sulphur Springs Valley and southern Tucson Basin also was
examined in preparing the chronology.
The Hohokam phase sequences shown in Figure 11 reflect input from the extensive
chronological data summary and overview prepared by Dean (1991), ceramic seriation studies that
have been used to develop and refine the dating of the Rincon subphases in the Sedentary period
73
PERIOD
PHASE
1500
1400
Tucson
Classic
1300
Sedentary
0
Z
0
Z
Tanque Verde
1200
Late Rincon
1100
Middle Rincon
Early Rincon
1000
Rillito
900
Cafiada del Oro
800
Colonial
700
Tortolita
600
500
Pioneer
Snaketown
?
400
300
200
Late Archaic
San Pedro
100
c...)
A.D./B.C.
u
1500
Middle Archaic
Chiricahua
,
5000
Sulphur Spring
Early Archaic
7
Clovis
8000
M
9500
Figure 11. Tucson Basin chronology.
74
(Deaver 1984, 1989; Wallace 1985, 1986; Wallace and Craig 1988), and recent results that have been
obtained from fieldwork conducted at sites in the Tucson Basin with Pioneer period occupations
(Bernard-Shaw 1990; Huckell et al. 1987; Slawson 1990). The chronology provided in Figure 11 is
offered as a guideline for the dating of Hohokam, and earlier, occupations and it should be viewed as
representing probable date ranges. The possible date range for each period and phase potentially
could be much broader than what is proposed, particularly when one considers the variety of
problems inherent in radiocarbon and archaeomagnetic dating, which, as mentioned earlier, are the
principal chronometric methods used to date prehistoric sites in the Tucson Basin.
Culture History of the Tucson Basin
An overview of the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Hohokam periods, including a discussion of
their dating sequences and their cultural attributes, is provided in the following sections. Questions
and problems currently being investigated by archaeologists working in the Tucson Basin also are
presented.
Paleo-Indian Period
The earliest period of culture history in southern Arizona is that of Paleo-Indian, which has
come to signify hunting and gathering cultures of late Pleistocene and early Holocene age. The
Clovis or Llano tradition, an apparently distinct Paleo-Indian hunting-gathering culture that focused
on the exploitation of now-extinct megafauna, generally has been recognized in the approximately
11,500 to 10,000 years Before Present (B. p) time range in southern Arizona. However, differing
opinions on the dating of this phase, especially concerning its initial appearance in other parts of
North and South America, can be found in the literature that range from a difference of a few hundred
years to several thousand years.
75
Although Clovis culture is well documented in the nearby San Pedro River Valley,
substantial evidence in the Tucson Basin has yet to be found, with local representations being
restricted to Clovis points found as isolated occurrences or in mixed preceramic-ceramic contexts
(Huckell 1984b:134). Examples of such finds in and near the Tucson Basin include a Clovis point
found at Rattlesnake Pass in the northern Tucson Mountains (Agenbroad 1967), three Clovis points
found west of the Tucson Mountains in the Avra Valley on the edge of the basin (Ayres 1970;
Huckell 1982), a Clovis point found at Willow Springs slightly north of the basin (Huckell 1982),
and a Clovis point found in a bladed roadway at the Valencia Site (AZ BB:13:15), which is a
Sedentary period Hohokam village in the south-central basin (Doe lle 1985a). The current lack of
evidence for Clovis occupation in the Tucson Basin may be misleading, however, due to a number of
factors, including geological preservation, presence of later prehistoric occupations that may be
obscuring evidence of earlier cultures, and increasing urbanization.
Evidence for Paleo-Indian occupation in the Tucson Basin postdating that of Clovis generally
is lacking, although three fragmentary points resembling the Plainview type have been found at two
sites on opposite sides of the basin--one in the Tortolita Mountains (Hewitt and Stephen 1981), and
two in the Santa Catalina Mountains (Agenbroad 1967). Plainview points, which were first identified
at a site on the high plains of Texas in association with Bison antiquus, are considered to be
contemporaneous with the Folsom culture (Haynes 1991a). Therefore, although the evidence is
limited, it does suggest that a second, slightly younger, Paleo-Indian occupation dating between
10,300 and 9800 years B.P. may have occurred in the Tucson Basin (Czaplicki and Mayberry
1983:19; Huckell 1984b:135).
Archaic Period
The next period of culture history in the Tucson Basin is the Archaic, which is associated
with a variety of hunting-gathering, largely preceramic, and, for the most part, nonagricultural,
76
cultures that employed milling stone technology and were ancestral to many of the better-known
agricultural societies. The Archaic period may be characterized as a time of increasing sophistication
in hunting and gathering techniques through both technological development and the evolution of ever
more complex subsistence-settlement systems, in conjunction with a gradually increasing dependence
upon floral food resources. A transition to a partial reliance on agriculture accompanied population
growth and the development of more sedentary settlement patterns.
Two broad traditions have been associated with the Archaic period in southern Arizona: the
Cochise culture, first defined in the San Pedro, Sulphur Spring, and San Simon valleys of
southeastern Arizona (Say les 1983; Say les and Antevs 1941); and the Amargosa Complex, initially
identified in the Mohave Desert of California and adjacent parts of the Great Basin (Haury 1950;
Hayden 1970, 1976; Rogers 1966). The Cochise culture corresponds to the Southern cultural
tradition of the Archaic as defined by Irwin-Williams (1979), whereas the Amargosa Complex
corresponds to her Western tradition (Huckell 1984a:199).
The Archaic period generally is estimated at about 10,000 to 1500 years B.P. in the
Southwest, although the terminal date varies considerably from one place to another. For greater
cross-cultural comparability, rather than employing the cultural terms "Cochise" and "Amargosa,"
Huckell (1984a:214) recommends the continued use of Irwin-Williams' (1968) term, "Southwestern
Archaic," for this period of cultural history, which can be divided into finer temporal divisions of
Early, Middle, and Late Archaic for more precision. Based on a comprehensive review of prior
research, he suggests approximate dates of 9500 to 7000 years B.P. for the Early Archaic period,
7000 to 3500 years B.P. for the Middle Archaic period, and 3500 to 1500 years B.P. for the Late
Archaic period in the Tucson Basin (Huckell 1984a, 1984b). As shown in Figure 11, the Early
Archaic period is essentially equivalent to the Sulphur Spring stage of the Cochise culture, the Middle
Archaic period to the Chiricahua stage, and the Late Archaic period to the San Pedro stage (Huckell
1984b; Say les 1983; Say les and Antevs 1941).
77
As is the case with the Paleo-Indian period, no direct evidence in the form of sites has been
found of Early Archaic occupation in the Tucson Basin, although this may not necessarily reflect the
true prehistory of the region. Again, the earliest occupations of the Archaic period would have been
subject to burial by valley-fill alluvium and later prehistoric occupations. However, isolated
occurrences of large, tapering-stemmed projectile points similar to those from Early Archaic levels at
Ventana Cave have been found in the Tucson Basin in mountain piedmont locations in the upper
bajada of the Tortolita Mountains in the northern basin, near the mouth of Ventana Canyon in the
northeastern basin, and in Saguaro National Monument in the eastern basin (Dart 1986:13; Huckell
1984a:192; Simpson and Wells 1984:85, 125, 129). Therefore, because so little is known of this
period, several of the major problems facing archaeologists who specialize in the preceramic cultures
of the Tucson Basin are to confirm the cultural attributes of the Early Archaic period, to identify the
locations of Early Archaic sites in the basin, and to clef= the temporal boundaries of the period more
precisely.
Although there is clear evidence for Middle Archaic occupation in the Tucson Basin
(e.g., Dart 1986; Douglas 1984; Haynes and Huckell 1986:20; Huckell 1984b:138-139; Masse
1979:149-151; Simpson and Wells 1983, 1984; Slawson 1987a), until the mid-1980s, little fieldwork
had been done to systematically investigate known sites. In a review of the Arizona State Museum
site files in 1982, Huckell (1984b:138) noted that six Middle Archaic sites were known in the Tucson
Basin. Since that time, however, increased survey coverage, particularly in the northern and
northeastern basin, has resulted in the recording of additional sites that date to this period.
Furthermore, since 1982, testing and data recovery excavations have been conducted at an increasing
number of Middle Archaic sites, including one site at the La Paloma Resort (La Paloma Site,
AZ BB:9:127) (Dart 1986) and one immediately north of the entrance to Lowe's Ventana Canyon
Resort (Kolb Road Site, AZ BB:9:147) in the Santa Catalina Mountains piedmont zone (Slawson
78
1987a). Both sites were dated to the Middle Archaic period by means of their projectile point
assemblages.
According to Huckell (1988:75), currently known Middle Archaic sites tend to range from
small sites with relatively high artifact densities to large sites with lower artifact densities, the
majority of which are located in mountain piedmont zones. In addition, a few small sites, consisting
of buried hearths and occupation horizons, are known within the riverine zone along the Canada del
Oro Wash and Spring Branch Arroyo. There also have been a few small sites with low artifact
densities recorded on the edges of the basin in the Santa Rita and Tortolita mountains (Huckell
1988:75). Furthermore, along the Santa Cruz River channel, evidence of late Middle Archaic sites
has been found in association with an ancient floodplain that stabilized about 3 m to 6 m below the
modem floodplain (Haynes and Huckell 1986:7). However, large, high artifact density, residential
sites that are comparable to sites of the Late Archaic period are as yet unknown in the Tucson Basin
(Huckell 1988:75). To date, Middle Archaic site types identified in the basin consist of large base
camps, small specialized activity areas, quarry sites, isolated features (primarily hearths), and
possibly burials (Huckell 1984b:138; Stacy and Hayden 1975:10).
In addition to the problems listed earlier for future research into the Early Archaic period in
the Tucson Basin, which are equally applicable to that of the Middle Archaic period, there is another
question that needs to be answered regarding this period in Tucson Basin prehistory. Previous studies
(Rogers 1958:8; Stacy and Hayden 1975:10) have proposed that there was an occupational hiatus
resulting from abandonment of the Tucson Basin during the Middle Archaic period, which was
effected by the environmental changes associated with the warming trend of the Altithermal period
ending about 4000 years B.P. In contrast, more recent studies have suggested that the lack of sites
dating to this period does not indicate an abandonment of the basin, but rather, that the intensified
regional erosion that occurred during the Altithermal period would have eliminated the traces of many
of the pre-4000 years B.P. floodplain sites from the archaeological record of the Tucson Basin (Dart
79
1986:14; Huckell 1988:75). However, as Huckell (1988:75) points out, the question raised by this
explanation is that no Middle Archaic sites are known from the terraces adjacent to the floodplains,
either. Another explanation for the lack of Middle Archaic sites within the floodplain and lower
bajada zones of the Tucson Basin has been offered by Dart (1986:173), who suggests that an
impermanent annual settlement system, which utilized the basin as one locale within a much larger
territory that was exploited during the season round, was in operation during this period. Therefore,
a primary focus for research concerning the Middle Archaic period should be to investigate whether
the subsistence-settlement system was characterized by relatively high residential mobility.
Sites dating to the Late Archaic period have been the most thoroughly investigated of the
preceramic occupations in the Tucson Basin; nevertheless, as is true for the entire Archaic period,
much work remains to be done. In 1982, Huckell examined site records at the Arizona State Museum
during the preparation of an overview of the Paleo-Indian and Archaic periods that was to be
presented at the first Tucson Basin Conference. At that time, 10 Late Archaic sites were recorded in
the basin (Huckell 1984b:137). In the ensuing decade, this number probably has increased tenfold,
primarily due to the number of large-scale surveys that have been conducted in and near the basin.
For example, 39 previously unknown Late Archaic sites were recorded by the Northern Tucson Basin
Survey in the upper bajada and floodplain zones, whereas surveys in Saguaro National Monument
East recorded 38 previously unknown sites that date to the Late Archaic period (Huckell 1988:69;
Roth 1992:303, 305; Simpson and Wells 1983, 1984).
However, large-scale surveys have not been the exclusive contributors to the current data
base of Late Archaic sites, in that surveys of less coverage and excavations at presumably single
component Hohokam sites also have recorded and investigated occupations that date to this time
period. For example, three Late Archaic period habitation sites (AZ AA: 10:21, AZ AA: 10:23, and
AZ AA: 10:25), the largest of which is a small village that also was occupied during the Hohokam
Pioneer period, were recorded during a survey of 2,232 acres in the Silver Bell Mountains on the
80
northwest edge of the basin (Slawson 1991; Slawson and Ayres 1994). Furthermore, excavations
conducted in 1986 at the Continental Site (AZ EE: 1:32) in the southern basin (Slawson et al. 1987b),
and in 1989 at Rabid Ruin (AZ AA: 12:46) in the north-central basin (Slawson 1990), documented
Late Archaic pit houses, hearths, roasting pits, and bell-shaped storage pits at sites initially thought to
represent Classic period Hohokam occupations only. The three Late Archaic pit features excavated at
the Continental Site not only yielded radiocarbon dates, but one also contained corn. Another
example is the Cortaro Site (AZ AA: 12:232), which had been recorded as a large Hohokam site on
the Santa Cruz River floodplain. However, upon testing, it was found to be a Late Archaic limited
activity site with three roasting pits and two burned occupational surfaces from which three
radiocarbon dates were obtained; no evidence of a Hohokam occupation at the site was found
(Slawson et al. 1986). Similar serendipitous finds, as noted by Huckell (1988:57), are increasing in
occurrence as fieldwork is conducted throughout the Tucson Basin.
As a direct result of the significant increase in systematic investigations at Late Archaic sites
in the Tucson Basin, including both surface studies and subsurface excavations, a much more
complete picture of Late Archaic subsistence-settlement systems is now available. In contrast to
long-standing views of Archaic peoples as "typical" hunter-gatherers, it is now clear that this period
of prehistory in the Tucson Basin was characterized by reduced mobility and the use of a mixed
subsistence strategy of agriculture and foraging, which was practiced by people who occupied
residential sites with pit house structures and storage and processing features, although not necessarily
on a full-time basis throughout the year (Huckell 1988:72; Roth 1992:310). Based on current data,
the most intensively occupied sites in and near the basin during the Late Archaic period were located
within areas of floodplain alluvium and on adjacent terraces, examples of which include the Cortaro
Fan Site (AZ AA:12:486), Milagro Site (AZ BB:10:46), Pantano Site (AZ EE:2:50), Donaldson Site
(AZ EE:2:30), and Los Ojitos (AZ EE:2:137) (Huckell 1988:72). A recent find, which currently is
under investigation, is the Vacas Muertas Site (AZ AA: 12:746). Located on the Santa Cruz River
81
floodplain in the northern basin, this large Late Archaic residential site contains over 100 pit houses.
These floodplain and terrace sites, which are located in economically productive zones, are
interpreted as residential bases of some permanence and are characterized as having large areal extents
that contain thick, highly organic cultural deposits with high artifact densities, domestic structures,
storage features, food processing features, and burials (Huckell 1988:72-73; Roth 1992:310-311). In
conjunction with these larger residential sites, an integral part of the Late Archaic subsistencesettlement system was the exploitation of the piedmont and montane zones throughout the basin.
However, the number of systematic investigations conducted at Late Archaic sites located in these
areas (e.g., Dart 1986; Douglas and Craig 1986; Roth 1992:305) lags significantly behind those
conducted at sites on the floodplains and terraces of the basin (Huckell 1988:73).
Although considerable data have been accumulated regarding the Late Archaic period in the
Tucson Basin, it is just a beginning. Research needs to be done that is aimed at more clearly defining
the cultural attributes of this period by identifying the locations of Late Archaic sites throughout the
four primary geological or environmental zones (i.e., floodplains, terraces, piedmont, montane) that
have exhibited evidence of Late Archaic occupation in the basin, and by systematically and
intensively investigating the known sites. Two of the most crucial tasks to be accomplished relevant
to Late Archaic period research is to reconstruct the prehistoric mobility patterns and to defme how
the large residential sites on the floodplains and terraces interconnected the smaller sites in the
piedmont and montane zones. According to Huckell (1988:76), other pertinent problems that warrant
investigation include determining the degree of dependence on agriculture, ascertaining
paleoenvironmental conditions prior to and subsequent to the Late Archaic period, de fi ning the size
and organization of the large riverine sites, and examining the nature of the transitions between the
Middle Archaic and the Late Archaic periods and between the Late Archaic period and the Pioneer
period of the Hohokam. Clearly, work has just begun on this important stage in the prehistory of the
Tucson Basin.
82
Hohokam Period
The final prehistoric period of culture history in the Tucson Basin is that of the Hohokam,
which can be broadly summarized in terms of the pre-Classic Pioneer, Colonial, and Sedentary
periods, and the subsequent Classic period. The Phoenix, or Salt-Gila, Basin generally is recognized
as a core or central area for the Hohokam culture, and it was there that a chronology for the Hohokam
first was established. Although the Hohokam chronology follows an established sequence of periods
and phases, various estimates have been generated for the temporal placement of each period and
phase, and it is apparent that they have differed from one place to another within the larger Hohokam
region. The terms, "Pioneer," "Colonial," "Sedentary," and "Classic," represent broad
developmental periods in the prehistory of the Hohokam. In 1929, based on his work and that of
Haury's at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (Compounds A and B), the Grewe Site,
Adamsville, Roosevelt 9:6, and Sacaton 9:6, Harold S. Gladwin proposed a Hohokam chronology
that comprised the Colonial, Sedentary, and Classic periods (Gladwin and Gladwin 1929); the
Pioneer period had not yet been recognized (Doyel 1986:196-198; Gladwin 1937:14-16; Schiffer
1982:384). Gladwin envisioned the Colonial period as a time of population expansion into areas
conducive to Hohokam lifeways, the Sedentary period as a time of retraction back into the Salt-Gila
Basin, and the Classic period as a time of intrusion by the Salado (Doyel 1986:197; Gladwin and
Gladwin 1933:4). Shortly after Gladwin proposed his chronological scheme, the Pioneer period was
recognized during the 1934-1935 excavations at Snaketown (Gladwin et al. 1937). The Pioneer
period, which was added to the beginning of Gladwin's existing chronological scheme, was
subdivided into a series of phases that characterized a slow, progressive development of the Hohokam
cultural pattern (Doyel 1986:198). Phases, which constitute smaller time units based primarily on
more minute internal changes (Haury 1937:19), also were identified for the Colonial, Sedentary, and
Classic periods (see Figure 11).
83
The pre-Classic Hohokam had a more complex social organization than previous Archaic
peoples, and they lived in permanent, rancheria-style or regularly patterned pit house village
settlements. Some settlements held a preeminent sociopolitical and economic status that was
characterized by ballcourts, plazas, and large mounds, as has been documented in the Tucson Basin
by ongoing research at the Marana Community in the northern basin (S. Fish et al. 1992). The
mounds, which initially were constructed during the Pioneer period and grew in size and complexity
in each succeeding period, often supported small shrines or ritual structures by the end of the
pre-Classic sequence. Seasonal settlements also existed with cultivated fields along perennial streams,
their floodplains, and major seasonal washes, in addition to a variety of specialized resource
procurement and processing sites. The pre-Classic Hohokam maintained highly developed
relationships with distant societies and cultures, primarily through means of trade networks. The
trade networks also linked both neighboring and widely distributed Hohokam settlements.
Technologically sophisticated canal irrigation systems were extant throughout the Phoenix
Basin along the Salt and Gila rivers, in addition to floodwater, runoff, and dry-farming techniques
that were used in areas where canal irrigation was not possible. In the Tucson Basin, horticulture was
practiced with water conservation, capture, and redistribution techniques that included earth-andbrush berms with rudimentary ditches or small canals, stone checkdam features, earth-and-stone piles,
small terraces, and various other runoff and dry-farming techniques, which were adapted to the
diverse microenvironments provided by piedmont slopes and the riparian floodplains.
The Classic period is widely regarded as having departed in several respects from traditions
dating back through the Sedentary, Colonial, and Pioneer periods. Of particular significance is that
the Classic period brought an apparent contraction in the geographic distribution of sedentary
settlements, resulting in the concentration of population into large, tightly integrated, cultural
communities, and a dislocation or reformulation of trading patterns. In the Tucson Basin, the latter is
implied by changes in the frequency and distribution of locally produced and intrusive ceramics,
84
particularly decorated wares (e.g., significant decrease in amount of buff ware imported from the
Salt-Gila Basin compared to pre-Classic times). Other Classic period departures from earlier patterns
included the construction of residences on massive, flat-topped platform mounds, the appearance of
palisaded or walled village compounds that sometimes contained multistory buildings, the
construction of cerros de trincheras or terraced hillside agricultural and habitation sites, and the
eventual loss of ballcourt architecture. Examples of the latter phenomena have been documented at
University Indian Ruin (Hayden 1957) and the Cerro Prieto Site (Downum 1993) in the northeastern
basin, Rabid Ruin (Slawson 1990) in the north-central basin, and Martinez Hill Ruin (Gabel 1931) in
the southern basin, all of which exhibit occupations that date to the late Classic period.
The Hohokam settled in the Tonto Basin early in the Colonial period, with continued
occupation into the Sedentary period (Doyel 1978:91). At the beginning of the Classic period, or
approximately A.D. 1150, new cultural attributes, which have been defined as Salado, appeared in the
Tonto Basin and the nearby Globe/Miami area (Hohmann and Kelly 1988:30). By A.D. 1300, Salado
cultural attributes were distributed throughout a wide area in the Southwest, including the Tucson
Basin, Phoenix Basin, San Pedro River Valley, western New Mexico, western Texas, and Casas
Grandes, Mexico (Doyel and Haury 1976:133; Hohmann and Kelly 1988:30). The Salado were
characterized by a hierarchical site-settlement system and extensive regional and local exchange
within a centralized redistributional framework; their sites typically consisted of compounds and
pueblo complexes that may have been contemporaneous. Distinctive polychrome ceramics and burial
practices that emphasized inhumation rather than cremation also are associated with the Salado
phenomenon. According to Nelson and LeBlanc (1986:6), the appearance of Salado polychromes in
any particular area frequently was accompanied by changes in the local architecture, community
organization, and burial practices. However, because the observation of each change is dependent on
the preceding conditions in an area, no single description can be made of these cultural changes.
85
Essentially, Salado cultural attributes constitute a polythetic set that is difficult to defme or describe at
an interregional level (Rice 1990:27).
Around A.D. 1450, or perhaps somewhat later, the terminal Classic period marked the
effective demise of complexly integrated Hohokam societies, which resulted in the abandonment of
most Hohokam sites. The collapse of the Hohokam also may have effected the abandonment of the
Salado pueblos at this time. However, several aspects of Hohokam culture are thought to have
survived this collapse, and the remnant population may have been ancestral to various Piman-speakers
of the protohistoric-early historic era. Reasons for the end of the Classic period are not fully
understood, and the succeeding prehistoric, protohistoric, and early historic occupations remain only
partially defined. A variety of sources, from Spanish documents to recent historical, ethnographical,
and archaeological studies, portray a late Classic/early post-Classic situation of ethnic and linguistic
diversity that later gave way to dominance by the Sobaipuri--a generic term applied by the early
Spaniards to Piman-speakers of the Santa Cruz and San Pedro river valleys (Masse 1981:38).
Whether or not a cultural hiatus existed between the late Classic period and the post-Classic
or Protohistoric period has yet to be definitively determined. Furthermore, questions have been
raised regarding the cultural attributes that have been used to define the Protohistoric period, its time
span, the possibility of a demonstrable continuum between prehistoric and protohistoric populations
(i.e., Hohokam and Pima or Tohono O'odham), and whether a Protohistoric period even occurred in
southern Arizona. According to Ravesloot and Whittlesey (1987:81), who provide an excellent
overview of the protohistoric problem, this transitional period between prehistory and history
traditionally has been defined in terms of time, material remains, or culture change. The most
frequent definitions seen in the literature are those of time, of which A.D. 1450 to 1700 may be the
most common. This is the time range that is proposed by Wilcox and Masse (1981:14), who base
their beginning date on the general consensus that Southwestern prehistory ends around A.D. 1450,
and their ending date on the extension of the Spanish mission system into southern Arizona in the
86
1680s through 1690s and the reconquest of the Pueblos by the Spaniards in the 1690s. However,
Ravesloot and Whittlesey (1987:83) make an important point that the Protohistoric period must end at
the time of continuous occupation by, or continuous contact with, Europeans; thus, the ending date
will not be the same throughout the Southwest.
Ravesloot and Whittlesey (1987:Table 7.4) provide dates obtained from nine radiocarbon
samples from five sites in southern Arizona that have been inferred to have protohistoric occupations.
When calibrated at one sigma (Stuiver and Reimer 1993), the radiocarbon dates range from A.D. 1022
to 1955. Three of the samples clearly are not protohistoric, in that they date to the Sedentary or
Classic periods. Only one date (Beta-13701, Feature 36) from a roasting pit at the San Xavier Bridge
Site (AZ BB:13:14), falls within the protohistoric sequence as defmed by Wilcox and Masse (1981).
That sample calibrates to
A.D. 1453
to 1654, with midpoints at A.D. 1520, 1569, and 1627 (Stuiver
and Reimer 1993).
Several sites in the Tucson Basin have been recognized as possibly being protohistoric in
origin, including a surface scatter (AZ AA: 12:131) containing Zuni pottery and a flaked glass
projectile point in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains (Doelle 1984:199); a short-term or seasonal
camp (AZ BB:9:53) in Pima Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains (Doelle 1984:199); a flexed
inhumation at the Bechtel Burial Site (AZ AA: 12:98) (Brew and Huckell 1987); and four
inhumations, two roasting pits, a vessel cache, and a structure at the San Xavier Bridge Site
(AZ BB: 13:14), although the latter are defined as "post-Classic" rather than protohistoric (Ravesloot
and Whittlesey 1987:91). Outside the Tucson Basin proper, a habitation site with several sleeping
circles (AZ AA: 10:7) was recorded on the edge of the northern basin in the Silver Bell Mountains
(Slawson 1988a); it is scheduled for testing later this year. Three small sites (AZ EE:2:80,
AZ EE:2:83, and AZ EE:2:95) in the eastern Santa Rita Mountains south of the basin were tested
during the ANAMAX-Rosemont Project (Ferg et al. 1984), whereas six small sites (AZ AA: 11:26,
AZ AA:16:99, AZ AA:16:101-103, and AZ AA:16:159) in the nearby Avra Valley were tested as
87
part of the investigations for the Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project Phase B Corridor
(Downum et al. 1986). Despite the research that has been conducted to date at these, and other sites
throughout southern Arizona, chronological and cultural definitions of the Protohistoric period
remain elusive. Ravesloot and Whittlesey (1987:98) are correct in their statement that, until accurate
chronological and cultural data are available, the Protohistoric period will remain a topic of
controversy.
This overview of Tucson Basin prehistory concludes with a discussion of issues relevant to
the development and current status of the Hohokam chronology. As mentioned earlier, the
chronology of the Hohokam has been characterized by revision. For example, the differing temporal
placements of phases that have been suggested in the literature can be illustrated by the Classic
period. Early excavations at Snaketown and other Hohokam sites in the Salt-Gila and Tonto basins
produced a suggested time span of about A.D. 1100 to 1400 for the Classic period, and perhaps
A.D. 900
to 1100 for the preceding Sedentary period (Gladwin 1937; Gladwin et al. 1937; Haury
1937). Shortly thereafter, excavations in Tucson at Hodges Ruin in 1936-1938 suggested a time span
of A.D. 1200 to 1300 for the Tanque Verde phase of the early Classic period, and A.D. 1300 to 1400
for the Tucson phase (Kelly 1978:4). Commenting on these results 40 years later, Haury (1978:127)
suggested A.D. 1150 for the beginning of the Classic period in the Tucson Basin; this date continues
to be the accepted temporal division between the pre-Classic and Classic periods. In a more recent
study, Dean (1991:90) suggests a maximum time range of A.D. 1050 to 1400 for the Tanque Verde
phase, with a probable range of A.D. 1150 to 1300.
One of the major accomplishments in the last several years relevant to the Tucson Basin
Hohokam chronology was the construction of a subphase sequence for the Rincon phase of the
Sedentary period that is based on a ceramic seriation of Rincon Red-on-brown and its correlation with
archaeomagnetic and radiocarbon dates from a number of sites throughout the basin (Deaver 1984,
1989; Wallace 1985, 1986; Wallace and Craig 1988). By means of this technique, the Rincon phase
88
was divided into early, middle, and late subphases (see Figure 11). The suggested chronology for
these subphases, which at the present time has been accepted by many archaeologists working in the
Tucson Basin, is A.D. 950 to 1000 for the Early Rincon subphase, A.D. 1000 to 1100 for the Middle
Rincon subphase, and A.D. 1100 to 1150 for the Late Rincon subphase (Wallace and Craig 1988:24).
A key problem that remains to be resolved regarding the chronology of the Tucson Basin
Hohokam concerns the Pioneer period. Relevant questions that have been asked include: what is the
temporal boundary between the Pioneer and Colonial periods, what is the chronology and nature of
the Pioneer period, did pre-Snaketown Hohokam occupations occur in the Tucson Basin, and, if so,
when?
Ceramic and chronometric data from Lonetree Ruin (AZ AA: 12:120) in the northern basin
(Bernard-Shaw 1990), Rabid Ruin (AZ AA: 12:46) in the north-central basin (Slawson 1990), and
El Arbolito (AZ EE:1:153) in the southeastern basin (Huckell et al. 1987), have been used to
tentatively define and date two Pioneer period phases. The later of the two phases, the Tortolita
phase, has been suggested to date from A.D. 450 to 700; it is defined by the presence of an apparently
locally produced, thin-walled, polished, red ware ceramic (Bernard-Shaw 1990:209-213). Tortolita
phase red and plain ware ceramics are more reminiscent of early Mogollon ceramics than they are of
early Salt-Gila Basin Hohokam ceramics (Huckell 1987:294-295). According to Bernard-Shaw
(1990:215), the Tortolita phase is preceded by the Snaketown phase (A.D. 200 to 450), which is
characterized by an early plain ware ceramic that lacks an associated, locally produced, decorated
ware; Snaketown Red-on-buff occurs as an intrusive ware. However, during the ceramic analysis for
the San Xavier Archaeological Project (Heuett 1987 et al.), a local variant of Snaketovvn Red-on-buff
was identified at several sites. Designated Snaketown Red-on-brown (Wallace and Slawson 1987:3),
this locally produced decorated ware may be associated with the Snaketown phase, the Tortolita
phase, or both. As additional data are obtained from other early Pioneer period sites in and near the
basin, such as AZ AA: 10:21, the transitional Late Archaic/Pioneer period village in the Silver Bell
89
Mountains mentioned earlier, the relevance of this tentative classification scheme to the Tucson Basin
Hohokam chronology perhaps can be satisfactorily assessed.
90
Chapter 4
HISTORY OF HOHOKAM RESEARCH IN THE TUCSON BASIN
Investigations of the Tucson Basin Hohokam span slightly more than a century; however, the
majority of research efforts beyond the site-level of study postdate the late 1970s. An emphasis on
regional settlement pattern studies and community organization studies began even more recently, in
the mid-to-late 1980s. This is not to denigrate fieldwork undertaken prior to the 1980s in the Tucson
Basin, because quality research was conducted during that period, such as Isabel Kelly's work in
1936-1938 at Hodges Ruin (Kelly 1978), Julian Hayden's work in 1940 at University Indian Ruin
(Hayden 1957), and J. Cameron Greenleaf's work in 1965-1966 at the Punta de Agua sites (Greenleaf
1975). Nevertheless, most of the earlier studies in the Tucson Basin were designed as site-level
research and did not discuss Hohokam settlement patterns or community organization in any detail, if
at all. However, the three authors listed above not only presented detailed reports of their findings,
but they also offered comparisons with other Hohokam sites in the Tucson and Salt-Gila basins and
provided summary overviews of Tucson Basin prehistory as then known.
The turning point in Tucson Basin Hohokam settlement pattern research correlates with the
publication of the initial settlement pattern syntheses that preceded the eventually numerous Tucson
Aqueduct Central Arizona Project archaeological reports (e.g., Czaplicki and Mayberry 1983;
McCarthy 1982; Westfall 1979) and the 1982 Tucson Basin Conference. The status of Hohokam
research in the Tucson Basin as of 1982 is illustrated by Doyel's (1984:147) introductory comments
in the paper he presented on the Preclassic period at that conference:
The uneven history of archaeological research in the Tucson Basin could conjure up
any number of proverbial expressions: a plumber's house is never plumbed, a
carpenter's house is never done, and so on. Although the area represents one of the
major centers of Southwestern studies, our knowledge of Tucson Basin prehistory is
sketchy in detail and rather hit-and-miss in character. To whatever reasons we may
wish to attribute this situation, we should not forget that we do owe a debt of
gratitude to those pioneers and concerned individuals who laid the foundation for
91
modern studies, such as Huntington, Gladwin, Haury, Kelly, Hayden, Fontana and
Greenleaf. The perception has existed that scholars traditionally preferred to work
north of the Gila and have thus de-emphasized Tucson Basin studies (Hartmann
1983 :ix). It is interesting to note, however, that until recently many more sites had
been excavated in the Tucson Basin area than in the Gila River Valley; the real
difference has been a lack of publication and lack of sustained interest in the former
area.
The lack of publication and sustained interest in the Tucson Basin that Doyel referred to in 1982 was
soon rectified by the virtual explosion that occurred shortly thereafter in the numbers of large-scale
cultural resource management and research projects, and their associated publications, many of which
were peer-reviewed.
An overview of the history of Hohokam research in the Tucson Basin, with an emphasis on
settlement pattern studies, is presented in the following sections. Information on work conducted
prior to 1979 was obtained primarily from Class I (i.e., archival) cultural resource surveys by
Betancourt (1978a:6-15) and Westfall (1979:5-21), who provide brief, but comprehensive, accounts
of prior work in the basin. Betancourt (1978a) and Westfall (1979) also offer detailed tabular data on
work carried out between 1973 and 1979 by the Cultural Resource Management Section of the
Arizona State Museum, for which their reports were completed. Betancourt's overview was done as
part of the Santa Cruz Riverpark Study, whereas Westfall's overview was a preliminary study for the
Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project. Available primary sources and the Arizona State Museum
site and survey files also were reviewed while researching pre-1979 work conducted in the basin.
Information on post-1979 work was obtained from primary sources, the Arizona State Museum site
and survey files, and published overviews of the Tucson Basin (e.g., Czaplicki and Mayberry 1983;
Dart and Doelle 1987; Doelle and Fish 1988; Fish 1989; Hanna 1987). Additional information
regarding the pre-1979 and post 1979 periods was provided by several individuals who have
conducted archaeological research in the Tucson Basin.
Because of the sheer mass of data and reports now available for the Tucson Basin, this
overview is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it emphasize archaeological work that
92
occurred concurrently outside the basin or that examined pre-Hohokam or post-Hohokam
occupations. Rather, it provides a basic historical background of research trends and identifies
significant projects related to Hohokam research that have been conducted in the basin, particularly
within the study area defined in Chapter 1. Important primary and secondary sources are listed where
appropriate. The locations of major sites in the Tucson Basin that are discussed in this chapter can be
seen in Figure 12.
1884 to 1933
The first published account of Hohokam sites in the Tucson Basin appears to be that of
Adolph Bandelier, who visited the area in 1884 on his way to the Sierra Madre:
Around Tucson I have heard ruins spoken of, although I did not see any myself
except at the Estanque Verde [Whiptail Ruin, AZ BB: 10:31, sixteen miles east of
the city, where, beneath dense and thorny thickets, I noticed the remains of a few
scattered houses of the detached dwelling type. They were much too ruined to
allow measurement, and I could not detect whether any enclosures had originally
connected them or not. The few potsherds belonged to the general type of Southern
Arizona ruins, and my friend, Dr. J. B. Girard, U.S.A., possesses a handsome
earthen canteen in the shape of a duck, corrugated and painted red, which was
obtained at the Estanque Verde (Bandelier 1890:470-471).
Following Bandelier's visit to the Tucson Basin in 1884, there is an apparent hiatus until the arrival
of Ellsworth Huntington, who, in 1910, mapped portions of the compound walls on the platform
mound at Nelson's Desert Ranch Ruin (AZ AA: 12:251), now known as the Marana Mound Site
(S. Fish et al. 1992:Figure 3.5). In addition to his work at that site in the northern Tucson Basin,
Huntington (1910, 1914:52-59) examined many other areas and sites throughout the basin, including
Los Morteros (AZ AA:12:57), the Huntington Site (AZ AA:12:73), Jaynes Ruin (AZ AA:12:13-14),
Hodges Ruin (AZ AA:12:18), Tumamoc Hill (AZ AA:16:6), St. Mary's Ruin (AZ AA:16:26),
Martinez Hill Ruin (AZ BB: 13:3), Gibbon's Ranch Ruin (AZ BB:9:50), and Sabin° Canyon Ruin
(AZ BB:9:32).
,,
93
To r to lit
Mountains
r
J
7-70'
a Marano Mound Site
AZ AA , I2 , 251
•
Huntington Site
AZ AA , I2 , 73 a
\., .. iAZ AA,12,113
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13
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-•
' AZ B13:13 , 3
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Figure 12. Locations of major sites in the Tucson Basin.
0
I •
0
5 Miles
Kilometers
94
The next major phase of activity during this period began in 1925 when University of
Arizona students, under the direction of Byron Cummings (founder of the Department of
Anthropology and first director of the Arizona State Museum), surveyed Tangue Verde Ridge on the
southwestern slopes of the Rincon Mountains. The students also excavated features at Cerro Prieto
(AZ AA:7:11), a trincheras site in the northwestern basin. The Cerro Prieto excavation was a
weekend project; the results of the fieldwork were never published and no project records are known
to exist (Dovvnum et al. 1994:274). In contrast, the Tangue Verde Ridge survey led to excavations
directed by E. J. Hand in 1927 at Tangue Verde Ruin (AZ BB: 14:1), which became the "type site"
for the Tangue Verde phase (Greenleaf 1975:16). Emil Haury, who participated in the project,
incorporated data on the types of houses found into a professional paper and his master's thesis
(Haury 1928a, 1928b) and, in a later report (Haury 1932), compared the site to Roosevelt 9:6, which
was occupied at essentially the same time in the Tonto Basin. According to Greenleaf (1975:16),
Haury's master's thesis was the first complete Tucson Basin site report ever prepared. An article on
Tangue Verde Ruin also was later written by Clara Lee Fraps [Tanner] (1935). Cummings continued
his work during this period, focusing on excavations at Martinez Hill Ruin (AZ BB: 13:3) and
University Indian Ruin (AZ BB:9:33) between 1929 and 1933. Gabel (1931) discussed the findings
of the Martinez Hill Ruin study for his master's thesis, whereas Cummings' work at University
Indian Ruin was reported by Kelly (1936) and Hayden (1957).
Finally, a large-scale survey was undertaken during this early period of research that could
be considered to be the first settlement pattern study conducted in southern Arizona. In 1930, as part
of their fieldwork concerning prehistoric settlement in northern Sonora, Sauer and Brand (1931)
examined 35 cerros de trincheras sites in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, including Black
Mountain (AZ AA: 16:12) in the southern Tucson Basin. Although Sauer and Brand's survey was not
particularly systematic and their descriptions were not entirely consistent regarding feature types and
artifact assemblages, they did produce an overview study of trincheras sites that has yet to be
95
duplicated. As of 1987, less than half the sites located by Sauer and Brand in 1930 have been
revisited or documented by archaeologists (Martynec 1987:3). Therefore, their study remains a
primary source on the trincheras site phenomenon and continues to be referenced in recent and current
research (e.g., Downum et al. 1994; Martynec 1987; McGuire and Villalpando C. 1993; Stacy 1974,
1977; Wallace and Holmlund 1984).
Essentially, this pioneering period in Tucson Basin Hohokam research can be categorized as
exploratory in nature. For the most part, archaeologists working in the basin during these early years
did not have a specific research direction other than to learn through survey and excavation what
kinds of cultural resources were present. The techniques ranged from a weekend dig to more
organized and intensive efforts over an academic field season. This was a time of information
gathering aimed at discerning the nature of the prehistoric occupants of the Tucson Basin and their
cultural remains.
1934 to 1963
The emphasis on site-level studies that began toward the end of the preceding period
continued in this subsequent period, with one major change. Rather than solely undertaking
piecemeal excavations of sites in the form of undocumented or poorly documented "weekend
projects," the researchers' focus began to shift toward conducting more intensive and well-recorded
studies of sites as demonstrated by work conducted at Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18) and University
Indian Ruin (AZ BB:9:33). Mention also must be made of an important project that took place
outside the basin during this period that followed this pattern--the 1934-1935 excavations at
Snaketown in the southern Salt-Gila Basin (Gladwin et al. 1937). Among many other contributions,
the research conducted at Snaketown enabled the refinement of the Hohokam chronology proposed by
Gladwin five years earlier (Gladwin and Gladwin 1929). With the exception of several projects
sponsored by private individuals, Gila Pueblo, and the National Park Service, much of the work
96
during this period in the Tucson Basin continued to be closely associated with the Department of
Anthropology at the University of Arizona. The use of students to conduct survey and excavation
projects was pioneered by Cummings in the preceding period during the survey of Tanque Verde
Ridge and the excavations at Tanque Verde Ruin, Cerro Prieto, Martinez Hill Ruin, and University
Indian Ruin.
Probably the most significant project conducted in the Tucson Basin during this period was
the excavation at Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18), which was then known as Gravel Pit Ruin. Initially
described by Huntington (1914) as an annex of Jaynes Ruin (AZ AA: 12:13-14), Hodges Ruin was
first excavated by Carl Miller in 1936, with the financial assistance of the site's owners, Mr. and
Mrs. Wetmore Hodges, for whom the site was named (Hartmann 1978:vii; Kelly 1978:1). Work
continued at the site in 1937 and 1938 under the direction of Isabel Kelly, who was associated with
Gila Pueblo; the Hodges also funded her work. Hodges Ruin often has been referred to as the type
site for the Tucson Basin, and even with the tremendous amount of work that has been accomplished
at other large Hohokam sites throughout the basin, this site probably is referenced for comparative
purposes more than any other. The most significant contribution made by Kelly's work at Hodges
Ruin was her development of a Hohokam chronology for the Tucson Basin. The long-term
occupation of this site by the Hohokam produced an extensive ceramic assemblage that spanned the
Pioneer through Classic periods. Through the comparison of the Hodges Ruin assemblage with that
from Snaketown, Kelly was able to formulate the first chronological sequence for the Tucson Basin
Hohokam. Although fieldwork was completed at Hodges Ruin in 1938, due to Kelly's separation
from Gila Pueblo that same year, the results of the project were not available in a published format
until four decades later (Kelly 1978).
During the late 1930s, Haury returned to the area near Tanque Verde Ruin and trenched a
trash mound at the Freeman Site (AZ BB: 14:3), which is located to the northwest at the base of a
small cliff (Zahniser 1966:113). Haury also returned with University of Arizona students to
97
University Indian Ruin (AZ BB:9:33) during the late 1930s. Neither project was intensive in nature
nor were the results published. The significant work that was conducted at University Indian Ruin
during this period was by Julian Hayden in 1940, who was sponsored by the National Park Service.
Hayden's work at University Indian Ruin, a large Tanque Verde and Tucson phase village, is
recognized for the exacting detail he achieved in both the fieldwork and the report, which, due to
circumstances beyond his control, could not be published until almost 20 years later (Hayden 1957).
However, once the report was scheduled for publication in 1954, Hayden updated sections of it and
arranged for the addition of two appendices on ceramic analysis (Hayden 1957:viii). One of the main
contributions made by Hayden's excavations at University Indian Ruin was the compilation of a more
comprehensive and detailed data base on the Tucson Basin Hohokam Classic period (particularly for
the Tucson phase) than what was obtained by Kelly (1978) at Hodges Ruin, which was in decline by
the Classic period.
Survey work continued in and near the Tucson Basin during the late 1930s and early 1940s,
including a reconnaissance of the Tucson area by Frank Mitalsky (later Midvale) between 1936 and
1939. As part of his work, the results of which were never published, Mitalsky examined the area
east of the Santa Cruz River near its confluence with Cailada del Oro Wash and Rillito Creek
(between Orange Grove and Prince roads), recording more than 40 sites.
Following the interruption of research resulting from World War II, work resumed in the
Tucson Basin on a generally small scale. The first project of any note was the partial excavation in
1948 of the Zanardelli Site (AZ BB: 13:12), a large Classic period village in the southern basin, by
Barton Wright and Rex Gerald of the University of Arizona. The results of that project were reported
two years later (Wright and Gerald 1950). Small survey and excavation projects, conducted
sporadically, continued to characterize the nature of post-World War II era Tucson Basin Hohokam
research through the 1950s and early 1960s (Greenleaf 1975:16). A number of these projects were
undertaken by the fledgling contract archaeology program at the Arizona State Museum, which was
98
established in the late 1950s by William Wasley (James E. Ayres, personal communication 1994).
Examples of such projects include a 1954 excavation of a Hohokam pit house in a downtown Tucson
parking lot (Wasley 1956), a 1955 survey of a gas pipeline right-of-way for the Southern Pacific
Railroad (McConville and Holzkamper 1955), and a 1959 survey of the trincheras features on Black
Mountain (Fontana et al. 1959).
The most significant survey project conducted in the Tucson Basin in the 1950s was a
settlement pattern survey of the southern Santa Cruz River Valley between Tubac and Sahuarita,
which was undertaken by Paul S. Frick (1954), a University of Arizona graduate student. Frick's
survey from Tubac to Sahuarita was designed to extend that of Danson (1946), who had surveyed the
Santa Cruz River Valley in 1941 from its headwaters north to Tubac. However, only the northern
third of Frick's study area is located within the Tucson Basin (i.e., north of Continental). Under the
direction of Danson, Frick conducted his fieldwork between 1952 and 1953, and discussed the results
for his master's thesis. Although Frick's survey was a major accomplishment for the time period in
which it was done, the work often is cited as though it were an intensive survey, which it was not. In
reality, Frick conducted what is euphemistically known as a "windshield survey" with the possible
exception of one area. To quote Frick's (1954:3) description of his methods:
Both sides of the Santa Cruz River were surveyed thoroughly wherever possible.
However, cultivation and land clearing made it difficult to reach much of the river
flood plain and lower terrace. The mountain foothills were searched only where
they were accessable [sic] by road. An exception was near McGee Ranch on the
east slope of the Sierrita Mountains where reconnaissance was intensive in an area
of approximately two square miles.
Although he indicates that the area near McGee Ranch was intensively surveyed, he does not provide
information by which to judge the intensity of the coverage. Therefore, any settlement pattern study
that is developed based on the findings reported by Frick (1954) must be qualified by the fact that his
survey was not intensive and did not record the full nature of prehistoric settlement in the area, which
is indicated on the survey coverage maps maintained by the Arizona State Museum. On those maps,
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Frick's survey area is recorded in yellow, which signifies nonintensive coverage. Regardless, his
detailed report provides valuable information on the nature of Hohokam settlement in an otherwise
essentially unstudied area in the southernmost portion of the Tucson Basin. Frick (1954:7) recorded
216 previously unknown sites, described and illustrated the sites artifact collections in detail, and
discussed the sites in depth in relation to their spatial, temporal, and environmental distributions.
The significance of his settlement pattern study is exemplified by the comments Doyel (1984:159)
made at the 1982 Tucson Basin Conference regarding the need for additional research in the basin:
Clearly, one of the most important and significant directions for future work is the
continuing process of survey and inventory. The lack of reliable survey data is at
the core of our current inability to evaluate and refine the alternative models of
cultural growth and change presented here. Few settlement pattern studies have
been accomplished, the most notable study being completed over 25 years ago
(Frick 1954).
However, because Frick (1954) does not refer to any of his sites by their numerical designations in
his thesis, anyone conducting site-level studies or regional settlement pattern research in or near the
area examined by Frick should consult not only his thesis, but also the site collections he made.
To characterize this period in Tucson Basin Hohokam research, it continued to be
exploratory in nature, as was the preceding period; however, the explorations took a different
direction. The concerted efforts that were made to excavate and document the cultural records at two
major Hohokam sites were partially the result of a change in research orientation that was presaged by
Cummings' and Gabel's work at Martinez Hill Ruin in the early 1930s. Although the work at
Hodges Ruin and University Indian Ruin, and the resultant reports, were largely descriptive, they
provided a badly needed core of data for Tucson Basin Hohokam research--data that are still relied on
today for comparative purposes. The extensive survey by Frick (1954), also exploratory and
descriptive, not only was the first major survey conducted in the basin, but for nearly 30 years it
represented the primary Hohokam settlement pattern study for the Tucson Basin and environs.
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1964 to 1982
From its early years to its later years, this period in Tucson Basin Hohokam research
underwent the greatest changes in research directions and scope. The change was initiated in July
1964 with the establishment of the Arizona Highway Salvage Program at the Arizona State Museum,
which was the first government-sponsored archaeological contract program of its kind in Arizona
(Vivian 1970:1; James Ayres, personal communication 1994). Under the administration of R. Gwinn
Vivian, one of the first contract projects conducted under the Arizona Highway Salvage Program was
the excavations directed by James Sciscenti and J. Cameron Greenleaf in 1965-1966 at four Hohokam
sites (AZ BB:13:16, AZ BB:13:41, AZ BB:13:43, and AZ BB:13:50) located in and near the historic
Punta de Agua Ranch on the San Xavier Reservation (now District) south of Tucson; a fifth site
(AZ BB: 13:49) north of the reservation also was examined (Greenleaf 1975:20). The excavations
were conducted prior to the construction of Interstate 19 from Tucson to Nogales. Continuing the
trend in exacting research begun by Isabel Kelly in the 1930s at Hodges Ruin and Julian Hayden in
the 1940s at University Indian Ruin, the Punta de Agua project emphasized detailed recording and
reporting of architectural, artifactual, and subsistence data. Archaeomagnetic and ceramic data
obtained from the Punta de Agua sites helped to refine the period and phase boundaries (i.e., the
beginning and ending dates) of the Tucson Basin Hohokam chronology proposed by Kelly (n.d.),
particularly that of the late Sedentary-early Classic transition (Greenleaf 1975:44).
Several smaller projects conducted in the mid-to-late-1960s in the Tucson Basin were
additional investigations near Tanque Verde Ruin in 1964-1966 at AZ BB: 14:24 (Zahniser 1965,
1966), which included a survey in the Rincon Valley in the Saguaro National Monument East; a rock
art survey in 1965 in Saguaro National Monuments East and West (White 1965); salvage excavations
of burials at the San Xavier Bridge Site (AZ BB: 13:14) by the Arizona State Museum (Hemmings
1969); excavations at Whiptail Ruin (AZ BB: 10:3) in 1966-1967 by Bruce Bradley and in 1968-1971
by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society; and salvage excavations directed by Laurens
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Hammack at Rabid Ruin (AZ AA: 12:46) in 1969. Although no published report was produced on
the 1969 Rabid Ruin excavations, data and analysis results presented in several unpublished papers
that were prepared by University of Arizona students were incorporated into a later publication
concerning this site (Slawson 1990). With the exception of the San Xavier Bridge Site salvage
excavations, the fieldwork cited above comprised academic research projects conducted by students at
the University of Arizona.
A review of the Arizona Highway Salvage Program annual reports for the fiscal years of
1964 through 1970 indicated that during the first five years the program was in existence, 81 surveys
were conducted and 99 sites were excavated, including the sites that constituted the Punta de Agua
excavation project. However, the Arizona Highway Salvage Program was a statewide undertaking
that encompassed all of Arizona south of Flagstaff (the Museum of Northern Arizona handled the
northern projects). Therefore, not all of these 81 surveys and 99 excavations would have been
conducted in the Tucson Basin. Nevertheless, the numbers indicate the growth in contract
archaeology projects that began in the mid-1960s, which culminated in the current status of contractsponsored projects (a.k.a. cultural resource management projects), which dominate archaeological
research conducted not only in the Tucson Basin, but also throughout Arizona and much of the
Southwest.
Research aimed at identifying and defining the Tucson Basin Hohokam archaeological record
continued in the 1970s, with surveys in the Rincon Valley and Tucson Mountains in 1970 (Zabniser
1970), mapping of prehistoric features at the Tumamoc Hill (AZ AA: 16:6) in 1972 (Larson 1972),
preparation of a National Park Service-sponsored overview of Saguaro National Monuments East and
West in 1975 (Stacy and Hayden 1975), excavations at Whiptail Ruin (AZ BB: 10:3) in 1971-1972 by
a Pima Community College-sponsored field school, and excavations at the Hardy Site (AZ BB:9:14)
in 1976-1977 (Gregonis 1977), to name a few. The primary purpose of these projects appears to have
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been to gather data and summarize the findings in a descriptive format. Research designs had not yet
found their way into Tucson Basin archaeology.
A key study that was produced in the 1970s relevant to Tucson Basin Hohokam research was
the doctoral dissertation, and subsequent related publications, by Paul F. Grebinger (1971, 1978;
Grebinger and Adam 1974, 1978). Reflecting the new direction that American archaeological theory
was taking in the early 1970s, Grebinger approached the problem of understanding cultural
development and behavioral change among the Classic period Hohokam of the Tucson Basin as part
of his dissertation research. Through the reexamination of existing data from previously investigated
sites, Grebinger (1971) formulated a processual model and hypotheses about cultural development in
the Santa Cruz River Valley between approximately A.D. 600 and 1500. To quote from a later
version of the study (Grebinger and Adam 1978:215):
In 1969 and 1970 one of us (P.G.) felt that a new look at some old data might lead
to a model of cultural process for the Classic period. Two kinds of reanalysis
studies were undertaken. A model was developed from these studies and from the
evaluation of existing data. Test implications were generated and this has led to
further research along lines developed in the model.
Grebinger's data base comprised burial artifacts from sites located south of the basin near Nogales
(Paloparado Ruin and Potrero Creek Site) and Tanque Verde Red-on-brown vessels from five Classic
period sites located throughout the basin (Hodges Ruin, University Indian Ruin, Rabid Ruin,
Whiptail Ruin, and Martinez Hill Ruin). Conforming with the increased emphasis on statistical
analysis that characterized American archaeology in the 1970s, Grebinger (1971:xvii-xviii) conducted
cluster and principal component analyses of the burial data to describe and evaluate patterns, and
discriminant and canonical variate analyses of the Tanque Verde Red-on-brown vessels' design
attributes to identify stylistic microtraditions. An additional step in his study that distinguishes
Grebinger's work from much of the other research conducted in the Tucson Basin in the early 1970s
was his development of a model of interrelated environmental and settlement pattern changes. In that
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model, he proposed that an alteration in precipitation patterns was the key factor in the shift in
Hohokam community locations through time during the Classic period in the basin. His basic
proposition was that the "Classic period Hohokam in the Santa Cruz Valley were involved in a
dynamic situation that required major redistribution of population" (Grebinger and Adam 1974:237
[italics added]). Thus, considering the state of Tucson Basin Hohokam research in the early 1970s,
Grebinger's work represented a pioneer effort for three reasons: reexamination of previously
obtained data, use of statistical analyses, and consideration of environmental factors and their
relationship to cultural behaviors and responses to changes in the natural and cultural environment.
The growing concern with the protection of cultural resources led to the passage of
progressively stronger federal and state legislation during the 1960s and 1970s. Major laws passed
include the Arizona Antiquities Act (1960), National Historic Preservation Act (1966), National
Environmental Policy Act (1969), Housing and Urban Development Act (1970), Executive Order
11593 (1971), Archaeological and Historical Preservation Act (1974), and Archaeological Resources
Protection Act (1979). In response to the need for an additional contract archaeology program
beyond that of the Arizona Highway Salvage Program, the Cultural Resource Management Section
(CRMS) of the Arizona State Museum was established in 1973. The CRMS handled all government
and private agency contract projects that were outside the domain of the Arizona Highway Salvage
Program, which continued in operation until June 30, 1981. After that time, the CRMS was the sole
contracting archaeology division at the Arizona State Museum, although privately owned cultural
resource management (CRM) firms also were in operation in Tucson by then. The increase in
archaeological fieldwork that characterized this period, particularly its latter years, can be illustrated
by data from the final annual report of the Arizona Highway Salvage Program. It was stated earlier
that during the first five years of this program, 81 surveys were conducted and 99 sites were
excavated. In comparison, at the end of 16 years, 977 projects had been completed statewide,
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675 previously unknown sites had been recorded, 238 sites had been excavated, and 60 monographs
had been published (Sullivan and Beckwith 1981 :Tables 26 and 27).
One of the first large projects undertaken by the CRMS was the Santa Cruz Riverpark Study
(Betancourt 1978a, 1978b; Doelle 1976). Sponsored by the City of Tucson, this 1,200-hectare
project was significant for the contribution it made to the data base of known sites, syntheses of prior
Tucson Basin research and culture history, assessment of research potential, intensive survey of an
area with a high density of major archaeological sites, and management plan that was developed for
the resources found during the project. The project was a forerunner to the larger Bureau of
Reclamation and privately funded surveys that would take place in the 1980s, and its research
orientation and methods represented a shift in emphasis from description to management. Essentially,
the research orientation of Tucson Basin Hohokam archaeologists had changed from a narrow focus
on individual sites as the primary object of interest to a wider view that examined sites as part of the
overall settlement pattern. Description continued to be an important part of the archaeological
research process, as it still does. However, site and artifact descriptions no longer were the goals of
the process, but a means by which to achieve a broader and better understanding of prehistoric
cultural behavior.
Closely following the completion of the Santa Cruz Riverpark Study, the CRMS began work
on the multiyear Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project (TACAP) archaeological study for the
Bureau of Reclamation. Following the lead of the Santa Cruz Riverpark Study, the initial report
prepared for the TACAP was a Class I overview (Westfall 1979) of approximately 4,030 square km,
which was followed shortly thereafter by a report on a Class II sample survey of Phase A of the
TACAP--an area of 25.2 square km or 2,480 ha (McCarthy 1982). In addition to summarizing the
known cultural resources within the 4,030-square-kilometer area, the overview offered a predictive
model of cultural resource sensitivity areas for use in evaluating alternative TACAP routes (Westfall
1979:v). The model was developed by stratifying the project area by environmental zones
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(i.e., biotic communities). The subsequent Class II sample survey was designed to test the model's
ability to predict the locations of cultural resources in the survey area, which proved to be less than
successful, generally underestimating the archaeological sensitivity of an area. Therefore, an
alternate model based on topography and water availability was evaluated with the survey data, which
also proved unsuccessful (McCarthy 1982:x). Nevertheless, the sample survey recorded
approximately five previously unknown sites per 2.6 square km in the project area, suggesting that
there was a high potential for future research (McCarthy 1982:x). It is interesting to note that the
model failed to predict, and the survey failed to locate, an extensive Classic period Hohokam complex
in the Marana area that not only appeared on aerial photographs, but also had been recorded by
Ellsworth Huntington 70 years earlier (Rogge 1983:343; Schiffer 1987:353). This was to cause
considerable consternation at the Bureau of Reclamation, when the omission was discovered during a
later Class III survey of the selected TACAP route.
To summarize this period in Tucson Basin Hohokam research, it was one of considerable
change both in research orientation and in the scope of projects undertaken. The changes primarily
involved a shift in emphasis away from site-level research that rarely extended beyond the purely
descriptive stage to research that was designed to examine multisite communities, subregional
settlement patterns, and regional settlement patterns. Furthermore, a concomitant change in theory
and methods that reflected the trends in American archaeology of the late 1960s through early 1980s
occurred in the Tucson Basin during this period as seen in the increased use of statistical analysis and
predictive modeling, although the techniques may have needed refinement. Finally, the third major
change that took place during this period was the creation of government-sponsored contract
archaeology and CRM programs, and the establishment of private CRM firms, in direct response to
the increasing number of archaeological projects that were required by new and stronger legislation.
This was the state of Tucson Basin Hohokam research in 1982 when the Tucson Basin
Conference was convened, which brought together, probably for the first time, the majority of
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practicing archaeologists to discuss and review the status of Hohokam archaeology. As was stated
earlier, this year should be considered to be a turning point in Tucson Basin Hohokam research not
only because of the rapid changes that were ongoing at this time, but also because of the interaction
among professional and avocational archaeologists and the exchange of ideas that the 1982 Tucson
Basin Conference engendered.
1983 to Present
This latest period in Tucson Basin Hohokam research is characterized by a continuation of
the trends that began at the end of the preceding period, while at the same time, a refinement of
archaeological theory and methods. Large-scale surveys, CRM-sponsored projects, predictive
modeling, statistical approaches to data analysis, regional settlement pattern research, intrasite
settlement pattern research, community organization research, social organization research, and
environmental research are all aspects that distinguish this period. Although descriptive studies
remain an essential part of Hohokam research, they no longer represent the ultimate goal. The
understanding of natural and cultural formation processes, and the recognition of the possible effects
they may have on interpreting the archaeological record, have become essential ingredients in most
Tucson Basin Hohokam studies.
Large-scale survey projects, and their associated research programs, have had the greatest
impact during this period. Projects such as the Northern Tucson Basin Survey (NTBS), San Xavier
Archaeological Project (SXAP), Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project (TACAP), and Southern
Tucson Basin Survey (STBS) have dominated the last 10 years of research. These four projects also
serve to illustrate the types of sources that have funded archaeological research over the last decade in
the basin.
The NTBS was the largest project of the four in terms of the number of acres surveyed. It
also was the only one funded by more than one source. The project originated in the Archaeology
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Section of the Arizona State Museum in 1980 as a programmatic concept to guide long-term research
(Madsen et al. 1993a:vii). It was envisioned not only as a means to study settlement patterns on a
large scale, but also as a base from which to teach and train students and amateur archaeologists in
both field and laboratory techniques. The scope of the NTBS was expanded in 1984 when additional
funding was provided by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the massive archaeological undertaking
that preceded the construction of the Tucson Aqueduct phase of the Central Arizona Project (Rogge
1983). Yet more funding was provided by grants from the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office
Planning and Inventory Program and the National Science Foundation (P. Fish et al. 1993:5).
Fieldwork for the NIBS eventually spanned a period of six years, from 1981 to 1987; a five-yearlong testing and excavation program at the Marana Mound Site (AZ AA: 12:251) began in 1989.
The second largest survey to be conducted in the Tucson Basin was the SXAP, which is
notable because it was entirely funded by a private company. Fieldwork for the SXAP, which is
discussed in more detail in Chapter 6, was undertaken in 1983-1984 as part of an Environmental
Impact Statement on the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation for Santa Cruz
Properties, Inc. A proposed development comprising an industrial park, resort (i.e., hotel and golf
courses), tribal buildings, and housing for 100,000 people was the impetus for the survey. This
project is also notable archaeologically for three reasons. The first reason is that the SXAP provided
the first and, to date, last, opportunity to examine an extensive undeveloped and uncultivated area
along the Santa Cruz River that was one of the most intensively occupied during the Hohokam period.
Second, the SXAP entailed a 100 percent intensive collection survey at a scale that has yet to be
duplicated in the basin. Third, the proposed development was designed to avoid and preserve as
many of the cultural resources within the SXAP area as possible. Therefore, painstaking measures
were taken to precisely record the boundaries of each site in relation to survey control points. As a
result, the locations of each site boundary and site datum were recorded to within a 10-centimeter
tolerance of error. A fourth aspect of this project that is not commonly known is that the private
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developer chose to fund the preparation of the six-volume final report (Heuett et al. 1987), despite the
fact that the proposed development had been rejected by the San Xavier District two years earlier.
The TACAP comprised numerous archaeological survey and mitigation projects that were
conducted as part of the construction of the Central Arizona Project, all of which were funded by the
Bureau of Reclamation. The third largest survey undertaken in the Tucson Basin to date was the
combined investigations of the Phase A corridor (1980-1982) (Czaplicici 1984; Fish et al. 1984) and
the Phase B corridor (1983-1984) (Downum et al. 1986). The surveys were followed by testing and
mitigation phases in 1985 by Arizona State University along Reach 3 of the Phase A Corridor (Rice
1987) and in 1985-1987 by the Arizona State Museum along the Phase B Corridor (Czaplicki and
Ravesloot 1989). Rogge (1983) provides an excellent summary of the archaeological overviews and
surveys that preceded the testing and mitigation phases of the fieldwork conducted along the Central
Arizona Project route.
The fourth large survey project mentioned above was the STBS, which examined an area east
of, and partly contiguous to, the SXAP area (Doelle et al. 1985). The STBS, conducted in 19841985, exemplifies a new trend in archaeological research that began in the mid-1980s. Partial
funding for the project was provided by a matching grant-in-aid from the National Park Service. The
contractor was required to provide a 50 percent contribution in either funds or labor; in the case of
the STBS, the matching contribution was made by volunteer labor during the survey. Matching fund
grants have been awarded on a yearly basis since the STBS for archaeological inventory projects
throughout the state, including several large surveys in the San Pedro River Valley and the
Papaguerfa.
The emphasis that has been placed on large-scale surveys in the Tucson Basin does not mean
that there has been little or no significant research conducted at the level of the individual site. In
actuality, considerable work has been done that focused on a specific site. For example, numerous
city-, county-, and state-sponsored transportation-related excavation projects have been conducted,
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including extensive work in the southern basin at the Valencia Site (AZ BB: 13:15) (Doelle 1985a),
the West Branch Site (AZ AA: 16:3) (Huntington 1986; Statistical Research, in prep.), and the
Continental Site (AZ EE: 1:32) (Slawson 1988b; Slawson 1987b et al.). The largest transportationrelated excavation project to be done in the basin to date is currently ongoing at a series of Archaic,
Hohokam, and historic sites in the northern and central basin as part of the planned widening of
Interstate 10. Additional research has been conducted at sites that originally were excavated from
20 to 50 years ago, including Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18), which was investigated in 1985 (Layhe
1986) and in 1993 (Slawson 1993), and Rabid Ruin (AZ AA: 12:46), which was the subject of four
separate data recovery excavations in 1988 and 1989 (Slawson 1990). This, no doubt, is a trend that
will continue as development proceeds in the basin and surviving sites are endangered.
The 1985 excavations at Hodges Ruin, which were conducted prior to the widening of
Ruthrauff Road by Pima County, marked a turning point in Tucson Basin archaeology, not because of
the findings of that project, but because of the events it precipitated. In 1985, the Arizona State
Museum continued to dominate archaeological projects in the basin, primarily because of the lack of
awareness by government agencies, and other individuals, that private CRM firms were in existence.
The initial awarding of the Hodges Ruin excavation to the Arizona State Museum without a bidding
process raised a protest that resulted in the Pima County Department of Transportation and Flood
Control District withdrawing the initial award and putting the project up for bid. Although the
project eventually was awarded to the Arizona State Museum, shortly thereafter, Pima County
initiated a request for proposals for an annual on-call archaeological services contract. The on-call
contract, which was awarded in mid-1985, was the first of its kind to be issued by a Tucson
government agency. Pima County expanded its archaeological program in October 1988 with the
hiring of a full-time archaeologist who manages all archaeological projects (and the on-call
consultants) for the various county departments. Since 1990, the increase in the number of countysponsored projects has resulted in the annual awarding of three separate on-call contracts to different
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firms. The City of Tucson followed suit in 1990, initiating multiple on-call archaeological services
contracts in that year; however, a comparable city archaeologist position has yet to be established.
Perhaps what may distinguish this latest period of Tucson Basin Hohokam research the most
from the preceding periods are the comprehensive research designs and work plans that are now
required for large-scale survey projects and all subsurface investigations. Not only must each
research design and work plan be specific, but it must be demonstrated that the intent of the proposed
project is not to just "collect data." Rather, the need to contribute to the overall picture has been
recognized. As a result, all research designs must convincingly demonstrate that the proposed project
will provide a significant contribution to current knowledge.
To conclude, Tucson Basin Hohokam research currently is on the upswing in terms of the
amount of work that is being done; whether the quality of the research is equally impressive remains
to be determined. Overshadowing university and community college field schools, academic projects,
and grant-sponsored projects, archaeological research in the basin currently is dominated by privately
owned CRM firms. Although the Arizona State Museum maintains an Archaeology Division, the
CRMS ceased operation by 1990. Unlike other states that require that supervisory archaeologists
working under state permits or on government-funded projects either be certified by the Society of
Professional Archeologists (SOPA) or that they follow SOPA standards and guidelines in conducting
research (SOPA 1994), Arizona does not. Furthermore, the State of Arizona's requirements for
obtaining general and project-specific permits are minimal and there are few guidelines as to what
constitutes appropriate research methods and work plans. Therefore, a great diversity in research
approaches and fieldwork techniques occurs. Although diverse approaches, particularly inspired
ones, do benefit the general field of study, there is the downside that unless other researchers can
duplicate fmdings or conduct comparable research, questions regarding the findings of a project will
remain that could negate any significant contributions that the project may have made to the current
state of knowledge of the Tucson Basin Hohokam.
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Chapter 5
HOHOKAM SETTLEMENT PATTERNS IN THE STUDY AREA
As was stated in the introductory chapter, this overview of the Tucson Basin Hohokam
comprises three parts. A summary of the environment and culture history of the basin, which
constituted the first part of the study, was provided in Chapters 2 and 3. The preceding chapter
introduced the second part of the study with a historical review of Hohokam research. This chapter
concludes the second part of the study in its presentation of the currently known spatial distribution of
Hohokam sites along the Santa Cruz River (within the 5-kilometer-wide study area), and begins the
third part with its discussion of the settlement patterns that are suggested by the known sites. The
following chapter, which reviews the findings of the San Xavier Archaeological Project (SXAP) in
the southern Tucson Basin, concludes the third part of the study through its provision of a detailed
examination of Hohokam site distributions and settlement patterns in a subregion of the basin that has
been studied intensively.
Settlement Pattern Research Methodology
Before the results of the site distribution and settlement pattern research are presented, the
methods by which the data were gathered need to be discussed, including the sources consulted and
the site selection procedures. This information is provided in the following sections, along with an
assessment of the quality of the data base.
Sources Consulted
The principal sources of data consulted for this portion of the study were the site cards,
additional site information files, survey files, and U.S.G.S. topographic maps of recorded sites and
surveys that are maintained by the Arizona State Museum. These files comprise a variety of primary
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report sources, including Gila Pueblo archaeological surveys, state and federal land surveys, academic
research projects, and cultural resource management surveys ranging in size from less than a hectare
to more than 50,000 hectares. Although many of the site cards are computerized, the AZSITE
computer file was not examined. This is because many of the site cards, particularly the older cards,
contain a variety of notations and sketches that cannot be entered into AZSITE. Also, in many cases,
duplicate site cards exist because older site records have been updated. In order to obtain as complete
a data base as possible, both original and updated site cards were reviewed and compared.
The site and survey records check was begun on January 19, 1994, and was completed on
April 25, 1994. The site records were rechecked on July 15, 1994 so that the data base would be as
current as possible. All maps were continually reviewed throughout the initial research period to
ensure that newly recorded site and survey information was collected; the maps also were reexamined
in July. Additional data were obtained from monographs, dissertations, theses, books, journal
articles, contract reports, and unpublished papers available at the Arizona State Museum Library; the
University of Arizona Main Library, Science Library, Map Room, and Special Collections Division;
the Ernst Antevs Reading Room in the Department of Geosciences; and the Arizona Geological
Survey Library. Interviews also were conducted with archaeologists and geologists who have worked
or are currently working in the basin. Another large data source comprised personally held maps,
files, research papers, unpublished reports, and aerial photographs, including all site and artifact
analysis information from the SXAP and numerous survey, testing, and data recovery projects. The
majority of these materials, including all of the project-related documentation, also are on file in
either the Arizona State Museum Collections Division or in the archives of the Arizona State Museum
Library. Summary data (i.e., site type, time of occupation, site size, major references) for each site
that met the criteria for use in the settlement pattern study are provided in Appendix B. The site data
are listed in a tabular format by U.S.G.S. quadrangle map (see Tables 12 through 22).
113
Site Selection Procedures
The first task that was involved in the gathering of site and survey data was the transferral of
all known site locations in the study area to the appropriate topographic maps, information for which
was obtained from the Arizona State Museum. The 5-kilometer-wide, 80-kilometer-long study area
includes portions of 13 U.S.G.S. 7.5 Minute Arizona quadrangle maps: Marana, Avra Valley,
Ruelas Canyon, Jaynes, Tucson North, Tucson, Cat Mountain, San Xavier Mission, Tucson SW,
Twin Buttes, Sahuarita, Esperanza Mill, and Green Valley. Sites are present within the study area on
all of the maps with the exception of Twin Buttes and Esperan7A Mill. Once this task was completed,
a list was made of the 600-plus sites recorded on the 11 maps, and the site cards were checked. Sites
that did not meet the criteria of the study (i.e., non-Hohokam sites and nonhabitation sites) were
removed from the maps, as were sites for which cultural and temporal information was lacking.
Although Hohokam sites that met the criteria primarily consisted of "villages" and "limited activity"
sites (as defined on their site cards), the locations of trincheras sites and agricultural sites, which did
not fully meet the criteria, were not deleted from the maps. The defining factor for inclusion in the
data base was the use of a site by the Hohokam for habitation purposes, regardless of whether the
occupation was long-term, short-term, year-round, seasonal, or intermittent. Examples of limited
activity sites included in the data base are temporary resource procurement or processing camps
(i.e., probable short-term occupations) and seasonally occupied camps (i.e., probable long-term
occupations). Because of the wide range of descriptions used on the site cards, some subjective
decisions relevant to site function were necessary. However, long-term experience working in the
basin as a professional archaeologist has familiarized the author with many of the sites that constitute
the data base.
Excluded from the study were Archaic sites, historic sites, recent sites, sites of unknown
cultural affiliation, and petroglyphs, trails, canals, quarries. Although the four site types in the latter
group can be associated with Hohokam habitation sites, no representative examples of these types
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were included in the data base for two reasons. First, almost all of the sites recorded in the study
area that are included within these four site types lack specific chronological information. For
example, with the exception of one quarry site, all were only identified as "Hohokam." Second,
petroglyphs, trails, canals, and quarries, by themselves, cannot be considered to be "habitation sites."
This process of elimination reduced the total number of sites in the study area to 593. Using
the information on the site cards, a data collection form was filled out as thoroughly as possible for
each site. When the initial record search was completed, it was determined that 45 of the 593 sites
did not have site cards on file. Although other sources (e.g., Betancourt 1978b; Czaplicici 1984;
Downum et al. 1986) provided information on many of the sites, and most of the missing cards were
later located, no site cards or other information sources could be found for 18. Therefore, they were
eliminated from the study.
The next step in the process was the examination of the additional site file information at the
Arizona State Museum. The purpose of this was to expand the basic data base for each site by
locating artifact, feature, size, condition, archaeological status, and any other information that could
be of use. This step also resulted in the elimination of several more sites. Once the check of the site
files was completed, additional research was conducted using the sources listed earlier to determine as
precisely as possible the probable time of occupation, function, complexity, and size of each site.
When the research was completed, additional sites were deleted owing to a lack of sufficient
information, which resulted in a final data base of 553 sites. Period or phase chronological data are
available for only 328 sites or 59.3 percent. Seventy-one of the 328 sites (approximately one-fifth of
the sample) are located in the SXAP area. The spatial distribution and settlement pattern site maps
for the study area that are provided in this chapter reflect the data from the 328 sites.
115
Data Base Quality
The quality of a settlement pattern study depends not only on how the data were collected
during the research process, but also on the fieldwork that produced the data base. Therefore, the
degree and types of survey coverage in the project area were examined. As can be seen in Figure 14,
survey coverage in the study area is extensive. Several large-scale surveys, which have been
discussed in previous chapters, constitute the majority of the coverage. From north to south, these
larger projects are the Northern Tucson Basin Survey (NTBS), the Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona
Project (TACAP), the Santa Cruz Riverpark Study (SCRS), the San Xavier Archaeological Project
(SXAP), the Southern Tucson Basin Survey (STBS), and Frick's (1954) survey. With the exception
of the latter survey, all were intensive in design, meaning that survey transects were spaced 20 m or
less apart, which, according to Arizona State Museum guidelines, is considered to be 100 percent
coverage. The survey by Frick (1954) was conducted in 1952-1953 and it is of indeterminate
intensity and quality, although it is known that the majority of it was a "windshield survey." All six
of these large-scale surveys are shown in their full coverage in Figure 13 with the exception of the
TACAP. Only the portions of the TACAP that are in or near the study area are shown; for example,
one of the TACAP Phase B survey routes also followed around the west edge of the Tucson
Mountains and intersected with the western SXAP area.
The percentage of survey coverage in the study area (as of July 15, 1994) was calculated by
superimposing a grid over Figure 13 and counting the individual cells. Through the use of this
procedure, it was determined that approximately 39 percent of the study area has been intensively
surveyed, 10 percent has been nonintensively surveyed, and 51 percent has not been surveyed.
However, almost half of the unsurveyed land (47%) is located in developed areas in or near the
Tucson city limits and is unlikely ever to reveal much significant information on prehistoric cultural
resources other than what is presently known. Although some sites and features no doubt are
preserved under the asphalt and buildings, there does not appear to be much opportunity in the
116
1
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0
Kilometers
Stream and flood plain alluvium
Youngest terrace
Undifferentiated
plutonics
Study area
111111
Intensive survey
Nonintensive survey
Figure 13.
Survey coverage in the study area (dark shading indicates intensive survey, hatched
shading indicates nonintensive survey).
117
foreseeable future to examine developed areas for possible buried sites. The unsurveyed, developed
land constitutes approximately 24 percent of the study area.
Distribution of Hohokam Habitation Sites in the Study Area
The locational and temporal data from the 354 sites constituting the study's data base were
used to produce maps for the Pioneer, Colonial, Sedentary, and Classic periods that illustrate the
spatial distribution through time of known Hohokam habitation sites. Separate maps were compiled
for the Canada del Oro and Rillito phases of the Colonial period, and for the Tanque Verde and
Tucson phases of the Classic period. Because there was insufficient information to distinguish
Snaketovvn and Tortolita phase occupations, these early sites were not drafted onto separate phase
maps, but were placed on a single Pioneer period map. Similarly, although an attempt was made to
distinguish Early, Middle, and Late Rincon subphase occupations during the Sedentary period, it was
not possible to do so consistently for the entire study area. Therefore, subphase site distribution maps
were not produced for the Rincon phase of the Sedentary period.
In order to provide some measure of protection, precise site locations are not indicated on the
maps in this chapter; that is, the dots that are depicted on the maps reflect the approximate centers of
the sites, which range in size from 20 square meters to 5,625,000 square meters. Because actual
boundaries are not shown on the maps, in many cases, gaps are apparent between sites where they do
not occur on the present ground surface. For example, in the SXAP area, many of the large
habitation sites along the old channel of the Santa Cruz River are almost contiguous in their
distribution (see Figure 3, Chapter 1); this is not readily apparent on the maps in this chapter.
Other factors also must be taken into consideration in the depiction, analysis, and
interpretation of site distributions through time in the study area. Cultural and natural formation
processes, including burial by later prehistoric occupations, historic and modern land usage, and
alluvial deposition and erosion could produce a misleading site distribution pattern. For example,
118
agricultural activities in the northern Tucson Basin destroyed several Hohokam sites that were located
during a survey that was conducted as part of the TACAP. According to the site files, before the
sites could be mapped and collected, they were destroyed by being plowed under during preparation
of a field for cotton cultivation. On the other hand, development, rather than agriculture, has been
the primary impact in the central portion of the Tucson Basin. Only in the southern basin, within the
SXAP and STBS areas, have prehistoric cultural resources remained relatively undisturbed by human
activities in historic and recent times.
In addition to post-abandonment site formation processes, variation in the occupation spans
of individual sites is a significant factor that must be considered in any interpretation of site
distributions and settlement patterns. As discussed above, a variety of sites constitute the data base
for this study, ranging from limited activity sites that may have been occupied for a few days, to large
villages that may have been occupied for several decades, or longer. Differences in occupation spans
are not reflected in the site distribution maps shown in Figures 13 through 19. However, the latter
half of this chapter, which discusses Hohokam settlement patterns in the study area during the Pioneer
through Classic periods, does examine this factor in relationship to the data base and settlement
pattern maps.
To summarize the above discussion, the site spatial distribution and settlement pattern maps
in this chapter reflect a valid and current data base. Although the maps represent the known
distribution of Hohokam habitation sites along the Santa Cruz River during the Pioneer through
Classic periods, their depictions of prehistoric settlement in the study area through time should be
viewed as approximations.
Pioneer Period (A.D. 200/300 to 700)
The known distribution of Pioneer period sites along the Santa Cruz River extends from
Point of Mountain at the northern limits of the Tucson Mountains to an area about 11.3 km south of
119
Martinez Hill (Figure 14). Although only 17 Pioneer period sites are recorded in the Arizona State
Museum site files for the study area, this figure may underrepresent, perhaps considerably, the true
extent of Pioneer period occupation along the Santa Cruz River. For example, six Pioneer period
sites apparently were found by the NTBS in the vicinity of Point of Mountain (S. Fish et al.
1993 :Figure 2.1). However, site-specific data (i.e., site designations and locations) are available at
the Arizona State Museum for only two sites in that area (see Figure 14). Furthermore, the
southernmost portion of the study area, where Pioneer period occupations are noticeably absent,
either has not been surveyed or is within Frick's survey area. According to bis thesis, Frick (1954:3)
was unable to survey much of the floodplain and lower terrace because they were either inaccessible
or were under cultivation. Therefore, this portion of the study area should be considered to be
unsurveyed and lacking in information, rather than uninhabited during the Pioneer period. Another
factor that must be taken into consideration in regard to the distribution of Pioneer period sites shown
in Figure 14 is that earlier occupations along the Santa Cruz River have a greater chance of being
buried or destroyed due to the continuing processes of erosion and deposition (both natural and
cultural). Thus, Pioneer period occupation along the river could have been a continuous distribution,
of which only remnants have been found.
As is shown in Figure 14, Pioneer period sites are distributed along a considerable length of
the study area, although they are grouped in three areas. These three areas are located in the vicinity
of Point of Mountain in the northern basin, between Tumamoc Hill and the confluence of the Santa
Cruz River with Rillito Creek in the central basin, and from just north of Martinez Hill to Pima Mine
Road in the southern basin. Several factors unrelated to the prehistoric pattern of settlement during
the Pioneer period could be producing this apparent grouping, including survey coverage. For
example, the absence of Pioneer period sites south of Pima Mine Road (which was the southern
boundary for the SXAP) does not reflect the lack of Pioneer period occupation in the area, but rather,
the lack of survey coverage. In contrast, with the exception of the approximately 7-kilometer-long
120
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1
Pioneer period site distribution in the study area, A.D. 200/300 to 700.
121
unsurveyed section between the SCRS and the SXAP areas in the vicinity of Martinez Hill, gaps in
survey coverage along the remainder of the study area are minor; in fact, survey coverage north of
Martinez Hill is extensive. Therefore, with the exception of these two areas in the southern and
south-central basin, survey coverage does not appear to be a major factor in the site distribution
pattern illustrated in Figure 14. The comprehensiveness and quality of the surveys, and the
experience and competence of the individuals who participated in the surveys are, however, unknown
factors.
Although possible negative impacts to the Pioneer period site record must be considered,
geomorphological and alluvial stratigraphic data may support a hypothesis that the site groupings near
Point of Mountain and the Santa Cruz River confluence, and along the river in the SXAP area,
reflect, to some degree, the initial pattern of Hohokam settlement along the river as it developed in
the Pioneer period. These data, and their relationship to the Pioneer period settlement pattern in the
study area, are discussed later in this chapter.
Canada del Oro Phase (A.D. 700 to 850)
Although the number of known Canada del Oro phase sites is almost double that of the
Pioneer period (N=33), the spatial distribution of the sites along the Santa Cruz River remains
essentially unchanged in the early Colonial period. As can be seen in Figure 15, the southern limit of
sites during the Canada del Oro phase corresponds to that known for the Pioneer period (i.e., the
southern boundary of the SXAP area), whereas the northern limit is only slightly greater, extending
just north of Point of Mountain. The three site groupings that are suggested in Figure 14 for the
Pioneer period are less apparent during this subsequent phase. Canada del Oro phase sites are
distributed more continuously along the river, which supports the hypothesis that the number of
known Pioneer period sites in the study area may be underrepresented, particularly when the length of
the Pioneer period (400 to 500 years) is compared with that of the Canada del Oro phase (150 years).
122
Figure 15.
Caliada del Oro phase site distribution in the
study area, A.D. 700 to 850.
123
To further analyze site distributions through time, continuity in site occupation between
subsequent periods or phases was examined for the Colonial through Classic periods. As is shown in
Table 6, of the 33 Canada del Oro phase sites, 16 also evidence occupation during the preceding
Pioneer period. Therefore, slightly more than half (51.5%) of the Canada del Oro phase sites
represent new occupations during the early Colonial period. However, as discussed earlier, although
the number of new Canada del Oro phase sites (N=17) is equivalent to that of known Pioneer period
sites, it does not necessarily signify that population growth occurred at the beginning of the Colonial
period. Rather, it is more likely that the actual distribution and magnitude of Pioneer period
occupation in the study area, and elsewhere in the Tucson Basin, have not been recognized owing to a
variety of cultural and natural site formation processes that have destroyed, altered, or concealed the
record of early Hohokam occupations in the basin.
Known Canada del Oro phase sites extend in an almost continuous, although not contiguous,
distribution from Point of Mountain to their recorded southern limit However, there are areas of
greater intervals between sites, particularly in the northern basin, and areas where concentrations
occur, particularly in the southern basin. Again, this distribution may be reflecting the various
natural and cultural formation processes discussed earlier that could adversely affect or alter the
record of site distributions in the study area. It is interesting to note, however, that the concentration
of sites recorded near the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek is in an area that has
not been intensively surveyed (see Figure 14). Development in this part of Tucson began over
40 years ago, which has effectively precluded the area from being examined in any systematic manner
for prehistoric cultural resources.
Rillito Phase (A.D. 850 to 950)
For the Rillito phase of the late Colonial period, 114 Hohokam habitation sites are recorded
in the study area, which is a 346 percent increase in the number of sites over the preceding Canada
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125
del Oro phase. Furthermore, almost three-quarters of the Rillito phase sites (N=86) do not evidence
occupation during the Cafiada del Oro phase (see Table 6). Also, this increase is over an interval of
time that is approximately one-third shorter in duration than the preceding phase (i.e., 100 years as
compared to 150 years). Although an increase of this magnitude is notable, it is not necessarily
culturally significant as it may be reflecting several, probably cumulative, effects. For example, the
simplest explanation for the increase in the number of sites is that significant population growth
occurred during the Rillito phase when, in fact, it may be that archaeologists simply are able to
identify more habitation site types for this phase than for earlier occupations. Even more likely,
however, is that the increase reflects the extent of loss of earlier sites due to alluvial deposition,
erosion, and burial by later occupations. The problem of varying site occupation spans also is
important in that the 114 sites probably were not occupied all at the same time and certainly not for
the same length of time. Another factor, which cannot be overlooked, is that Hohokam sites in the
Tucson Basin are dated primarily by decorated ware ceramic types. Although other types of artifacts
(e.g., projectile points, shell bracelets, palettes) and architectural styles can assist with determining a
site's temporal affiliation, decorated ware ceramics are the primary artifactual dating tool. This is
particularly true at the survey level of investigation. Chronometric dates, which usually are not
obtained until testing and data recovery occurs, usually serve to reinforce and tighten the chronology
that is suggested by the decorated ware ceramics that are found. The problem with relying on
ceramics for dating purposes is that, like the sites themselves, ceramics are susceptible to destruction
by natural and cultural processes through time. Therefore, ceramics of the Pioneer and early Colonial
periods are more likely to be destroyed or rendered unidentifiable than those of more recent
prehistoric times. Such a loss is quite capable of skewing the number of recognizable early
occupations.
As can be seen in Figure 16, the spatial distribution of Rillito phase sites extends slightly
farther north than that of the preceding phase, and much further south, or essentially from the
126
Figure 16.
Rillito phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 850 to 950.
127
northern to the southern limits of the study area. However, the core of the distribution is from the
confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek and Caliada del Oro Wash to the southern
boundaries of the SXAP area at Pima Mine Road. Two points need to be made regarding this
distribution. First, the southern boundary of the SXAP area does not necessarily correspond to the
southern extent of this core distribution, because it is an artificial construct. Second, the apparent gap
in the core distribution in the vicinity of Martinez Hill also is an artificial construct because this area
has not been surveyed (see Figure 13). Therefore, it is suggested that Rillito phase sites actually may
continue in a continuous distribution from the Santa Cruz/Rillito/Cafiada del Oro confluence to much
further south in the Tucson Basin. One aspect of the site map in Figure 16 that must be discussed is
the apparent light density of sites in the area northwest of the confluence. This area has been
intensively surveyed by the NTBS, TACAP, and numerous smaller projects, which have recorded
10 closely spaced Hohokam sites in this vicinity. However, because no temporal affiliation could be
determined for eight of the sites, they could not be plotted on any of the maps in this chapter. If
these sites date to the Rillito phase, then the break in site distribution that is depicted for this area on
Figure 16 is not accurate. Therefore, this area of the site distribution map should be viewed with
some caution.
Rincon Phase (A.D. 950 to 1150)
The expansion of settlement into nonriverine zones is indicated for the Rincon phase, which
could suggest that population growth occurred during the Sedentary period (Figure 17). On first
glance, this hypothesis is supported by the number of Rincon phase sites documented in the study
area, 211, which represents an 85 percent increase over the number of Rillito phase sites (N=114).
However, when the varying lengths of the two phases are compared, the result is quite different. The
Rillito phase was approximately 100 years in duration, whereas the Rincon phase spanned about
200 years, or twice that of the Rillito phase. A simple doubling of the Rillito phase sample yields
128
Figure 17.
Rincon phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 850 to 950.
129
228 sites, which, when compared to that of the Rincon phase (N=211), suggests that population
actually may have remained relatively stable during the Sedentary period.
The problem of varying site occupation spans also must be considered, even if it cannot be
quantified. As with the preceding and subsequent phases, all of the Rincon phase sites probably were
not occupied at the same time, and certainly not for the same length of time. For example, during the
time that a village was occupied, several limited activity sites may have been occupied, abandoned,
and reoccupied. Another problem posed by variation in occupation spans can be demonstrated by the
spans of two villages: one village may have been occupied for 50 years before it was abandoned;
however, several decades later, a second village was established at the same location, and it was
occupied for an additional 25 years. A difference of this sort in occupation spans and times of
occupation will not be reflected in the site distribution maps, which primarily were produced from
survey-level site data and ceramic dates. Therefore, the above example will be represented in the
Rincon phase site distribution map as one site, even though two discrete occupations actually occurred
at the same location within the same phase.
Site continuity data indicate that 123 Rincon phase sites, or 58.2 percent of the total number
of sites documented for this phase in the study area, were not occupied during the preceding Rillito
phase (see Table 6). If the difference in phase length (i.e., 100 years versus 200 years) is considered,
then the number of new sites in the Rincon phase actually decreased by 28 percent when compared to
the number of new sites during the Rillito phase. That is, 86 Rillito phase sites are recorded as
lacking prior occupations. If that number is doubled to reflect the difference in length between the
Rillito and Rincon phases, then a similar rate of establishment of new sites in the Rincon phase would
yield 172 sites. However, only 123 sites are documented as new occupations, which is a decrease of
28 percent.
Although the site distribution and continuity of occupation data do not document a
significant increase in the numbers of sites for the Rincon phase, what these figures do not take into
130
account are possible differences through time in the average size of villages (i.e., population growth
at the site-level). In addition, differences in the numbers of "village" versus "limited activity" sites
for this phase need to be considered. These differences are discussed in more detail later in this
chapter.
Several observations may be made relevant to the distribution of Rincon phase sites in the
northern, central, and southern portions of the study area. The first observation is that the northern
area demonstrates the least amount of change from the preceding Rillito phase than anywhere else
along the river. Although the number of sites increases from 11 to 15 in the northern basin, it does
not appreciably change the spatial distribution of sites in this area. In the central basin, from the
confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek and Cafiada del Oro Wash to just north of
Martinez Hill, the number and distribution of sites also change little, with the main increase being
that of small, nonvillage sites. In contrast, a notable increase in the number of sites and their areal
expansion is indicated for the southern basin. During the Rillito phase, 42 sites are recorded for this
area. This number increases to 104 in the Rincon phase, which includes an extensive agricultural site
(AZ BB:13:315) located east of the current floodplain of the Santa Cruz River (see Figure 17).
Greater use of lower bajada resources in the southern basin also is suggested by the distribution of
Rincon phase sites in this area. Furthermore, a number of village sites appear for the first time in the
SXAP area in the river edge zone during this phase. Clearly, either a change in settlement or an
expansion of the existing settlement pattern, or both, occurred at some time in the Sedentary period.
This phenomenon is discussed in more detail in the following chapter on Hohokam settlement patterns
in the southern Tucson Basin as documented by the SXAP.
Taupe Verde Phase (A.D. 1150 to 1300)
Little change in the number of sites, although not necessarily site size, is the initial finding
for the Tanque Verde phase of the early Classic period. According to current records, 11 fewer sites
131
are recorded in the study area for the Tanque Verde phase (N--=200) than for the preceding Rincon
phase (N=211). However, when the difference in phase length is considered, 200 years for the
Rincon phase and 150 years for the Tanque Verde phase, the number of recorded sites for the latter
phase actually represents a 27 percent increase over the preceding phase--the problem of variation in
site occupation spans notwithstanding.
When the site continuity data are examined, a similar pattern is observed. Eighty-five of the
Tanque Verde phase sites lack evidence of prior occupation in the Rincon phase, which represents
42.5 percent of the total number of sites (see Table 6). If the difference in phase length (i.e., 200
years versus 150 years) is considered, then the number of new sites in the Tanque Verde phase
actually decreased by 7 percent, when compared to the number of new sites during the Rincon phase.
That is, 123 Rincon phase sites are recorded as lacking prior occupations. If that number is adjusted
to reflect the difference in phase length between the Rincon and Tanque Verde phases, then a similar
rate of establishment of new sites in the latter phase would yield 92 sites. However, only 85 sites are
documented as new occupations, which is a decrease of 7 percent.
The distribution of Tanque Verde phase sites shown in Figure 18 suggests that little
settlement pattern change occurred in either the northern or central portions of the study area,
although a notable change can be seen in the southern basin. In that area, Tanque Verde phase
settlement evidences a shift in location from almost equal dispersion on either side of the Santa Cruz
River to a greater concentration on the east side. To quantify this, during the Rincon phase, 50 sites
were located on the west side of the river south of Martinez Hill, and 54 on the east side. In contrast,
30 Tanque Verde phase sites are recorded on the west side of the river, whereas 70 sites are
documented for the east side. A decreased use of the lower bajada on the west side of the river in the
SXAP area also is indicated for the Tanque Verde phase with an almost 50 percent decrease in the
number of sites--from 17 for the Rincon phase to 8 for the Tanque Verde phase. These findings
correlate with geological studies of the Santa Cruz River (Haynes and Huckell 1984, 1986), which
132
Figure 18.
Tanque Verde phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 1150 to 1300.
133
have documented an eastward shift in the river's course in the middle Sedentary period. This shift
was subsequently followed by the creation of a sand dune locale that would have been suitable for
agricultural purposes. The sand dune locale formed, and still exists, in the area southeast of Martinez
Hill where an increase in the number of sites is documented for the Tanque Verde phase.
The Classic period in the Tucson Basin often is described as having been a time of
population aggregation. Although this is not clearly indicated by the distribution of sites depicted in
Figure 18, this facet of the Classic period settlement pattern is discussed later in this chapter.
Nevertheless, the concentration of sites in the sand dune area southeast of Martinez Hill suggests that
site aggregation at this locale may have begun by the Tanque Verde phase. This area would have had
good agricultural potential owing to the presence of the Punta de Agua and Agua de la Misi6n springs
associated with cienega that formed south of Martinez Hill. In combination with the possible loss of
other farming areas along the Santa Cruz River to alluvial erosion and downcutting, the favorable
nature of this locale for farming may have created a situation that would have allowed and, perhaps,
encouraged, the Hohokam to establish multiple villages and associated sites there during the Tanque
Verde phase. However, the complicating factor of differential occupation spans, which has the
capacity to inflate the number of sites in an area, must be considered.
Tucson Phase (A.D. 1300 to 1450)
The end of the Classic period, and the Hohokam sequence, is the Tucson phase, which is
principally identified in the archaeological record by the presence of Salado polychrome ceramics and
pueblo-style architecture. Both are problematical identifiers in that they occur rarely, even in
excavation contexts. Complicating matters further is the continued presence in the Tucson phase of
Tanque Verde Red-on-brown, which traditionally has been considered to be the hallmark of the
Tanque Verde phase. Although at least one statistical study has demonstrated that stylistic differences
in Tanque Verde Red-on-brown ceramics are apparent between the Tanque Verde and Tucson phases
134
(Grebinger 1971; Grebinger and Adam 1974:233), additional research relevant to this critical
problem has been limited (e.g., Whittlesey 1987).
It is possible that sites that have been identified as Tanque Verde phase, may, in fact, also
have been occupied during the Tucson phase. If such sites lacked diagnostic Salado polychrome
ceramics or pueblo-style architecture, a late Classic period occupation would not be recognized in the
archaeological record. This possibility was acknowledged by Wallace and Holmlund (1984:178) in
their settlement pattern study of the Tucson Basin for the Sedentary through Classic periods:
Considering, therefore, what phases are generally thought to represent and how they
relate to culture change, the utility of splitting the Classic period into two phases on
the basis of a few rare intrusive ceramic types can be legitimately questioned. The
virtual lack of dates for Classic period remains in the Basin and an inadequate
understanding of the sequence of changes that occurred make it very difficult to
determine if more suitable phase boundaries could be established. . . . For the
present we will continue to use the current phase designations but note that these
designations apply only to periods of time and do not necessarily signify any
cultural change [italics in original].
Therefore, when these issues are considered, it is not surprising to see that Tucson phase sites
markedly decrease in numbers and distribution from that of the preceding Tanque Verde phase
(Figure 19). An over 600 percent decrease in the number of sites from the early Classic period to the
late Classic period is indicated by the record search conducted for this study; that is, a decrease from
200 Tanque Verde phase sites to 31 Tucson phase sites. The Tucson phase also has the lowest
percentage of sites that lack prior occupations--9.7 percent, which represents three sites (see Table 6).
The number of known Tucson phase sites (N=31) is almost identical to that for the Canada
del Oro phase of the early Colonial period (N=33), although the distributions of the sites are not.
Whereas the Canada del Oro phase sites evidence an almost continuous distribution between Point of
Mountain and the southern boundary of the SXAP area (see Figure 15), the Tucson phase sites appear
to cluster in the central and southern basin, with a noticeable gap between the two areas. However, if
Tucson phase sites are underrepresented in the present data base because they have not been
135
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Tucson phase site distribution in the study area, A.D. 1300 to 1450.
136
recognized in the archaeological record, then a markedly different distribution for these late Classic
period sites may exist. It is possible that the actual distribution of Tucson phase sites is similar to
that depicted for the Tanque Verde phase in Figure 18. If so, then the distribution may have been
more continuous and perhaps more closely approximated that of the Cafiada del Oro phase.
Settlement Pattern Change in the Study Area
In addition to examining the depictions of site distributions through time for the study area
shown in Figures 13 through 18, a settlement pattern study was conducted. The purpose of the study
was to examine in more detail the changes in site locations from the Pioneer through Classic periods
as suggested by the site distributions. The study did not intend to analyze or interpret the settlement
system of the Tucson Basin Hohokam, but rather, the settlement pattern that is reflected in the
archaeological record. For the purposes of this study, a settlement pattern is defined as "the pattern
of sites on the regional landscape; it is empirically derived by sampling or total survey, and is usually
studied by counting sites, measuring their sizes and the distances between them" (Flannery
1976b:162). To accomplish this task, it was necessary to first devise a system by which to classify
the sites.
Site Classification System
Prior to devising the site classification system, approaches used by other Tucson Basin
Hohokam settlement pattern studies were examined, because a system comparable to previous
research in the area was desired. The two systems that seemed to be the most applicable to the data
base for this study were those used by Czaplicki and Mayberry (1983) and Wallace and Holmlund
(1984). Furthermore, ceramic analysis sheets compiled for the latter study are available in the
Arizona State Museum site files and they were used in classifying many of the sites in this study.
137
The site classification system that was developed is a compromise between the methods and
systems devised by the two studies mentioned above. A four-level system comprising Class I,
Class II, Class III, and Class IV site categories was established, along with separate categories for
trincheras sites and agricultural sites. The four site classes reflect differences in site size, site
complexity, and associated diagnostic artifacts, with Class I sites representing the largest and most
complex sites, and Class IV, the smallest and least complex. Of necessity, the classification system is
subjective in nature and some sites are transitional between categories. Nevertheless, an attempt was
made to systematically assign the 328 sites in the data base to the indicated categories according to the
following typology:
Class I site:
Site size greater than 30,000 m 2 ; trash mounds or visible
architecture present
Class II site:
Site size less than 30,000 m2 ; trash mounds or visible architecture
present
Class III site:
Site size greater than 30,000 m 2 ; dispersed surface artifact scatter
only, no visible trash mounds or architectural features
Class IV site:
Site size less than 30,000 m 2 ; dispersed surface artifact scatter
only, no visible trash mounds or architectural features
The 30,000 m 2 site size distinction was selected for two reasons. The primary reason is that after
conducting their review of the Arizona State Museum site files, Czaplicki and Mayberry (1983) used
30,000 m2 as a division in their settlement pattern study. A second reason is that a statistical analysis
of site sizes in the data base used in this study also indicated that a 30,000 m2 break was appropriate.
A histogram of the frequency distribution of the site sizes that was produced through the use of a
SYSTAT program is shown in Figure 20, although it should be noted that extreme outliers were
removed from the depicted distribution. That is, 24 sites larger than 200,000 m2 in area were deleted
because their inclusion excessively skewed the distribution. The deleted sites, which represent
7.3 percent of the data base, range in size from 205,578 m 2 to 5,625,000 m2 ; the mean size of the
138
40000 80000 120000160000200000
SITE AREA
Figure 20.
Distribution of site sizes in the data base (histogram reflects site sizes from 20 m 2 to
200,000 m2 ).
139
deleted sites is 809,261 m2 . For comparative purposes, the 24 smallest sites, which range in size
from 20 m 2 to 375 m2 , also were deleted and a second histogram was produced. Neither the
histogram nor the smoothed curve was affected and no differences were apparent between the two
graphs.
The Class I and II sites are comparable, respectively, to the large and small Class I sites of
Czaplicki and Mayberry (1983:27), whereas the Class III and IV sites are comparable to their large
and small Class II sites. When compared with the system used by Wallace and Holmlund (1984:169),
Class I sites correspond to their "large villages," Class II sites correspond to their "small villages,"
and Class III and IV sites correspond to limited activity sites of various purposes that Wallace and
Holmlund (1984) lump under the category of "sherd scatters." The separate classification of
trincheras and agricultural sites also follows the systems developed by Czaplicki and Mayberry (1983)
and Wallace and Holmlund (1984).
Class I sites represent large villages that may have been occupied from several decades to
several centuries (e.g., Hodges Ruin). The presence of trash mounds at these sites is indicative of a
long-term occupation, whereas visible architecture (e.g., ballcourt, platform mound, compound)
implies that these sites were more complex. Class II sites are somewhat problematical. Although the
presence of trash mounds or visible architecture suggests long-term occupation, the smaller size of
Class II sites implies that they were not large villages. Sites in this class are considered to represent
an early occupation of a village that later grew to Class I status (e.g., Hodges Ruin in the Pioneer
period), a formerly large village that was declining in size prior to abandonment (e.g., Hodges Ruin
in the Tanque Verde phase), or a daughter or support village that was associated with a larger, more
complex village, such as the Marana Mound Site. Class III and IV sites are interpreted as sites that
were not occupied on a year-round basis, but rather, seasonally or intermittently. Class III sites could
represent field house agricultural locales, base camps, or smaller resource procurement and processing
camps that were repeatedly reoccupied. Class IV sites may represent similar types of sites as the
140
larger Class III sites (albeit on a smaller scale), in addition to single episode resource processing and
procurement camps or single family camps.
Once the classification system was devised, each site in the data base was classified
according to the established guidelines and was plotted with the appropriate symbol on a map of the
study area. As was done for the site distribution maps, separate maps were produced for the Pioneer
period and the Cafiada del Oro, Rillito, Rincon, Tanque Verde, and Tucson phases. The settlement
pattern data for Class I through Class IV sites by period or phase then were tabulated. The
distribution of sites in these classes through time is provided in Table 7.
Pioneer Period (A.D. 200/300 to 700)
The system described above was used to produce a settlement pattern map for the Pioneer
period (Figure 21). The settlement pattern, which comprises 17 sites (several of which are assigned
to the Pioneer period based only on the presence of a single sherd), probably is underrepresentative
for this period for the reasons discussed earlier in this chapter. Although settlement in the Pioneer
period appears to have occurred primarily in three areas in the northern, central, and southern basin,
the small number of sites depicted on the map in Figure 21 makes the indicated pattern tentative.
Furthermore, there is the possibility that unknown, buried, Pioneer period sites may contradict the
pattern.
Nevertheless, the data base indicates that a Class I site (i.e., large village), AZ AA:12:285
(Dairy Site), was in existence in the northern Tucson Basin during this initial period of the Hohokam
sequence. A Late Archaic occupation also has been documented at this site (P. Fish et al. 1992).
Four Class II sites (i.e., small villages) are located at approximately equal intervals along the Santa
Cruz River, the northernmost of which, AZ AA: 12:51, is within 2 km of the Dairy Site. From north
to south, the other Class II sites are Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18) at the confluence of the river with
Rillito Creek, the Valencia Site (AZ BB:13:15) in the central basin, and Ortonville (AZ BB: 13:202)
141
en
Crn
o
v:)kfl
o
oo
00
0
ir)
•cr
.-1
en
n0
TZI'
ON
1-4
•
en 4
o
1-1
o
-
N
N
N
en
o
N
o
ON
Ca
142
Mineral Hill
Ci Helmet Peak
• = Class I Site
0 = Class ll Site
0 = Class Ill Site
• = Class IV Site
Figure 21.
Pioneer period settlement pattern, A.D. 200/300 to 700.
143
in the southern basin. The four Class II sites are spaced at intervals of 14.4 km, 16.8 km, and
11.2 km; the average spacing is 14.1 km.
Most of the Class III and IV sites, which are interpreted as being seasonal, intermittent, or
single-episode occupations associated with agricultural or resource procurement and processing
activities, are located within 0.5 km to 4.5 km of the Class I and II sites. If, as was suggested above,
Class I and II sites were village sites, then the Class III and IV sites may represent limited activity
sites that were associated with the year-round occupations at the villages. The one exception to this
apparent pattern of association of Class III and IV sites with village sites is AZ AA: 16:26 (St. Mary's
Site), which is identified as a Class IV site during the Pioneer period. Not only is this site not
associated with a Class I or II site (see Figure 21, near Tumamoc Hill), but in the subsequent Canada
del Oro phase, it is identified as a Class II site. Therefore, the depiction of AZ AA: 16:26 as a
Class IV site in the Pioneer period probably is not an accurate representation. More likely, the
weakness of the Pioneer period data base has resulted in an erroneous classification for this site.
The Class I and II sites all share one characteristic that suggests why they are located where
they are. All five sites are situated in areas where floodwater farming either on the floodplain or, in
the case of the Dairy Site, on an alluvial fan, would have been possible. The prehistoric agricultural
conditions at the Dairy Site, as determined by pollen analysis of samples taken from the site, are
discussed in detail by P. Fish et al. (1992). The location of Hodges Ruin near the confluence of the
Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek would have been ideal for the pursuit of agriculture, whereas the
Valencia Site and Ortonville are located in areas of easy access, prehistorically, to the streamflow of
the Santa Cruz River and associated arroyos. Supportive evidence for moister conditions than at
present at these locations was found during the pollen analysis of samples from the Valencia Site,
which documented continually moist riparian conditions for most of the site's occupation (Fish
1985:14-4).
144
The Pioneer period settlement pattern along the Santa Cruz River appears to have been
characterized by small- to medium-sized, dispersed villages that were located at areas where both a
dependable water source and good agricultural land were available. The smaller villages (Class II
sites) were spaced at similar intervals along the river. A number of limited activity sites, which may
have been associated with the villages, also are known for this period. Residents of the villages
probably occupied the limited activity sites on a short-term basis during the seasonal round or for the
tending of agricultural fields. Although the largest Pioneer period site that is recognized by the site
classification system used in this study is not located in an area where floodwater farming along the
Santa Cruz River would have been possible, it is in an area that has equal, if not better, agricultural
potential--the alluvial fan of the lower bajada. Analysis of a profiled, 3-meter-high cross section of
the Dairy Site (AZ AA:12:285) revealed that floodwaters on the alluvial fan periodically deposited
sediment on the site, which would have nourished the agricultural fields that were associated with the
village (P. Fish et al. 1992:64). Therefore, even though the site was not on the floodplain of the
Santa Cruz River, periodic storm-related inundations would have made this location ideal for
floodwater farming.
The distribution of Pioneer period sites within the four site classifications also provides some
information on the settlement pattern at this time, including the validity of the data base for this early
period. As can be seen in Table 7, the ratio of "village" to "limited activity" sites is 5:12, which
indicates that there are approximately two limited activity sites (Class III and IV) for every village
site (Class I and II). This ratio may be the strongest indicator that the Pioneer period data base not
only undenepresents the true prehistoric settlement pattern, but that the data are inadequate for
conducting a settlement pattern analysis in any detail for the Pioneer period. It highly questionable
that only two limited activity sites would have been associated with a a village. Furthermore, there
are no known limited activity sites associated with the Dairy Site, which is the only large village
(Class I site) at this time. Therefore, the Pioneer period settlement pattern illustrated in Figure 21
145
should be considered an approximation of what the actual pattern was during the Pioneer period, and
not necessarily a close approximation. It is clear that additional fieldwork that focuses on this early
period of the Hohokam sequence is critically needed, not only in the study area, but also throughout
the Tucson Basin.
Canada del Oro Phase (A.D. 700 to 850)
Settlement pattern data for the early Colonial period suggest that the pattern of settlement
was similar to that which is currently known for the Pioneer period. However, the distribution of
Canada del Oro phase sites was more continuous along the Santa Cruz River, and the three groupings
that characterize the distribution of Pioneer period sites in the northern, central, and southern portions
of the study area are not apparent (Figure 22).
Three Class I sites, which are interpreted as large villages, are identified in the study area for
the Canada del Oro phase: AZ AA:12:51 in the northern basin, Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18) in the
north-central basin, and Ortonville (AZ BB: 13:202) in the southern basin. All three sites are
classified as small villages (Class II sites) during the Pioneer period. The spacing of these villages
along the Santa Cruz River is not regular; that is, AZ AA:12:51 and AZ AA:12:18 are 13.6 km
apart, whereas AZ AA:12:18 and AZ BB:13:202 are 28.8 km apart. However, as can be seen in
Figure 13, there is a 7-kilometer-long gap in survey coverage south of the Valencia Site. If future
fieldwork were to identify a Canada del Oro phase Class I site in this area, then spacing between the
Class I sites would be more equal.
Nine Class II sites, which are interpreted as small villages, are identified for the Canada del
Oro phase, including Los Morteros (AZ AA:12:57), the Dairy Site (AZ AA:12:285), the St. Mary's
Site (AZ AA:12:26), and the Valencia Site (AZ BB:13:15). The remainder comprises two sites near
Hodges Ruin, two sites near Martinez Hill, and the Ballcourt Site (AZ BB:13:221) in the southern
basin. Spacing between these sites is highly variable, ranging from 1.6 km to 19.2 km. The Class II
146
• = Class I Site
o = Class II Site
0 = Class III Site
• = Class IV Site
Figure 22.
Caiiada del Oro phase settlement pattern, A.D. 700 to 850.
147
sites span the study area from the northern boundary to just north of Pima Mine Road in the southern
basin (which was the southern limit for the SXAP).
Class III sites also are distributed along most of the study area from the northern boundary to
just north of the southern limit of the SXAP area at Pima Mine Road. An unexpected finding was
that not only do the Class IV sites have the smallest areal distribution of the four site types, but there
are none located north of the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Canada del Oro Wash. Eleven
Class IV sites are identified in the study area; they are located between the confluence of the Santa
Cruz River with Rillito Creek and Ortonville (AZ BB: 13:202), which is situated approximately 5 km
north of Pima Mine Road (see Figure 22). As was stated previously, the Class III and IV sites are
interpreted as being seasonal, intermittent, or single-episode occupations associated with agricultural
or resource procurement and processing activities. Essentially, Class III and IV sites represent
limited activity sites that probably would have been occupied on a temporary basis by residents of
nearby villages. All of the Class III sites are located within 0.5 km to 11.2 km of a village site. Five
of the Class IV sites are situated adjacent to Class I or II sites, whereas one is adjacent to a Class III
site. The other four are located 3.2 km to 4.0 km distant from Class I or II sites.
As was noted for the Pioneer period, all of the Class I and II sites, which are interpreted as
year-round occupations (i.e., villages), are located either on the floodplain of the Santa Cruz River or
on the alluvial fan northeast of the river in the northern basin. Again, these are areas where
floodwater farming would have been successful. Therefore, the Caftada del Oro phase settlement
pattern expanded on that suggested for the preceding Pioneer period in terms of the number of sites,
but not in the areal distribution of the sites. Hohokam settlement during the Canada del Oro phase
appears to have been characterized by an almost basinwide distribution of villages located along the
Santa Cruz River and its floodplain. The lack of Canada del Oro phase sites, including villages,
south of the areas examined by the SXAP and STBS may be indicative of the lack of intensive survey
coverage in this area, or it may represent the actual pattern of settlement during this phase. Although
148
this cannot be ascertained without additional study, the former seems the most likely explanation for
the lack of sites in this area.
The number of known sites that date to the early Colonial period is almost double that of the
Pioneer period, although the Canada del Oro phase was 250 to 350 years shorter in duration. The
proportion of limited activity sites to village sites between the two also varies, but not to the same
degree. Twelve village sites and 21 limited activity sites are recorded in the study area for the
Canada del Oro phase (see Table 7). This is a ratio of 1:1.7, which is only minimally different from
the 1:2.4 ratio for the Pioneer period (i.e., each is approximately 1:2). When the ratios of each site
class are individually compared for the two time periods, it can be seen that the greatest increase was
in the number of Class III sites; the smallest, in Class IV sites. Overall, the increase in the number of
villages compared to limited activity sites from the Pioneer period to the Canada del Oro phase is
similar. Village sites increased in number from 5 to 12, whereas limited activity sites increased from
12 to 21. The increase is proportionately distributed between the northern and southern halves of the
study area. From the northern boundary of the study area to (and including) the Valencia Site, 9 sites
are recorded for the Pioneer period; 18 sites, or double that, are known in the same area for the
Canada del Oro phase. For the southern half of the study area, the number of sites increased from
8 in the Pioneer period to 15 in the Canada del Oro phase. Therefore, other than an overall increase
in the number of sites, the manner in which the sites were distributed over the regional landscape
(i.e., the settlement pattern) changed little from the Pioneer period through the early Colonial period.
However, as is true for the Pioneer period site sample, it is cautioned that the data base for
the Canada del Oro phase is small, consisting of only 33 sites, and any interpretations of the data
should be considered to be tentative. Furthermore, the problem of variation in site occupation spans,
which cannot be resolved with the data on which this study is based, must be considered.
149
Rillito Phase (A.D. 850 to 950)
The Rillito phase of the late Colonial period is the first for which a substantial data base is
available, consisting of 114 sites. The settlement pattern of these sites, which is depicted in
Figure 23, is a greatly expanded version of what is known for the preceding Cafiada del Oro phase.
Although only five Class IV sites are recorded there, the Rillito phase marks the first known use of
nonriverine areas in the southern basin for habitation purposes. This is not to suggest that
nonriverine areas were not used for resource procurement and processing or other activities prior to
the Rillito phase, but that this is the earliest evidence for such use. It is very likely that the Pioneer
and early Colonial period Hohokam exploited nonriverine areas for a variety of resources and that
they occupied the area on a seasonal or intermittent basis, as did Late Archaic peoples before them;
however, there is no documentation of this at the present time.
It is also during the Rillito phase that an agricultural site (AZ AA: 12:206) is first recorded in
the study area for the lower bajada/upper bajada transitional zone of the northern Tucson Basin.
Although floodwater farming was practiced at the Dairy Site (AZ AA:12:285) during the Late
Archaic through Hohokam early Colonial period (P. Fish et al. 1992), it was primarily a habitation
site that is located on the lower bajada near the floodplain of the Santa Cruz River. This is not the
case of AZ AA: 12:206, which is primarily an agricultural site (i.e., rock pile field site) is located east
of Point of Mountain (see Figure 23) that would have been used in runoff farming. Another Rillito
phase agricultural site in the northern basin is located near the confluence of the Santa Cruz River
with Rillito Creek in an area that was previously suggested to have good agricultural potential and a
dependable source of floodwater. Two other agricultural rock pile field sites also are located at the
southern end of the basin.
The number of Class I sites is five times that of the preceding Cafiada del Oro phase. Fifteen
Class I sites, or large villages, are distributed between Point of Mountain and the southern boundary
of the SXAP area. Spacing between these sites ranges from 1.6 km to 9.6 km; the average interval is
150
.,Tar. tolitaMouniains
Point o
Mountain
S an ta
Cdtatna,
yMopnt o mms'
Black MN..
65, Mineral Hill
0 Helmet Peak
0
Kilometers
• = Class I Site
o = Class ll Site
0 = Class III Site
• = Class IV Site
A=
Figure 23.
Sierrito --Mountoins
Agricultural Site
Rillito phase settlement pattern,
A.D.
850 to 950.
Martinez Hill
151
5.0 km. As can be seen in Figure 23, Class I sites appear to be relatively evenly distributed the
length of the study area (at least to Pima Mine Road). Areas where no evidence has been found of
Class I sites correspond either with gaps in survey coverage, areas where surveys were not intensive,
or areas where sites are recorded for which insufficient temporal data are available. Although the
aforementioned problems affect our understanding of the Rillito phase settlement, there do appear to
be four concentrations of Class I sites: near Point of Mountain, at the confluence of the Santa Cruz
River with Rillito Creek and Canada del Oro Wash, along the foothills of the Tucson Mountains
north of Martinez Hill, and from Martinez Hill south (see Figure 23). At each location, three to four
Class I sites are recorded. From north to south, the four areas are spaced 8.8 km apart, 6.4 km apart,
and 7.2 km apart for an average interval of 7.5 km. These distances were determined by measuring
the interval between the southernmost site of the northern group to the northernmost site of the next
group. The length along the river encompassed by each group, again from north south, is 6.4 km
(three sites), 5.6 km (four sites), 13.6 km (four sites), and 12.8 km (four sites) for an average length
of 9.6 km. These figures, which could be interpreted as the approximate amount of floodplain for
floodwater farming that was controlled by each group of large villages, were obtained by measuring
the maximum dispersion of Class I sites in each group. However, additional Rillito phase Class I
sites that may exist in areas where there currently are gaps in survey coverage may contradict this
fmding, as may other sites along the river for which temporal data currently are lacking.
The distribution of the other three site types is not grouped; rather, Class II, III, and IV sites
are distributed among and between the four groups of Class I sites. In addition, for the first time in
the Hohokam sequence, sites are recorded in the southernmost portion of the study area. The sites in
this area consist of 2 agricultural sites (i.e., rock pile fields) and 11 Class IV sites. The gap in survey
coverage between the SXAP and STBS areas and that surveyed by Frick (1954) is particularly evident
in the Rillito phase settlement pattern depicted in Figure 23.
152
A notable change in the ratio of village sites (Class I and II sites) to limited activity sites
(Class III and IV sites) for the Rillito phase is evident in Table 7. The ratio of villages to limited
activity sites has increased to almost 1:3 by the Rillito phase, in that there are 30 village sites to
80 limited activity sites. Furthermore, the ratio of Class I sites to other site types markedly changes
from the Pioneer period through the Colonial period. The ratio is 1:16 for the Pioneer period,
1:10 for the Canada del Oro phase, and almost 1:8 for the Rillito phase (including agricultural sites).
The Rillito phase settlement pattern along the Santa Cruz River was characterized by large
villages that were located in four general areas, smaller villages that were distributed the length of the
river among the large villages, and limited activity and agricultural sites that spanned the northern to
the southern basin. The large villages were concentrated at areas where good agricultural land and a
dependable water source for floodwater farming were available. Two of these areas are where
cienegas are known to have occurred in late prehistoric times and historic times (south of Martinez
Hill and near Sentinel Peak), whereas one is at the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito
Creek and Canada del Oro Wash. The fourth area is at Point of Mountain, which probably would
have been the main point of entry into the Tucson Basin from the north (i.e., along the river). This
would have been a prime area for settlement, not only because of the high agricultural potential of the
land, but because of the possible political or economic controls that any village located there may
have had, particularly in regard to the central distribution of trade goods.
Although settlement in the study area continued to be focused in the riverine areas,
expansion into nonriverine areas for habitation and agricultural pursuits is first evidenced on a
basinwide scale by the end of the Colonial period. There are approximately three limited activity
sites for every village site (which still is a low ratio) and approximately one large village site to every
eight other sites. Three problems need to be recognized that are relevant to these ratios. The first
problem is that gaps in survey coverage in the central and southern basin are negatively affecting the
numbers of known Rillito phase sites. The second problem is that housing and industrial
153
development, and other types of historic and modern land usages, have negatively impacted the
archaeological record. The third problem is that even in areas where intensive survey has been
conducted and the land has not been excessively disturbed, limited activity sites are often difficult to
recognize in the archaeological record due to their often more ephemeral characteristics. This factor
alone must result in the underrepresentation of this site type in the settlement pattern for this phase,
and others, in the Hohokam cultural sequence. Although variation in the length of individual site
occupations continues to be a problem, almost all the large villages that are recorded by this study
evidence occupation throughout most of the Hohokam sequence. It is the smaller sites where the
problem of varying occupation spans is most critical.
Rincon Phase (A.D. 950 to 1150)
As discussed earlier, the largest number of sites recorded in the study area date to the Rincon
phase of the Sedentary period. This also is the time of maximum settlement expansion into
nonriverine areas in the southern Tucson Basin, particularly of agricultural sites, which are
recognized by the presence of fields that comprise multiple rock piles, rock alignments, and other soil
and water control features (Figure 24). To quantify this statement, 4 Class III sites, 46 Class IV
sites, and 4 agricultural sites are recorded for the Rincon phase in nonriverine areas in the southern
basin. No Class III sites, and only five Class IV sites and two agricultural sites, are known for the
Rillito phase in that area. Furthermore, one of the agricultural sites, AZ BB:13:315, which is located
east of the Santa Cruz River floodplain, is much more extensive than any previous site of this type in
the southern basin. This site measures approximately 4.0 km north to south and 2.5 km east to west.
The agricultural features recorded at AZ BB:13:315 were constructed in the Late Rincon subphase
and continued in use through the Tangue Verde phase of the subsequent Classic period.
Although the numbers of Class I and II sites do not appreciably change from those known for
the preceding Rillito phase, the numbers of Class III and IV sites do. As can be seen in Table 7, the
154
ToTitMou4niOins'
<•
Santo,'
Cat lino,
•
Black Mtn
ortinez Hill
•
••
' Ç
1 .
1 /*2
/
Mineral Hill
0 Helmet Peok
0
10
Kilometers
•
0
0
•
=-- Class I Site
= Class II Site
= Class III Site
= Class IV Site
A=
Figure 24.
Sierrita --Mountains
Agricultural Site
Rincon phase settlement pattern, A.D. 950 to 1150.
.
0.
•
155
Rillito phase has 15 Class I sites, whereas the Rincon phase has 16. Similarly, there are 15 Class II
Rillito phase sites, and 18 Class II Rincon phase sites. What does appreciably change is the numbers
of Class III and IV sites, and the ratios of the site classes. Class III and IV sites almost double in
number over that known for the Rillito phase, which is not unexpected when the lengths of the two
phases are compared. The ratio of village sites (Class I and II sites) to limited activity sites (Class III
and IV sites) for the Rincon phase is approximately 1:5, which is a notable change from that of 1:3
for the Rillito phase. In contrast, the ratios for the Canada del Oro phase and Pioneer period sites
were roughly 1:2. Another difference is the ratio of large village sites to all other site types--1:12 for
the Rincon phase. Other ratios were 1:8 for the Rillito phase, 1:10 for the Cafiada del Oro phase, and
1:16 for the Pioneer period.
The Class I sites are distributed along the length of the study area, although four primary
locales similar to those noted for the Rillito phase sites can again be identified where these large
villages occur. However, it is not intended to suggest that the sites are clustering at these four areas,
only that four groups can be seen. As was done for the Rillito phase, the intervals between the
groups and the length of each group were measured. From north to south, the intervals between the
four groups of Class I sites are 9.6 km, 6.4 km, 8.0 km. The average interval is 8.0 km, which is an
insignificant difference (500 m) than that determined for the Rillito phase (9.6). The lengths of each
group along the floodplain, from north to south, are 8.0 km (five sites), 3.6 km (three sites),
10.8 km (five sites), and 8.4 km (three sites). The average length of each group is 7.7 km, which is
significantly less (i.e., 1.8 km) than that of the large Rillito phase villages. It is interesting that the
smallest group, in terms of length along the river, is at the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with
Rillito Creek and Cafiada del Oro Wash. This also is the location of AZ AA: 12:18, Hodges Ruin,
which may have been the preeminent village in the Tucson Basin at this time. No discernible pattern
is apparent for the distribution of Class II, III, and IV sites, which are distributed the length of the
study, including in the intervals between the four groups of Class I sites.
156
Although the pattern of sites depicted in Figure 24 suggests that large villages (i.e., Class I
sites) were distributed in four main groups along the river, it can be questioned whether these
groupings actually existed in prehistoric times or whether they are creations of the data base. The
survey coverage shown in Figure 13 indicates that the area between the group that is centered on
Los Morteros (AZ AA: 12:57) at Point of Mountain in the northern basin and the northern extent of
the group that is associated with Hodges Ruin (AZ AA: 12:18) in the north-central basin has been
intensively surveyed. In actuality, the area has been repeatedly examined, and three large habitation
sites that would qualify as Class I sites have been recorded in that area , as well as five Class IV sites.
However, as indicated earlier, none of the records for these eight sites contain any temporal
information for the sites. Therefore, the sites had to be deleted from the data base and the maps.
Although other individual sites were deleted, this is the only site group in the study area that could
not be considered in the settlement pattern study due to insufficient information. In contrast with this
situation in the northern basin, the area between the group that borders the Tucson Mountains in the
south-central basin and the group in the southern basin that is centered on the Punta de Agua Site
(AZ BB:13:16AA-J) and Ortonville (AZ BB: 13:202) has not been intensively surveyed. However,
this is an area that not only has been repeatedly examined, but is well known. If one or more Class I
or II sites were located in this vicinity of the study area, they would have been recorded. Therefore,
the groups of Class I sites and the intervening areas that lack large village sites shown in Figure 24
may or may not reflect the true pattern of prehistoric settlement during the Rincon phase. At least
one reason for one of the gaps is known; other reasons may include lack of accessibility to
agricultural land along the floodplain or lack of sufficient water for sustaining the larger populations
that would have been associated with a Class I or II village site.
Essentially, the Rincon phase settlement pattern in the study area is similar to that described
for the preceding Rillito phase. The large villages were located along the floodplain of the Santa
Cruz River, perhaps in four similarly spaced groups. The smaller villages clustered around the large
157
villages (with the exception of the group at Point of Mountain, which lacks a small village for this
phase). Both large and small limited activity sites expanded into nonriverine areas, suggesting that
the favorable climatic conditions of the Sedentary period (see Table 4, Chapter 2) may have allowed
resulted in greater availability of wild plant resources in those areas. Agricultural activities associated
with runoff farming at rock pile field sites also expanded in the nonriverine areas, which supports a
hypothesis that climate may have played a hand in the expansion of seasonal and intermittent
settlement in the nonriverine areas during the Sedentary period.
Tanque Verde Phase (A.D. 1150 to 1300)
As can be seen in Figure 25, a major settlement pattern change that probably was initiated
late in the preceding Sedentary period is evident by the Tanque Verde phase of the Classic period.
The construction of five cerros de trincheras sites at four locations in the study area (two at Linda
Vista Hill, and one each at Tumamoc Hill, Martinez Hill, and Black Mountain), along with an
apparent aggregation of settlements and shift in site concentrations, characterize this phase of the
early Classic period.
In comparison with the settlement pattern shown in Figure 24 for the Rincon phase, only
three groupings of Class I sites can be seen: in the northern basin near Point of Mountain, in the
central basin between the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Caiiada del Oro Wash and the
southern boundary of the STBS area, and in the extreme southern basin near Continental. The latter
is a new group centered on two Class I sites (i.e., large villages) that were not established until this
phase. Settlement is almost continuous, and extensive, between the confluence and the southern
boundary of the STBS area. There is no suggestion of relatively equal spacing between multiple
groups of Class I sites. The only gaps in the distribution of sites are in areas in the northern and
southern basin that have been identified previously as either lacking survey coverage or sufficient
temporal information for the sites that are recorded there.
158
Class I Site
Class Il Site
Class Ill Site
Class IV Site
= Agricultural Site
= Trincheras Site
• =
0=
0=
• =
A
•
Figure 25. Tanque Verde phase settlement pattern, A.D. 1150 to 1300.
159
Other differences are apparent during the Tanque Verde phase. For example, five of the six
Class II sites located at the Santa Cruz/Cafiada del Oro confluence during the Rincon phase were not
occupied during the Tanque Verde phase, although a new Class II site appeared in the area.
Furthermore, the number of Class I and II sites, or villages, between the confluence and Martinez
Hill increased notably from 15 in the Rincon phase to 24 during the Tanque Verde phase, which was
shorter in duration by approximately 50 years. A similar shift can be seen in the southern Tucson
Basin where the concentration of settlement moved northeastward, resulting in the essential
abandonment of the southern SXAP area. This is depicted in Figures 23 and 24 as a change from a
linear pattern of site distribution along the west bank of the Santa Cruz River during the Rincon phase
to a concentrated grouping of sites in the sand dune locale east of the river by the Tanque Verde phase
(shown as the floodplain in Figure 25). The sand dune area, which began forming in the middle
Sedentary period, would have been an area of high agricultural potential for floodwater farming.
Another interesting aspect of settlement in the Tanque Verde phase is the appearance of
Class I and II sites near Martinez Hill in the "gap" between the central and southern basin that was
discussed earlier in this chapter. The appearance of these sites at this time suggests that the observed
break in settlement between the central and southern Tucson Basin in the preceding periods may
represent the true prehistoric conditions, and not the lack of adequate survey coverage.
Changes in the ratios of individual site classes between the Rincon and Tanque Verde phases
were examined, with an interesting result. Whereas the greatest change between the Rillito and
Rincon phases was in the numbers of Class IV sites, which more than doubled in the latter phase,
between the Rincon and Tanque Verde phases, it is the Class I sites that evidence the greatest
increase. Although the other three site types remain similar in their frequencies, Tanque Verde phase
Class I sites almost double in number from 16 to 30 (see Table 7). Overall, the ratio of Class I sites
to other site types is almost 1:7 for the Taupe Verde phase, which differs considerably from the ratio
of 1:12 for the Rincon phase, yet is similar to the ratio of 1:8 for the Rillito phase. The ratio of
160
village sites (Class I and II sites) to limited activity sites (Class III and IV sites) for the Tanque Verde
phase is approximately 1:3, whereas ratios for the Rimcon and Rillito phases were approximately 1:5
and 1:3, respectively. The differences in these ratios through time provide some quantifiable support
for the hypothesized expansion in nonriverine settlement that was suggested for the Rincon phase, and
for the aggregation of population into fewer, but larger, villages that traditionally has been
hypothesized for the Classic period.
Four main areas of settlement can be identified during the Taupe Verde phase in the study
area. The first is at Point of Mountain, which may be associated with the trincheras sites on Linda
Vista Hill and the possible function that this area may have had as a point of entry into the Tucson
Basin from the north. The second area is at the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek
and Cailada del Oro Wash. This area continued to be a central point of settlement in the Tucson
Basin throughout the Hohokam sequence, probably owing to the prime agricultural conditions for
floodwater farming that would have been present at that location. The other two main areas of
settlement during the Tanque Verde phase may have been related to the possible presence of reliable
water and good agricultural land in the form of springs and cienegas at their locations. One area is
around Sentinel Peak, where it is known that in historic times a set of springs and cienegas were
produced by the intersection with the water table of Pleistocene terraces from the east that converged
with the western mountain front (Betancourt 1987:2). The other area is south of Martinez Hill and
southeast of Black Mountain at the location of another set of historically known springs and cienegas
that were produced by the intersection of a subterranean basaltic dike with the water table (see Figure
10, Chapter 2).
As occurred in the preceding periods, large villages were located primarily along the
floodplain; small villages were clustered around them. One of the changes noted for the Tanque
Verde phase is that, overall, the trend for a greater use of nonriverine areas by limited activity sites,
which began in the middle Sedentary period, ended during the early Classic period. Another change
161
is that with the exception of the agricultural features at the five trincheras sites, only one agricultural
site remained in use during the Tanque Verde phase--AZ BB:13:315 in the southern basin. There is
no evidence that the other agricultural rock pile field sites in the study area that were constructed and
used during the Colonial and Sedentary periods continued in use during the Classic period.
Rock pile field sites represent a form of runoff agriculture that typically was practiced on the
lower and upper bajadas. Although runoff farming has been called dry farming in the literature
(e.g., Masse 1991), there is a difference between the two types of agricultural techniques. A "dry
farming" field receives all of its water from precipitation that falls directly on the field. In contrast,
"runoff farming" uses the diversion and control of slope runoff to water the field. Therefore, runoff
farming actually is a type of floodwater farming, but on a much smaller scale, and it is dependent on
high levels of precipitation to be successful. It is very likely that the reduced rates of rainfall and
increased temperatures during the Classic period precluded the use of this type of agriculture in the
Tucson Basin at this time. The only agricultural rock pile field site in the study area that remained in
use during the Classic period, AZ BB: 13:315, is located in the transition zone between the floodplain
of the Santa Cruz River and the lower bajada, which may have been an area that was capable of
retaining sufficient moisture for runoff farming when other areas no longer were able.
Tucson Phase (A.D. 1300 to 1450)
When the distribution of sites that were occupied during this fi nal phase of the Hohokam
sequence is examined, it is possible to infer that the process of aggregation that began in the Tanque
Verde phase of the early Classic period culminated in the latter half of the period. Two areas of site
concentrations, or aggregations, are known for the Tucson phase (Figure 26). One is in the northcentral basin in the vicinity of the confluence of the Santa Cruz River with Rillito Creek and Canada
del Oro Wash, and the other is in the southern basin south of Martinez Hill. The aggregated
162
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= Agricultural Site
Tucson phase settlement pattern, A.D. 1300 to 1450.
163
areas share several similarities, including the length of the area occupied along the river, the number
of sites in each group, and the types of sites in each group.
The two aggregated areas are separated by a 14.4-kilometer-long interval that exhibits no
evidence of occupation or utilization during the Tucson phase. The northern group of 18 sites
(58.1% of Tucson phase sites) measures 15.2 km in length along the floodplain. The southern group
is somewhat smaller, in that it measures 11.2 km in length and comprises 13 sites (41.9% of Tucson
phase sites). The southern group, however, appears to be broader in its distribution, perhaps because
settlement in this area of the basin was along the Santa Cruz River floodplain, the adjacent sand dune
locale, and the cienega below Martinez Hill. A similar geomorphic zonation did not develop in the
north-central basin. In regard to site types, 11 villages are recorded in the study area for the Tucson
phase and they are almost equally divided between the two groups of sites. The northern group
contains five Class I sites and no Class II sites, whereas four Class I sites and two Class II sites are
recorded in the southern group. Lastly, the two site groups are similar in that each has an associated
agricultural site. The site in the northern group is on the floodplain, whereas the southern one is in
the transitional zone between the floodplain and the lower bajada.
Although equivalent information is not available for the north-central basin, ethnohistoric
records for the southern basin are supportive of late prehistoric population aggregation in the area
south of Martinez Hill. Two early historic Papago (Tohono O'odham) villages were established in
this area--Bac and Statonik. The former is still occupied and has enveloped the latter. Bac, which
means "The Place Near the Well" (Bolton 1984:268), is the Tohono O'odham village where Mission
San Xavier del Bac was constructed. It was first visited by Padre Kino in 1697, at which time it was
a thriving settlement. Bolton (1984:502) also refers to the village as Bac6ida:
Of all the settlements in the country of the Sobafpuris, San Xavier del Bac--Bac6ida,
the Place near the Spring--was the largest and most promising, and the one which at
this time most warmed Kino's missionary heart. Not only was Bac itself a large
settlement, with fine land and plentiful water; it was part of a much larger
population.
164
The village of Statonik, or "Many Ants," was occupied during both the Tucson phase and
the early historic period. Statonik, which is recorded as AZ AA: 16:7 (ASM), was mapped and
surface collected in 1984 as part of a Housing and Urban Development assessment (Slawson 1984).
It is located west, and adjacent to, the Bac cemetery. Now buried beneath modern houses, Statonik
served as a place of residence for Tohono O'odham from the central Papaguerfa who visited Bac in
historic times. The name, "Many Ants," was derived from the appearance of the visitors' temporary
dwellings, which resembled large anthills (Robert Hackenberg, personal communication 1984).
The intervillage connection of Bac with others in the central Papaguerfa was part of a dual
village residence pattern that characterized the latter area and, to some degree, the Tohono O'odham
at Bac. For example, residents of the Santa Rosa Valley had recognized rights to winter fields located
along the Santa Cruz River to which they returned annually to plant irrigated crops (Hackenberg
1964:271). The development of a populous village at Bac was possible because of the existence of
permanent, reliable water sources for large-scale agriculture at the Punta de Agua and Agua de la
Misi6n springs, which precluded the need to migrate to mountain well locations in the winter. Native
crops that were grown at Bac prior to the arrival of Kino included cotton, maize, tepary beans, kidney
beans, squash, pumpkins, and tobacco (Fontana 1964:66).
A fimal comment can be made relevant to the historic settlement pattern of the Santa Cruz
River Valley. Based on his review of numerous archival documents, ethnographic accounts, and
calendar stick records, Hackenberg (1964:287) was able to determine that in 1795, there were no
settlements to the north along the Santa Cruz River between Tucson and the Pima-Maricopa villages,
and that by 1848, there were no Tohono O'odham living along the river to the south between Bac and
the Mexican border. He also speculates that the degree of settlement abandonment was so excessive
in historic times (partly due to Apache raids), that if the Spanish presidio had not been moved from
Tubac to Tucson in 1795, Bac also would have been abandoned (Hackenberg 1964:287).
165
Chapter 6
PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT PATTERN CHANGE
IN THE SOUTHERN TUCSON BASIN
From July 1983 to February 1984, an intensive Class III (100% coverage) archaeological
collection survey was conducted of 7,492 hectares on the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham
Nation by Cultural & Environmental Systems, Inc. (C&ES), a cultural resource management firm
based in Tucson (C&ES 1985; Heuett et al. 1987). Known as the San Xavier Archaeological Project
(SXAP), the fieldwork was conducted as part of an Environmental Impact Statement to assess
potential impacts of the proposed San Xavier/Tucson Planned Community The project area in
relationship to the Tucson Basin and the Santa Cruz River is shown in Figure 27. Of particular
importance within the SXAP area is the middle Santa Cruz River, or San Xavier Reach, which was
environmentally important to prehistoric, protohistoric, and historic peoples because of the presence
of perennial water in the river channel and associated arroyos, cienegas, and springs. The primary
significance of the SXAP was the opportunity it provided to record, in detail, cultural resource
information in an area that was relatively undisturbed by humans in historic and recent times, and
about which little was known. The project yielded an extensive and varied data base from which it
was possible to conduct research that examined changing settlement patterns of the Hohokam over
time and space in the southern Tucson Basin.
The San Xavier Archaeological Project
The Tohono O'odham Multiple Resource Area encompassed the major portion of the SXAP
area (7,300 ha), excluding only the separate Cottonwood Ranch area (192 ha), which was designated
the Wa:am Komelik (Brown Mountain) Archaeological District. The boundary shown on the project
map in Figure 28 is that of the multiple resource area.
166
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167
Martinez Hill
\5 mi -o-f-- Cottonwood Ranch
-
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:20 feet
(Black Mtn 40 feet )
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Figure 28. The San Xavier Archaeological Project area (from Heuett 1987:Figure 1.3).
168
The Cottonwood Ranch area is located 8 kilometers southwest of the main project area. Two other
archaeological districts were proposed--the Chuk Tho'ag (Black Mountain) Archaeological District
and the Huhugam (Riverine) Archaeological District. The latter corresponded to the lower bajadariver edge zone along the Santa Cruz River, which contained the majority of the large Hohokam
habitation sites.
During the survey, 116 prehistoric and historic sites with 150 components or loci were
recorded. The survey documented the presence of: (1) Rancholabrean fauna; (2) Archaic period
cultural materials with the potential for buried Archaic occupation surfaces in the Santa Cruz River
floodplain; (3) Hohokam habitation, resource exploitation, water control, and agricultural sites dating
from the Pioneer through the Classic periods (A.D. 200/300 to 1450); (4) historic Anglo and SpanishMexican ranches dating to before the establishment of the San Xavier Reservation (now District) in
1874; (5) historic Tohono O'odham houses, farm fields, cattle stations, wells, charcos, and irrigation
networks; and (6) historic government water control and range improvement features dating from the
turn of the century. Of the 116 sites recorded during the survey, 110 date to the Hohokam period.
The SXAP survey consisted of 100 percent coverage of the project area by four
archaeological crews. To ensure intensive coverage as stipulated in the federal guidelines for
Class III surveys, survey transects were spaced at a maximum interval of 20 meters. Following the
recommendations of a project subconsultant, artifact collections were made at each site utilizing
varying strategies (i.e., dog-on-leash, zonal, point proveniencing, general surface, and judgmental)
based on site type, size, and condition. Diagnostic artifacts were collected preferentially, although
representative items of all artifact classes, except ground stone, were collected. Because the Arizona
State Museum curation agreement for the SXAP discouraged the collection of utilitarian ground stone
due to storage problems, these artifacts usually were recorded and photographed in the field, but were
not collected. Isolated artifacts also were recorded and collected, again with the exception of ground
stone.
169
Depending on size, all sites, components, and loci were mapped with either Brunton
compass, plane table and alidade, transit, or electronic distance meter. For planning and engineering
purposes, all sites were tied into an aerial mosaic with Universal Transverse Mercator grid control.
The end result of the painstaking mapping process was that the mapped locations of every site datum
and subdatum were accurate to within 10 centimeters.
Prehistoric ceramics, including an intact vessel and 17,944 sherds, were recovered from
95 sites in the SXAP area. The locations of 93 of the sites are shown in Figure 29; the other two
sites that produced decorated ware ceramics are located in the Cottonwood Ranch area. This ceramic
collection provided a comprehensive body of ceramic data from a cultural-environmental unit only
minimally studied by past archaeological efforts. Composing this unit are five geomorphic zones,
which are illustrated in Figure 7 (see Chapter 2).
Site Defmition Procedures
In accordance with procedures adhered to during the SXAP site and artifact analyses, the
10 components of the Punta de Agua Site (AZ BB:13:16AA-J) were redefined to produce more
culturally cohesive units. This procedure eliminated natural and artificial boundaries that were not
extant prehistorically. These boundaries, which include Interstate 19, dirt roads, and recently formed
washes and arroyos, were used in the field to separate very large sites into components to facilitate
mapping. However, the boundaries represent recent, artificial limits and not necessarily prehistoric
site limits. Therefore, the components of the Punta de Agua Site were redefined as five settlements or
loci: (1) AZ BB:13:16AA; (2) AZ BB:13:16A; (3) AZ BB:13:16B-D,J; (4) AZ BB:13:16E-H; and
(5) AZ BB:13:16I. Three other sites with multiple loci, AZ AA:16:11:A-B, AZ BB:13:126A-T, and
AZ BB: 13:213A-B, were treated as single sites or settlements unless an individual data set indicated
sufficient significance to allow separate recognition. AZ BB:13:126A-T is a very large site located in
a sand dune area east of the Santa Cruz River. Twenty separate artifact scatter areas designated
170
SAN XAVIER PROJECT , Site Distribution
Prehlslonc Sites with Denote le d Ceramics
Legend
•— • Rioted, boundary
Enyiranrnenral zone baundory
Figure 29. Distribution of prehistoric sites with decorated ware ceramics in the SXAP Tohono
O'odham Multiple Resource Area.
171
Areas A through T were defined as distinct loci during mapping. However, the areas continually
changed in size and apparent artifact density throughout fieldwork as a result of shifts in sand
deposition. Therefore, the site is best dealt with as a single entity and not as a multiple-area
phenomenon. The loci indicated for sites AZ AA:11:16A-B and AZ BB:13:213A-B were separated
only by recent roads for mapping purposes; their multiple loci do not reflect distinct prehistoric
settlements. In contrast, loci A and B of AZ BB: 13:215 are treated as separate settlements. Field
observations and statistical analyses of their artifact distributions indicated that they represent two
separate occupations (Altschul and Rose 1987a, 1987b).
SXAP Settlement Pattern Research: Theory and Methods
Of the ceramic assemblage from the 95 Hohokam sites in the SXAP area, 6,098 decorated
ware (i.e., red-on-brown) sherds representing a minimum of 1,280 vessels, and the intact vessel, were
identifiable to the phase or subphase level. The distribution of these ceramics in the site collections is
shown in Table 8, which provides both numbers of vessels and relative percentages by phase and
subphase. Although the settlement pattern research discussed in this chapter was conducted through
the analysis of all ceramic data, in addition to other relevant artifact data, the information presented in
Table 8 represents the primary data base for the settlement pattern study.
The intent of this chapter is to develop a hypothetical picture of prehistoric settlement
patterns (i.e., site distributions through time and population movements) in the SXAP area through
the use of the total ceramic record of the site collections. However, a brief discussion of ceramic data
quality is first necessary. Due to the highly variable site sizes, site conditions, and site artifact
densities, a variety of collection procedures was used during the project. Concomitantly, variability
in site definition occurred.
A preliminary settlement pattern study based on a major portion of the decorated ware
ceramic data (Doelle and Wallace 1986), which was originally produced as part of the SXAP draft
•
172
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173
report (C&ES 1985), suggested that zonally collected sites were overrepresented in the ceramic data
base. This conclusion led the authors to halve the numbers of ceramics recovered from those sites.
In order to expand the data base, Doelle and Wallace (1986) also made use of general ceramic
categories (e.g., Early or Middle Rincon Red-on-Brown, Rincon/Tanque Verde Red-on-brown) by
transforming data to assign broadly defined ceramics to specific phases or subphases. Neither method
was followed by this study for several reasons, all aiming at establishing a more valid data base with
which to work.
After comparing site collections of decorated, red, and plain wares from the entire project
area with comprehensive field observations made by the author during the survey and mapping
phases, it became apparent that zonally collected sites were, in actuality, slightly underrepresented in
the SXAP area ceramic record. One possible exception was AZ BB:13:202. Because large numbers
of sherds were zonally collected from a badly eroded area at this site, it is possible that the ceramic
collections from that particular location are overrepresented. However, since the eroded area
represents less than one-quarter of the entire site, and the remainder is a medium density artifact
scatter collected primarily by a selective point provenience method, the collections (made by the
author) probably are not significantly different to require data base alteration.
Second, because the data transformation process developed for assigning broadly defined
ceramic types to specific time periods (Doelle and Wallace 1986:58-62) was very tentative in its
reliability, only discrete type identifications (e.g., Middle Rincon Red-on-brown) were used for this
study. Although this procedure limits the data base size, the reliability of the data is increased and
subsequent interpretations are stronger.
Finally, all ceramic data were examined during this study, including those of decorated, red,
plain, and intrusive ware ceramics. Because fieldwork was still ongoing, all of the decorated ware
ceramics were not available for the preliminary settlement pattern study offered by Doelle and
Wallace (1986). Therefore, there are noticeable differences between their study and the one presented
174
here. However, due to varying methods, not all of the differences are the result of the expanded data
base used herein.
Through the use of all prehistoric ceramic data from the SXAP sites, an overall picture was
developed of site distributional patterns thorough time. The study focused on locational changes,
differential environmental zone utilizations, and site relationships. Following Doelle and Wallace's
(1986:62) terminology, an assessment of intensity of occupation through time was attempted.
Although a number of papers and reports have been published or presented at professional meetings
that discuss research based on the use of an intensity of occupation approach (e.g., Doelle 1985b,
1988; Doelle et al. 1987; Doelle and Wallace 1986; Doelle et al. 1985b; Slawson 1987d, 1988e;
Waters 1988, 1989) there has yet to be any discussion provided on how the procedure works and
what it measures. Essentially, "intensity of occupation" is determined by the relative frequencies of
the various ceramic types at a site. It is used as an interpretive measure to classify site size with
respect to population; that is, the frequency of a specific ceramic type at a site is interpreted as an
indicator of population size for the phase or subphase with which the ceramic type is associated. An
example of this is Rillito Red-on-brown, which is a hallmark of the Rillito phase of the late Colonial
period. If a site exhibits high frequencies of Rillito Red-on-brown (i.e , minimum number of vessels
in comparison with an established standard), then the site is considered to have had a high intensity of
occupation during the Rillito phase. A site so classified is thus interpreted as having been a large
village during that phase of the late Colonial period. Although an interpretation of site intensity of
occupation using only survey-level data from the SXAP may be of debatable value due to several
problems, which will be discussed, an attempt was made to examine this issue while comparing
results with those obtained by Doelle and Wallace (1986).
175
Data Limitations
The use of the SXAP ceramic data to interpret intensity of site occupation, was complicated
by several factors associated with different aspects of formation processes. The major problem is that
collection procedures varied from site to site, not only in the actual methods used (e.g., zonal versus
point provenienced collections), but also in the manner in which the four survey crews perceived and
implemented basic ceramic collection guidelines. As a result, with four crews conducting site
collections, the possibility exists that certain ceramics (e.g., red ware) may be underrepresented in
some site collections, whereas others (e.g., decorated ware) may be proportionately overrepresented.
A second factor that affects the interpretive value of the SXAP data is the significant degree
of erosion and deposition that has occurred, and is still ongoing, along the San Xavier Reach. The
effect of continuous erosion and deposition has the greatest impact when one attempts to identify the
settlement patterns of earlier ceramic period sites, such as those of the Pioneer and early Colonial
periods, which have a greater potential to be buried beneath alluvium or eroded beyond recognition.
Third, the reuse of sherds from earlier times by later peoples for tools or other purposes also
may have negatively affected the proportions of Pioneer and Colonial period ceramics relative to
those of the Sedentary and Classic periods. In conjunction with this cultural destruction of ceramics,
it is likely that a higher percentage of earlier ceramics may have been lost to time-dependent natural
destructive forces that render type identification impossible.
The issue of site contemporaneity poses a fourth problem for site settlement pattern
interpretations. It is possible that two or more sites that are assigned to the same phase or subphase,
based on ceramic collections, actually may not have been contemporaneous. For example, the
occurrence of several deaths within a short period of time could have led to the total abandonment of
a village and the subsequent establishment of a new site in another location without any change in
ceramic decorative patterns. A documented example of the latter is the historic Tohono O'odham
village of Bath, which was abandoned about 1850 after a devastating Apache raid. The surviving
176
inhabitants moved south and settled at a place that came to be known as Gu Oidak (Haury 1950:1920). If such an event occurred prehistorically, it could not be ascertained without the use of more
sophisticated dating techniques than are currently available for the Tucson Basin, and perhaps, not
even then. Therefore, any settlement pattern interpretations developed through the sole use of
survey-level ceramic data are, to a degree, necessarily questionable because of the lack of information
regarding site contemporaneity.
Intensity of Occupation Classifications
Following DoeIle and Wallace (1986), intensity of occupation classifications of trace, low,
moderate, and high were established based on the number of decorated ware ceramics collected from a
site. As in DoeIle and Wallace's study, sites classified as trace occupations were deleted from the
intensity of occupation maps because their ceramics may reflect only occasional use of the area and
not actual habitation. However, unlike DoeIle and Wallace (1986:62), who used an intuitive
approach to establish classifications of trace, low, moderate, and high, this study conducted a
statistical analysis of the ceramic data frequency distributions (i.e., distribution of number of
decorated ware vessels per site) to define intensity of occupation groupings, which suggested the
following classifications:
Trace = 1-4 vessels
Low = 5-10 vessels
Moderate = 11-29 vessels
High = 30 + vessels
These intervals differ considerably from those proposed by DoeIle and Wallace (1986:62), wherein
intensity of occupation was defmed by 0 to 2 vessels as trace, 3 to 20 vessels as low, 21 to 50 vessels
as moderate, and 51 or more vessels as high.
The differences between method and intensity of occupation classes presented here and those
used by DoeIle and Wallace (1986) may be understood better by comparing sample sizes. The use of
177
only phase or subphase-specific ceramics for intensity of occupation interpretations resulted in a
sample size of 1,392 vessels (i.e., decorated and red ware ceramics combined). In contrast, Doelle
and Wallace's (1986) classifications were based on more than 4,000 vessels (decorated ware ceramics
only), or almost three times as large a sample. The elimination of nonspecific ceramic types from the
research conducted for this study resulted, in several instances, in a reduction of high intensity sites
(by Doelle-Wallace criteria) to moderate or even low intensity levels. The reason for these reductions
is that many of the prehistoric ceramic collections from the SXAP sites are composed largely of
nonspecifically typed ceramics, such as "Early or Middle Rincon Red-on-brown." Thus, the
elimination of these ceramics has the capacity to considerably alter the classifications of intensity of
occupation as determined by Doelle and Wallace (1986). Similarly, their inclusion in this study
would alter the intensity levels established above. Although the intervals for trace, low, moderate,
and high are believed to more accurately reflect the levels of intensity of occupation suggested by the
SXAP ceramic data, the limitations of these data must be kept in mind in that all interpretations of
site intensity of occupation represent only a starting point from which site comparisons can be made
and settlement patterns assessed.
A second difference between this study and that of Doelle and Wallace (1986) is the
additional consideration of site size used herein. Following standards established by the Arizona
State Museum, during the SXAP, site boundaries and, thus, site size, were determined at the point
where surface artifact density fell below 0.1 artifacts per square meter (i.e., 10 artifacts/10 m2 ). In
order to discuss change in intensity of occupation through time, it is necessary to consider changes in
site size. During the SXAP, site size was determined by the distribution of surface features and
surface artifacts. However, the SXAP prehistoric sites are unique in that the majority are "large."
The average site size is 92,000 m2 ; the size range is from 2,700 m2 (AZ BB:13:183) to 762,000 m2
(AZ BB:13:126A-T). Other large prehistoric sites recorded by the SXAP include AZ BB:13:16B-D,J
(423,000 m2 ), AZ AA:16:131 (263,000 m 2), and AZ BB:13:202 (171,000 m 2). Site size was taken
178
into account in this study and was correlated with the intensity classifications, which resulted in the
following site size groupings:
Low = 88,000m 2
Moderate = 151,000 m 2
High = 161,000m 2
The terms "low, moderate, and high" refer to the intensity classifications, and the site size figures
represent an average size for that level of intensity. Although a defmite size difference is apparent
between small and medium sites, the difference between medium and large sites is negligible.
Therefore, other factors were considered to further distinguish medium sites from large sites,
consisting of features (e.g., presence of public architecture such as compounds, mounds) and artifact
variety (e.g., presence of items such as turquoise, obsidian, carved stone bowls, palettes, worked
shell). These data are summarized in a tabular format in Appendix C. Not surprisingly, a review of
the site data base indicated that the largest sites tended to have more public architecture features and
greater artifact variety. These differences were taken into account during the settlement pattern
analysis of the SXAP sites.
As discussed earlier, the intensity of occupation index was used to classify sites in the SXAP
area by their relative population size through time, as suggested by the survey ceramic collections.
This approach did not attempt to discern short-lived, "intense" occupations at particular sites, because
the data base is insufficient for such a task. The intensity of occupation index merely provides a
direction for discussing changing settlement patterns through time and over space. Observations
made during the field survey and analyses of other artifact classes support the probable existence of a
changing pattern of site distributions in the SXAP area.
A site classification system comparable to that used in the preceding chapter is followed in
this chapter. Therefore, all sites classified as exhibiting a high intensity of occupation are considered
to be Class I sites or large villages, moderate intensity sites are Class II sites or small villages, and
179
low intensity sites are Class III sites or limited activity areas. In order to be consistent with
definitions used in the preceding chapter, Class I sites represent large villages that may have been
occupied from several decades to several centuries. Class II sites are small villages that can represent
an early occupation of a village that later grew to Class I status, a declining village that formerly was
a Class I site, or a daughter or support village that was associated with a larger, more complex
village. Class III sites represent activity areas that were not occupied on a year-round basis, but
rather, seasonally or intermittently. Because the classification system used in this chapter is based on
ceramic frequencies as indicators of population size, and not site size, no distinction is made between
the large and small Class III and IV limited activity sites as was done in Chapter 5. The terminology
used in this chapter also is comparable to that used by Doelle and Wallace (1986), who define high
intensity sites as primary villages, moderate intensity sites as hamlets, and low intensity sites as
seasonal settlements.
Prehistoric Settlement in the SXAP Area
The distribution of prehistoric sites and a reconstruction of settlement patterns and
population movement through time in the SXAP area are discussed in the following sections. The
chronology of the periods, phases, and subphases is based on Figure 11 (see Chapter 3). Because
substantive information for the existence of Tortolita phase occupations in the SXAP area is lacking
(i.e., the phase had not been recognized at that time the project was conducted), the Pioneer period is
discussed as a whole, spanning 400 to 500 years from A.D. 200 or 300 to 700.
As was done in the preceding chapter, site locations on the remainder of the maps in this
chapter are indicated by dots that reflect the approximate centers of the sites. Because actual
boundaries are not shown on the site distribution and settlement pattern maps, gaps are apparent
between sites where they do not occur on the present ground surface. In fact, most of the large
habitation sites within the river edge zone of the SXAP area are almost contiguous.
180
Pioneer Period (A.D. 200/300 to 700)
Pioneer period occupation in the SXAP area occurred late in the cultural sequence, according
to the ceramics recovered during the survey. Although a possibly earlier Pioneer period occupation
of AZ BB: 13:221 is indicated by the presence of a single sherd identified as either Sweetwater or
Snaketown Red-on-gray, the initial appearance of the Hohokam in the SXAP area was in the
Snaketovvn phase with representative ceramics from six sites present in the collections (Figure 30).
The small number of Pioneer period decorated ware ceramics (N=' 16) recovered from the six
sites precludes a meaningful site-by-site comparison of intensity of occupation. Therefore, the simple
distribution of sites illustrated in Figure 30 is the preferable method for depicting the pattern of
occupation within the SXAP area during this period. The spatial distribution shown in that figure
differs significantly from that presented in Doelle and Wallace (1986:Figure 5.1), although both maps
are based on the same raw data. Due to their inadvertent omission of two SXAP sites from which
Pioneer period ceramics were collected, Doelle and Wallace (1986:71) suggest that Pioneer period
sites were spaced at regular intervals along the Santa Cruz River. In actuality, the sites do not occur
at regular intervals (see Figure 30). At best, the sites are spaced at similar intervals only if four of
the sites are considered as two paired occupations. When the six sites are treated as single entities,
and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, the lack of regular spacing is evident.
Several observations may be made of the Pioneer period site distribution in the SXAP area.
First, although not equally spaced, Pioneer period sites are distributed along the prehistoric course of
the Santa Cruz River from the northern to the southern boundaries of the project area. Second, all six
sites are located in the lower bajada-river edge zone west of the river. These two factors suggest that
the six known Pioneer period sites may have been located in close association with springs or in areas
where, prehistorically, the Santa Cruz River was a perennial stream. This interpretation, of course,
assumes that the initial Hohokam occupation of the area occurred in the vicinity of the most readily
181
Contour Interval 20 feet (Black Mountain
0
2 km
Figure 30. Distribution of Pioneer period sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 200/300 to 700 (from
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.2).
182
available sources of water and good agricultural land, such as are present on the floodplain of the
river.
Although the ceramic samples are small, it is tentatively suggested that AZ BB: 13:202 and
AZ BB:13:16F had reached village status during the Pioneer period. Of the 16 Snaketown Red-on-
brown ceramics in the site collections, 6 (37.5%) are from AZ BB:13:202 and 4 (25.0%) are from
AZ BB:13:16F. Other artifacts recovered from these sites (e.g., other ceramics, shell bracelet
fragments, ground stone items) support the tentative classification of these two sites as villages during
the Pioneer period. In regard to the identification of these Pioneer period ceramics as "Snaketown
Red-on-brown," their paste is indistinguishable from the subsequent brown ware ceramics of the
Colonial period and does not match that of Salt-Gila Basin buff ware. Therefore, the ceramics are not
classified as Snaketown Red-on-buff, but rather, Snaketown Red-on-brown (see Deaver 1989;
Wallace and Slawson 1987:3).
As was discussed in the section on data limitations, due to their age, Pioneer period sites are
very susceptible to the detrimental effects of erosion and deposition, as are their ceramics to natural
and cultural destructive processes. It is very possible that the six known Pioneer period sites
represent only a sample of the actual Pioneer period occupation in the SXAP area. Nevertheless,
until additional work (i.e., subsurface excavation) is permitted in the lower bajada-river edge zone,
the presently determinable site distribution for the Pioneer period in the SXAP area must suffice.
Colonial Period (A.D. 700 to 950)
The distribution of sites established in the Pioneer period in the SXAP area underwent
expansion during the Colonial period. Although the Caiiada del Oro phase ceramic sample and
number of sites remain small (Figure 31), both almost doubled in size over that of the Pioneer period,
whereas the number of sites significantly increased during the Rillito phase (Figure 32). However,
183
—\\
Contour interval
20 feet (Block Mountain 40 feet)
o
2 km
Figure 31. Distribution of Caiiada del Oro phase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 700 to 850 (from
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.3).
184
Mountain
It
o
2 km
Figure 32. Distribution of Rillito phase sites in the SXAP area, AM. 850 to 950 (from Slawson
1987d:Figure A7.4).
185
temporal differences in the lengths of the Pioneer period and Colonial period phases must be
recognized.
Catiada del Oro Phase (A.D. 700 to 850)
As with the Pioneer period ceramics, the Canada del Oro ceramic sample is too small to
allow a meaningful classification of site intensity of occupation. However, as can be seen in
Figure 31, which depicts site distributions during this phase based solely on presence-absence data, an
expansion of settlement is suggested in the central portion of the SXAP area with a 50 percent
increase in the number of sites over the preceding phase (i.e., from six to nine). In addition, one site,
AZ AA:16:11A-B, became spatially multicomponent, which yields a total of 10 settlements. The
increase in the number of known sites is more notable when the durations of the Pioneer period and
Canada del Oro phase are compared. Whereas the Pioneer period lasted for about 400 to 500 years,
the Canada del Oro phase lasted only 150 years. Furthermore, as was indicated for the Pioneer
period data, the 10 settlements may represent only a portion of the true distribution during the Canada
del Oro phase due to the effects of natural and cultural formation processes that may have buried or
destroyed sites.
Despite the small sample size of the Canada del Oro phase ceramics (N=30), several patterns
of settlement in the SXAP area can be suggested. First, although settlement in this phase continued
to be focused in the lower bajada-river edge zone, expansion into other environmental zones is first
evident during this early phase of the Colonial period. The presence of a Canada del Oro Red-onbrown vessel at AZ BB:13:126L, located in the floodplain east of the Santa Cruz River, is the first
indication of Hohokam occupation or utilization of this area. This does not, however, preclude that
use of this area did not occur prior to this time. In addition, an expansion toward, but not yet into,
the lower bajada-nonriverine zone is evidenced by AZ BB: 13:183 (see Figure 31). Second, the
presence of multiple components at AZ AA:16:11A-B (which develop in the Canada del Oro phase)
suggests that areal growth of the SXAP sites occurred during this phase, although the ceramic
186
assemblage from the nine sites cannot confirm such a phenomenon. Third, the establishment and
development of two possible village sites in the Pioneer period (AZ BB:13:16F and AZ BB: 13:202)
is supported by the Canada del Oro ceramic data base. Both sites contain the major portion of the
Canada del Oro ceramics from the SXAP area. Eight (26.7%) of the 30 vessels dating to this phase
were recovered from AZ BB: 13:202. Ceramic collections made at AZ BB: 13:16E contained the
remains of six vessels (20.0%). The possible emergence of a third small village is suggested by the
four Canada del Oro Red-on-brown vessels from AZ BB: 13:215A (initially occupied in the Pioneer
period and located immediately south of AZ BB:13:16F), which constitute 13.3 percent of the total
Canada del Oro ceramic assemblage from the SXAP sites.
Therefore, even though the Canada del Oro phase ceramic data base is small, an emerging
pattern of site location and growth may be suggested. Regardless, as with the Pioneer period sites,
the validity of any settlement pattern discussed for this phase must remain to be confirmed or negated
until such time that new data from excavations become available.
Rillito Phase (A.D. 850 to 950)
The latter part of the Colonial period was an apparent time of settlement expansion and
growth in the SXAP area. A comparison of site distributions for the Rillito phase (Figure 32) with
that of the preceding Canada del Oro phase (Figure 31) suggests that significant population growth
may have occurred in the latter half of the Colonial period. However, the combined effects of
cultural and natural formation processes, with respect to both the older occupations and their
ceramics, may be misleading. Nevertheless, the number of settlements during the Rillito phase
(N=31) is more than three times that known for the Canada del Oro phase (N=10). An increase of
this magnitude must be indicative of some degree of population expansion during the Rillito phase.
The increase in the number of sites is particularly significant considering that the Rillito phase was
about 50 years shorter in duration than the Canada del Oro phase (i.e., 100 years compared to 150
years). The Rillito phase also marks the first apparent occupation of nonriverine zones on the lower
187
and upper bajadas by the Hohokam, suggesting perhaps that population or settlement pressure at this
time created a need to expand the resource base. Support for this hypothesis is provided by the
presence of floodwater farming and water control features at AZ AA: 16:17 at the base of Black
Mountain, the construction of which was begun during this phase. Another possible explanation for
the expansion of settlement in the SXAP area and the appearance of the agricultural features at Black
Mountain is that the climatic conditions at that time were conducive for these phenomena.
As can be seen in Figure 33, the Rillito phase ceramic sample is of sufficient size to permit
intensity of occupation classifications, from which a number of observations may be made. The
initial observation is that AZ BB: 13:202 (Ortonville), a Class I site, was the major village in the
SXAP area during this phase, continuing the apparent pattern suggested for the Pioneer period and
Cafiada del Oro phase. This is supported by the ceramic data, in that the site collections from
AZ BB:13:202 contain three times as many Rillito phase ceramics as that of the next largest site
collection, from AZ BB: 13:192. As discussed earlier, there may be some justifiable concern as to the
effect of site erosion on the ceramic sample size from AZ BB: 13:202. However, erosional impacts
most likely are not responsible for the predominance of this site in the Rillito phase ceramic record.
In later times, similarly high proportions of ceramics cannot be documented for AZ BB:13:202, even
though the site was occupied continuously throughout the Sedentary and Classic periods. It is strictly
a Rillito phase phenomenon. Overall, 31.3 percent of all Rillito phase ceramics from sites in the
SXAP area are from this site. In addition, an examination of Rillito phase intrusive ware ceramics
from the SXAP sites indicates that 38.9 percent were collected at AZ BB:13:202. When these data
are combined with other evidence relevant to the possibly pivotal role AZ BB:13:202 played in the
regional trade network (Slawson 1987b, 1987c, 1987d), it can be suggested that this site was a major
area of occupation during the Rillito phase. The wide variety of artifacts, large percentage of
intrusive ceramics, and high intensity of occupation support this conclusion. The presence of several
smaller habitation sites, perhaps outliers to the main settlement of AZ BB: 13:202 (see Figure 32) also
188
Contour interval
Figure 33.
20 feet (Block Mountain 40 feet)
O
LOW
•
MODERATE
•
HIGH
Rillito phase settlement pattern,
0
A.D.
2 km
850 to 950 (from Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.11).
189
may document this site as a Class I village during the Rillito phase. However, insufficient ceramic
data from all but one of the adjacent sites precludes their classification as to intensity of occupation.
A second observation is that six sites fall within the category of moderate intensity of
occupation and are classified as Class II sites, or small villages. One site, AZ BB: 13:198, is an
apparent outlier (i.e., daughter or support village) to AZ BB:13:202 and probably was closely
associated with that site. The two sites are located less than 0.5 km apart, based on a break in the
distribution of surface artifacts and features. The other five sites are located in the extreme northern
and southern portions of the SXAP area along the Santa Cruz River. Although numerous lower
intensity sites occur in an almost continuous band of settlement along the river, including five Class
III sites, equidistant spacing in the locations of Class I and II sites is indicated. That is, the average
distance between the six Class II sites is 1.4 km, whereas the Class I site is located 4.0 km from the
northernmost Class II site and 3.8 km from the southernmost Class II site.
Third, there are markedly fewer sites in the lower bajada-river edge zone in the southern half
of the SXAP area between AZ BB:13:202 and AZ BB:13:192. Only three small Rillito phase sites
are located between these two villages, all in the floodplain zone east of the river (see Figures 31 and
32). The more easterly locations of these sites suggest either that the course of the Santa Cruz River
was more to the east in that area at that time or that another dependable water source, such as a
spring, may have existed in the area that was capable of supporting a small sedentary population.
Sedentary Period (A.D. 950 to 1150)
The ceramic record for the Sedentary period demonstrates a continuation of the settlement
pattern that was established in the preceding Rillito phase. Settlement expansion and population
growth were continuing phenomena in the SXAP area during this period, with the probable peak of
expansion (but not necessarily population growth) occurring in the Middle Rincon subphase. The
distribution of SXAP sites during the Early, Middle, and Late Rincon subphases of the Sedentary
190
period can be seen in Figures 33 through 35. In comparison with the Rillito phase, which is
estimated at 100 years in duration, the Rincon phase was twice as long, or 200 years. However, the
Rincon subphases represent shorter periods of time, of which one, Middle Riiacon, is equivalent in
length to the preceding Rillito phase. In contrast, the Early Rincon and Late Rincon subphases were
half as long, lasting for approximately 50 years each.
Early Rincon Subphase (A.D. 950 to 1000)
The pattern of site expansion into a variety of environmental zones that began in the Rillito
phase continued in this subphase. Early Rincon subphase sites extend throughout the riverine and
bajada zones (see Figure 34). The only zone not yet occupied by the Hohokam at this time was that
of mountain tops and slopes, although AZ AA: 16:168 on Black Mountain is almost within that zone.
As with the preceding Rillito phase, Early Rincon subphase sites occur in an almost continuous band
along the prehistoric course of the Santa Cruz River from the northern boundary of the SXAP area to
the southern. The most striking contrast between Rillito and Early Rincon site distributions is the
general paucity of Early Rincon subphase sites in the floodplain, in conjunction with a greater focus
of occupation within the lower bajada-river edge zone at the extreme southern limits of the SXAP
area.
The inherent difficulty in separating Early Rincon subphase ceramics from those of the
preceding Rillito phase and the later Rincon subphases is a complicating factor in discerning Early
Rincon sites. This problem is reflected when the number of sites with Early Rincon ceramics
(N=25), is compared to the number of sites with Rillito phase ceramics (N=31). This decrease in
the numbers of sites suggests a decline in population, which is not likely at this point in the Hohokam
sequence; that is, an increase in the number of sites is the more likely expectation during the early
Sedentary period. The unequal spans of the Rillito phase, 100 years, and the Early Rincon subphase,
50 years, provide an additional complication when attempting to compare site distributions and
settlement pattern changes between the two.
191
it
2 km
Figure 34. Distribution of Early Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 950 to 1000 (from
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.5).
192
it
0
'2 km
Figure 35. Distribution of Middle Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 1000 to 1100
(from Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.6).
193
Contour intervol 20 feet (Block Mountain 40 feet)
2 km
Figure 36. Distribution of Late Rincon subphase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 1100 to 1150 (from
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.7).
194
Although the identification problem may be the reason for the lack of identifiable
occupations during this subphase in the floodplain zone, it is not a factor in the observable increase in
occupation south of AZ BB: 13:221. The lack of Early Rincon sites in the northern floodplain zone is
particularly noticeable when the loci of AZ BB:13:126A-T are examined for the Rillito phase through
the Middle Rincon subphase (see Figures 31, 33-34). The distribution of AZ BB:13:126A-T
settlements in the Rillito phase is almost identical to their distribution during the Middle Rincon
subphase. This suggests that the lack of settlement in the floodplain during the Early Rincon
subphase is not an accurate representation of settlement patterns at that time, not only in the northern
zone, but perhaps throughout the SXAP area. On the other hand, the increase in settlement at the
southern limits of the SXAP area may have been a response to the increased amount of available land
for farming that had been produced by alluvial deposition. Conditions still would have been suitable
for agriculture in the that area during the Early Rincon subphase, which was before entrenchment of
the San Xavier Reach began. The six small habitation sites south of AZ BB: 13:221, which was a
large village, may represent settlement expansion toward suitable agricultural land and dependable
sources of water (see Figure 34).
A discussion of intensity of site occupation during the Early Rincon subphase (Figure 37)
must be tempered by the realization that, because of the identification difficulties, Early Rincon Redon-brown ceramics probably are underrepresented in the site collections. Even so, an intensity
pattern similar to that observed for the Rillito phase is indicated for the Early Rincon subphase. For
example, the dominance of AZ BB: 13:202 and two settlements within the Punta de Agua Site
(AZ BB:13:16AA-J) continued, although a decrease in intensity is apparent for AZ BB: 13:202. To
test the effect that the identification problem has on the intensity of occupation classifications for the
Early Rincon subphase, the ceramic data from the Early Rincon sites were arbitrarily doubled and
plotted on a map of the SXAP area (Figure 38). This resulted in a graphic representation of site
intensity of occupation that is almost identical to that obtained for the preceding Rillito phase, which
195
Contour interval 20 feet (Block Mountain , 40 feet )
CI LOW
•
•
MODERATE
HIGH
0
'2
km
Figure 37. Early Rincon subphase settlement pattern, A.D. 950 to 1000 (from Slawson
1987d:Figure A7.12).
196
Contour interval
20 feet (Block Mountain 40 feet)
0 Low
C MODERATE
HIGH
o
Figure 38. Hypothesized Early Rincon subphase settlement pattern,
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.13).
2 km
A.D.
950 to 1000 (from
197
suggests that Early Rincon subphase ceramics and settlements may be substantially underrepresented
in the overall ceramic record and area settlement pattern. The reasoning behind this conclusion is that
there is no evidence for abandonment of the SXAP area during the Rincon phase; in fact, population
growth and settlement expansion are indicated. Therefore, the distributions of Class I, II, and III
sites during the Early Rincon subphase should be similar in extent and density to that documented for
the Rillito phase and Middle Rincon subphase. The unaltered data depicted in Figure 37 shows a
reduction in the numbers and distribution of Early Rincon sites, which is contradictory to the overall
pattern of settlement in the SXAP area through time.
The hypothesized pattern illustrated in Figure 38 depicts AZ BB:13:202 as having continued
to be a Class I site, or large village, in Early Rincon times. In addition, the settlement pattern shown
in Figure 38 suggests the presence of six Class II sites, or small villages, that are distributed in three
areas along the prehistoric course of the Santa Cruz River. The two Class II sites in the center of the
distribution are associated with AZ BB:13:202, which is located almost equidistant from the northern
and southern boundaries of the SXAP area. When measurements are taken from the closest site in
each group, the northern group of Class II sites is 2.7 km north of AZ BB: 13:202; the southern,
3.1 km south. Five Class III sites also may be seen in an almost continuous band of settlement from
the northern to the southern SXAP boundaries. Although this is, of course, a preliminary
interpretation of the data, which must be tested by subsurface examination, it is believed to more
accurately represent the intensity of occupation in the SXAP area during the Early Rincon subphase
than the pattern presented in Figure 37.
An interesting facet of the settlement pattern maps for the Rillito phase and Early Rincon
subphase is the failure to document the status of AZ BB: 13:221, which contains a large ballcourt.
Although other data, including the presence of public architecture, size of the site, and other artifact
types associated with the site, clearly indicate that AZ BB:13:221, which is known as the Ballcourt
Site, was a large village (i.e., Class I site), the ceramic frequencies do not. This discrepancy is why
198
the settlement pattern maps in this chapter should be viewed as depictions of the suggested prehistoric
pattern of settlement in the SXAP area, and not as documentations of definite patterns.
Middle Rincon Subphase (A.D. 1000 to 1100)
The pattern of site occupation in the Middle Rincon subphase exhibits the widest dispersion
of settlements in the SXAP area at any time during the Hohokam period. In all, Middle Rincon Redon-brown ceramics were recovered from 43 sites. As shown in Figure 35, the dispersed settlement
pattern of this subphase reflects an increased use of the floodplain and lower bajada-nonriverine
zones. The increased use of the floodplain during the Middle Rincon subphase may have been due
partly to an expansion in the effective farming area as a result of alluvial deposition. In contrast, the
shift in settlement focus toward the lower bajada-nonriverine zone may have been the combined result
of increased population pressure and increased precipitation (see Figure 8, Chapter 2) that required,
and permitted, a greater reliance on the resources available in that area. A higher precipitation rate
would have enabled the expansion of runoff farming fields not only on the lower bajada, but also on
the upper bajada in the mountains tops and slopes zone. The incremental occupation of the floodplain
zone, on the other hand, may have been related to the westerly shift in the course of the Santa Cruz
River that occurred in Middle Rincon times, along with the attendant development of a sand dune
area in the northern floodplain (Betancourt 1985; Haynes and Huckell 1984).
The most significant change in the SXAP area settlement pattern in the Middle Rincon
subphase is not evident in the presence-absence site distribution map depicted in Figure 35. That map
indicates a continuous band of occupation along the prehistoric course of the Santa Cruz River.
However, when the intensity of occupation classifications were determined for the Middle Rincon
subphase sites, a very different picture was obtained (Figure 39). A change in intensity is apparent
for this subphase with the focus of occupation shifted to the northern half of the SXAP area within the
lower bajada-river edge zone. In contrast, the southern half appears to have been virtually abandoned
by this time with only one low intensity occupation (Class III site) present. The ceramic collections
199
20 feet (Black
0 LOW
C MODERATE
• HIGH
Contour interval
o
2 km
Figure 39. Middle Rincon subphase settlement pattern, A.D. 1000 to 1100 (from Slawson
1987d:Figure A7.14).
200
from AZ BB: 13:202, a former Class I site, denote a significant decrease in the intensity of
occupation, which results in the reclassification of this site from that of a large village to that of a
seasonally or intermittently occupied site. At the same time, AZ BB:13:16AA-J, the Punta de Agua
Site, appears to have become a dominant site--in terms of probable population and site size. One
locus of that site, AZ BB:13:16B-D,J, increased to a high intensity of occupation (i.e., Class I site)
during the Middle Rincon subphase, and is classified as a large village.
The presence of one Class I, five Class II, and six Class III sites within a 4-kilometer-long
span in the northern section of the lower bajada-river edge zone (i.e., between AZ BB:13:16A and
AZ BB: 13:202) is a strong indication that a northward shift occurred in the focus of occupation
during the Middle Rincon subphase. Including AZ BB:13:202, 15 Middle Rincon sites are located in
the lower bajada-river edge zone in the northern half of the SXAP area. In contrast, only seven
Middle Rincon sites are located south of AZ BB:13:202 in the 4-kilometer-long southern half of the
lower bajada-river edge zone. In this southern area, there are no Class I or II sites, and only one
Class III site, AZ BB: 13:221 the former large ballcourt village site, is present.
The northward movement in settlement coincided with significant environmental changes that
probably began at that time. These changes included the formation of discontinuous arroyos and
entrenchment of the San Xavier Reach in the southern portion of the SXAP area, which would have
resulted in the isolation of irrigation canals or diversion ditches from their source of water
(Betancourt 1987:29). The changes would have necessitated the abandonment of the southern
agricultural fields due to nonproductivity resulting from a lack of readily accessible and dependable
sources of water. At the same time, water in the northern SXAP area may have been more readily
available due to the appearance of two springs toward the end of the Middle Rincon subphase
that would have been capable of supporting larger populations and intensive agricultural activities.
As discussed in Chapter 2, early historic accounts of the area recorded the presence of two perennially
flowing springs that became known in the mid-1800s as the Punta de Agua and Agua de la Misi6n
201
(see Figure 10, Chapter 2).
The springs, and the cienegas that formed around them, resulted from the
headcutting activity of discontinuous arroyos into the water table, which had been forced near the
surface by a subterranean basaltic dike. As is shown in Figure 8 (see Chapter 2), the formation of the
discontinuous arroyos began during the middle Sedentary period, perhaps partly as result of efforts by
the Hohokam to construct intercept ditches or artificial headcuts for irrigation purposes (Betancourt
1987:29). The formation of the arroyos and the incipient entrenchment of the San Xavier Reach also
could have been partially triggered by increased precipitation.
Therefore, it may be hypothesized that the increased use of the lower bajada-nonriverine and
floodplain zones, along with the northward shift in occupation intensity indicated by the SXAP
ceramic collections, were reactions to environmental changes during the Middle Rincon subphase.
However, excavation-level data are needed to determine if the shift in site intensity of occupation was
as rapid and dramatic as the survey ceramic collections seem to indicate.
Late Rincon Subphase (A.D. 1100 to 1150)
An examination of the Late Rincon subphase site distribution that is based solely on
presence-absence data (Figure 36), indicates a situation much more similar to that of the Rillito phase
than the preceding Middle Rincon subphase, despite the differences in the duration of each. Although
the Rillito phase and the Middle Rincon subphase each lasted about 100 years, the Late Rincon
subphase was only half as long, lasting approximately 50 years.
During the Late Rincon subphase, the number of sites decreased to 37 in the SXAP area and
settlement no longer was widespread throughout the lower bajada-nonriverine zone. Rather, the focus
of occupation was within the lower bajada-river edge and floodplain zones, the latter of which
experienced the most intense occupation to date in the temporal sequence. Although not quantifiable
at this time, the movement away from the nonriverine area suggests that perhaps changing climatic
factors, such as decreasing precipitation rates and increasing summer temperatures, were responsible.
A lower moisture content of the soil due to decreased rainfall, in combination with higher summer
202
temperatures, would have made runoff farming in the nonriverine areas a less dependable venture than
in the middle Sedentary period (see Figure 11, Chapter 2). Therefore, it is likely that the emphasis,
once again, would have been on floodwater farming in the lower bajada-river edge and floodplain
zones, in conjunction with a decreased dependence on the resources of the nonriverine, lower bajada
area.
The northward shift in occupation first observed for the Middle Rincon subphase appears to
have continued and even extended further to the northeast during Late Rincon times (see Figure 40),
although one site (AZ BB: 13:193) may have deviated from this pattern, as indicated by its
classification as a high intensity occupation (Class I site or large village). However, when the
southern half of the SXAP area (i.e., south of AZ BB:13:202) is considered separately, the high
intensity of occupation indicated for AZ BB: 13:193 is not anomalous. In other words, as shown in
Table 9, a localized northward shift is apparent over time along the Santa Cruz River within a 1.6kilometer-long span between AZ BB:13:193 and AZ BB:13:221. The possibility that an unknown
water source existed at the northern end of this area, such as a spring or a yet unentrenched segment
of the river, may have been a factor in this localized northward shift in major habitation site locations
and intensity of occupation through time. The shifting settlement pattern exhibited by these four sites
may have been the result of a continual slow movement of a group of people as agricultural land,
canal or water diversion systems, and water sources were no longer available or usable. Future
studies might reveal that these four sites actually were one settlement and not four discontinuous
occupations.
In the northern part of the SXAP area, a decrease in population is tentatively suggested by
the loss of two Middle Rincon Class II sites. In addition, a 21 percent decrease in the number of
settlements occurred throughout the SXAP area during the Late Rincon subphase, although this may
be reflecting the shorter duration of the Late Rincon subphase in comparison with that of Middle
Rincon. It is more likely, however, that incipient consolidation of population, or settlement
203
Contour interval
0
C
•
20 feet (Block
LOW
MODERATE
o
HIGH
Figure 40. Late Rincon subphase settlement pattern,
1987d:Figure A7.15).
A.D.
1100
2 km
to 1150 (from Slawson
204
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205
aggregation, took place in the north during the late Sedentary period, particularly in the vicinity of
the Punta de Agua and Agua de la Misi6n springs and associated cienegas. This latter situation is
suggested by the development of AZ BB:13:16A and AZ BB:13:126A into Class II villages, and by
the proliferation of small sites throughout the northern floodplain zone. Twelve Late Rincon sites are
recorded in the floodplain zone, including one Class II site and two Class III sites.
Settlement in the northern half of the SXAP area in the lower bajada-river edge and
floodplain zones once again may be compared to that of the southern half, using AZ BB:13:202 as the
dividing point and including that site in the northern half. Twenty-three sites are present in the
northern half, of which one is classified as Class I, three as Class II, and five as Class III. In
contrast, there are seven sites in the southern half; only one Class I site and two Class III sites are
documented.
The actual degree of intensity of occupation during the Late Rincon subphase in the northern
portion of the floodplain zone west of the Santa Cruz River may have been considerably greater than
the ceramic collections indicate. The massive amount of deposition that has occurred in recent years
as the result of overbank flooding and sedimentation very likely has buried even late prehistoric sites,
and it will be necessary to conduct additional research in this area (i.e., subsurface excavations)
before the floodplain settlement pattern may be fully understood.
Classic Period (A.D. 1150 to 1450)
Reaction to changing and increasingly adverse environmental conditions is suggested by the
Classic period settlement pattern. The northward shift first evidenced in the Middle Rincon subphase
culminated in the Tanque Verde phase (Figure 41) with the development of two major areas of
occupation in the SXAP area, one at the location of the Punta de Agua Spring, and the other at the
Agua de la Misi6n Spring. This trend of population aggregation continued into the Tucson phase
(Figure 42).
206
16AA
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I 26191 167
182
188
184
133
•
•
128
169
8 • •
202
187
1855*
93
•
Contour interval 20 feet
(Black Mt and Cottonwood Ranch 40 feet
o
2 km
Figure 41. Distribution of Tanque Verde phase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 1150 to 1300 (from
Slawson 1987d:Figure A7.8).
207
Contour interval i 20 feet (Black Mountain 40 feet)
0
2 km
Figure 42. Distribution of Tucson phase sites in the SXAP area, A.D. 1300 to 1450 (from Slawson
1987d:Figure A7.9).
208
Tan que Verde Phase (A.D. 1150 to 1300)
Once again, a greater focus of occupation is apparent in the lower bajada-nonriverine zone
along with the initial Hohokam occupation of the mountain tops and slopes zone, including a
trincheras sites, AZ AA: 16:12, on the summit of Black Mountain (Figure 43). At the same time, the
floodplain zone had the most intense occupation within the prehistoric cultural sequence to date.
However, it should be noted that the Tanque Verde phase was three times as long as the preceding
Late Rincon subphase, although the number of sites (N=56) increased by only 50 percent over that
documented for the late Sedentary period. This factor alone must be responsible for some of the
differences that are apparent in site distributions and settlement patterns between the late Sedentary
period and the early Classic Period. Nevertheless, as can be seen in Figure 41, the northward shift in
settlement is clearly evident, even in the site distribution map.
By the Tanque Verde phase, entrenchment of the Santa Cruz River in the southern SXAP
area may have been extensive, although probably discontinuous, which would have rendered it almost
unusable for irrigation purposes owing to the excessive grade required to raise the water from the
river to the fields (Betancourt 1987:29). The loss of the river as a source of irrigation water would
have required an adaptation in agricultural techniques. Such an adaptation very likely could have
been the instigation of, or increase in, the utilization of floodwater farming on the lower bajada and
the development of agricultural terraces for floodwater runoff farming on the slopes of Black
Mountain. Thus, the appearance of the Black Mountain Trincheras Site (AZ AA: 16:12) during the
Tanque Verde phase may have been a response to an intensification of agricultural activity in that
area, rather than a defensive response to external or internal conflicts. This interpretation is
supported by a recently published overview study of cerros de trincheras sites (Downum et al. 1994)
that concluded that these sites were not used primarily for defensive refuges. Rather, trincheras sites,
which were constructed and used predominantly during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
209
Contour interval
20 feet (Black
O
LOW
•
MODERATE
•
HIGH
Figure 43. Tanque Verde phase settlement pattern,
A7.16).
0
A.D.
2 km
1150 to 1300 (from Slawson 1987d:Figure
210
(i.e., A.D. 1100 to 1300), probably served a variety of uses, including agricultural, habitation, and
ceremonial (Downum et al. 1994:275, 292).
Two factors, which relate to the change in environmental conditions that occurred after the
Middle Rincon subphase, appear to have been responsible for the extensive occupation throughout the
central to northern floodplain zone east of the Santa Cruz River. As mentioned earlier, the first factor
was the existence of perennial water sources (Punta de Agua and Agua de la Misi6n springs) and
quality land for farming at the associated cienegas. The second factor was the probable expansion
into areas that previously were unavailable for habitation or agricultural purposes. Prior to the
middle of the Sedentary period, the eastern floodplain zone within the SXAP area very likely was
significantly smaller due to the location of the Santa Cruz River. At that time, the river not only
began to shift its course to the west (Haynes and Huckell 1984), but also discontinuous entrenchment
of the river would have required the abandonment of many agricultural fields in the southern SXAP
area. The probably rapid formation of the sand dunes in the eastern floodplain zone, the source of
which may have been the silt and sand from the abandoned fields or the fan delta of a discontinuous
arroyo, would have resulted in a new area for population expansion. The increasing entrenchment of
the river would have decreased or even eliminated overbank flooding, and would have made the area
suitable for settlement (Betancourt 1985).
As can be seen in Figure 43, the greatest intensity of occupation during the Tanque Verde
phase occurred in the extreme northern and northeastern portions of the SXAP area. The emphasis on
the northeastern floodplain zone in the SXAP area that is suggested by the presence-absence map
(Figure 41) is substantiated by the settlement pattern map (Figure 43). The southern portion of the
area had been all but abandoned by this time, with the only settlements left being lower in intensity of
occupation. From AZ BB: 13:202 north, there are 36 Tanque Verde phase sites recorded in the lower
bajada-river edge and floodplain zones (including AZ BB: 13:202). Of these, two are large villages
(Class I sites), six are small villages (Class II sites), and eight are seasonally or intermittently
211
occupied limited settlements (Class III sites). In contrast, there are eight sites in the southern half of
the SXAP area; none are Class I or II sites and only one is a Class III site. The emphasis on
settlement in the floodplain zone during the Tanque Verde phase can be demonstrated by the fact that
20 of the 36 sites in the northern half of the SXAP area are located in the floodplain zone, which
represents 55.5 percent of the northern sites. The floodplain sites comprise one Class I site, four
Class II sites, and five Class III sites, or 62.5 percent of the high, moderate, and low occupations in
the northern area during the Tanque Verde phase.
Sites AZ BB:13:196 and AZ BB:13:126A-T, located in the floodplain zone, represent the
main focus of occupation during this phase. These two sites probably were a continuous settlement
before being separated by the major change in the river's course that resulted from the construction of
an artificial channel in 1915 (Betancourt 1987:23). Overbank flooding in recent years has buried a
large area between these two sites and AZ BB:13:16AA-J, which has obscured site distributions.
Other unknown Class I and II sites may be located in the intervening area between AZ BB:13:16AA-J
and AZ BB: 13:196. It also is possible that this area may have been the location of the major
agricultural fields during the Tanque Verde phase.
The other principal area of intensive occupation extended northward from the vicinity of the
Punta de Agua Spring, and includes sites AZ BB:13:16AA-J and AZ AA:16:11A-B. Furthermore,
by the Tanque Verde phase, there probably was an almost continuous zone of intense occupation
northward from AZ AA:16:11A-B to the vicinity of the present village of Bac, which means "The
Place Near the Well" (Bolton 1984:268). This zone of occupation may represent the northern extent
of the prehistoric population shift in this part of the Tucson Basin. However, because the northern
survey limits of the SXAP along the prehistoric course of the Santa Cruz River ended approximately
2 km south of Bac (see Figure 28), the Tanque Verde phase settlement pattern of the SXAP sites
represents only a portion of the regional site distribution of that time.
212
Tucson Phase
As with the Pioneer period and Canada del Oro phase, the Tucson phase ceramic sample is
so small that it precludes a depiction of suggested site intensity of occupation. Therefore, the
discussion of the settlement pattern of this phase is based on the presence-absence illustration shown
in Figure 42. The determination of the Tucson phase settlement pattern in the SXAP area must be
qualified by the fact that this phase is largely defined by the presence of several polychrome ceramic
types that rarely occur in large numbers, even in excavated sites. A further complicating factor is the
northward and eastward movement in settlement exhibited in the earlier phases. If this trend
continued, and there is no reason to think otherwise, few Tucson phase settlements would be expected
to occur within the SXAP area.
Located in close proximity to the Punta de Agua Spring, AZ BB:13:16F apparently was the
largest Tucson phase settlement in the SXAP area. The ceramic assemblage from AZ BB:13:16F,
part of the Punta de Agua Site, contains 16 of the 25 Tucson phase sherds present in the SXAP site
collections. In addition, a well-defined walled compound is visible on the site. Although smaller in
size, four other settlements dating to the Tucson phase also are present within the SXAP area. All
four are located in the floodplain zone. One of the sites, AZ BB:13:200, is situated toward the south
in an area where a perennial water source may have existed prehistorically. The ceramic collections
from this site contain the second largest sample of Tucson phase ceramics of the five sites (four sherds
representing an equal number of vessels). The ceramic collections are insufficient by themselves to
classify the five Tucson phase sites according to the intensity of occupation index. However, the
additional use of site size, features, and artifact variety allows the identification of AZ BB:13:16F as
a Class I site or large village, and the other four sites as Class II sites or small villages.
Because of the relative rarity of Tucson phase ceramics, even in excavated contexts, it is
hypothesized that the distribution of sites shown in Figure 42 is not representative of the actual
occupation at that time. If ever conducted, it is believed that future work in the SXAP area would
213
provide evidence of additional Tucson phase settlements both to the north and east of AZ BB:13:16F.
Nevertheless, it is likely that a population decline occurred in the SXAP area by the Tucson phase
that corresponded with a northward and eastward exodus to the village of Bac and surrounding areas,
such as Martinez Hill Ruin (AZ BB: 13:3) and the Zanardelli Site (AZ BB: 13:12). For example,
survey and mapping fieldwork conducted by the author in 1984 documented the presence of an
extensive Tucson phase occupation (AZ AA: 16:7) approximately 1.5 km west of Mission San Xavier
del Bac in an area known historically as Statonik, or "Many Ants."
As a concluding note to this discussion of prehistoric settlement patterns and population
movements within the SXAP area, it is suggested that the Tucson phase settlement pattern, not only
within this area, but also north to Bac, probably differed little from observations recorded by Kino
and Manje in their journeys northward to Bac along the Santa Cruz River from Dolores, Mexico in
the 1690s (see Bolton 1984).
Settlement Pattern Change in the SXAP Area
To summarize the interpretations of the settlement patterns discussed in the preceding
section, ceramic data suggest that early Hohokam settlement in the SXAP area along the San Xavier
Reach of the Santa Cruz River was restricted to the lower bajada-river edge and floodplain zones in
the Pioneer and early Colonial periods (A.D. 200/300 to 850). By the Rillito phase of the late
Colonial period (A.D. 850 to 950), the number of settlements in the SXAP area dramatically increased
with Hohokam utilization of nonriverine zones apparently occurring for the first time. During the
Sedentary period (A.D. 950 to 1150), the greatest areal expansion occurred with a northward, and
later eastward, settlement trend and consolidation of activity apparent by the period's end. Finally, in
the Classic period (A. D. 1150 to 1450), the northward and eastward shifts in site location culminated
along with the apparent abandonment or, at least, depopulation, of most of the southern settlements.
The site distribution and settlement pattern data, as determined from the SXAP ceramic collections,
214
are presented in Table 10. The data in Table 10 also correlate with the site distribution and settlement
pattern maps provided in Figures 29 through 42.
It is suggested that environmental changes, in conjunction with cultural manipulation of the
environment (e.g., intercept ditches, artificial headcutting), were the primary catalysts for the shifts
in settlement patterns through time observed in the SXAP area. The interaction between culture and
environment has been a focal point of anthropological explanations of human behavioral patterning
and culture change for many years (Dean et al. 1985:537). Specific examples that were consulted
during the original preparation of the SXAP settlement pattern study (Slawson 1987d) included
Schwartz (1957), Coconino Plateau; Eddy (1974), upper San Juan River Basin; Eddy and Cooley
(1983), Cienega Valley; Ferg et al. (1984), southern Tucson Basin; and Dean et al. (1985), Colorado
Plateaus. As new data and studies appeared in the regional literature of the Tucson Basin, the
settlement pattern study of the SXAP area was updated and the study area was expanded to include a
greater portion of the southern Tucson Basin. The expansion of the study area was in response to the
realization that the SXAP area was an artificial construct, and it was believed that a wider view was
needed to more accurately assess Hohokam settlement pattern changes relevant to environmental
changes through time. The following discussion presents an overview of the updated study (Slawson
1988c) and compares the evolving settlement pattern response to environmental changes that was
hypothesized for the SXAP sites with research results that have been produced by other, more recent,
archaeological investigations conducted elsewhere throughout the Tucson Basin.
The SXAP settlement pattern study was developed primarily in response to research
conducted by Eddy and Cooley (1983) in the Cienega Valley, which was of interest due to the
valley's proximity to the San Xavier Reach. At the time that the SXAP settlement pattern study was
initiated in late 1984, there were no other comparable studies available for the Tucson Basin.
Although the Cienega Valley study is based on work conducted by Eddy in 1958 for his master's
thesis, the methods he used and the results he achieved are applicable to current studies of the effects
215
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216
that environmental changes may have had on Hohokam settlement patterns through time along the San
Xavier Reach in the SXAP area.
Following Eddy and Cooley (1983), a hypothetical reconstruction of climatic and
environmental conditions relevant to changing settlement patterns was developed for the SXAP area,
although it was necessarily limited to the late Colonial through Classic periods, owing to the
insufficient settlement pattern data that were available for the Pioneer and early Colonial periods.
This reconstruction was accomplished by using data obtained from SXAP research (specifically that
concerning environment, intrasite and intersite variability, and material culture analyses) and from
research conducted elsewhere in the Southwest (e.g., Ferg et al. 1984; Masse 1980; Wilcox et al.
1981). Evidence obtained from alluvial stratigraphy, radiocarbon dates, and decorated ware ceramic
distributions indicates that changes in environmental conditions and settlement patterns occurred in
the SXAP area comparable to those documented for the Cienega Valley. For example, extensive
erosion took place during the Sedentary and Classic periods, as seen in stratigraphie cross sections of
the Santa Cruz riverbank at the southern end of the SXAP area (Stafford 1987). Two radiocarbon
dates obtained from one of the profiled cross sections place the arroyo cutting episodes at 955 + 117
years B.P. and 725 + 87 years B.P. (Jull 1985). When calibrated, the first date encompasses the years
A.D.
988 to 1223, or the late Early Rincon subphase through Tanque Verde phase, and the second,
A.D.
1238 to 1308, or, essentially, the Tanque Verde phase (Stuiver and Reimer 1993). The
midpoint of the first date range (A.D. 1039) is within the Middle Rincon subphase, whereas the
midpoint of the second date range (A.D. 1287) is within the Tanque Verde phase. These dates
correspond temporally to similar climatic and environmental changes in the Cienega Valley. If
climatic conditions were comparable in similar environments throughout southern Arizona during the
Prehistoric period, then, as detailed in the following sections, climatic fluctuations may have been the
impetus for settlement pattern changes along the San Xavier Reach of the Santa Cruz River.
217
Colonial Period (A.D. 700 to 950)
Although the recorded number of Caliada del Oro phase sites in the SXAP area is small, an
expansion toward the outer edge of the environmental zone bordering the Santa Cruz River is
suggested. As in the Cienega Valley, alluvial deposition at this time may have increased the area
capable of supporting crops. This trend apparently continued in the ensuing Rillito phase with an
expansion in settlement throughout the SXAP area on the floodplain, along with the initial Hohokam
occupation or utilization of the nonriverine areas. The construction of water control features at the
base of Black Mountain for floodwater runoff farming during the Rillito phase suggests that
fluctuating climatic conditions (e.g., increased precipitation), in conjunction with possible population
pressure, may have characterized the SXAP area at this time. An increase in summer precipitation at
about A.D. 800 to 900 is documented for several areas throughout the Southwest, including the Salt-
Gila Basin, Colorado Plateau, and southwestern New Mexico (see Figure 8, Chapter 2).
Sedentary Period (A.D. 950 to 1150)
According to Eddy and Cooley (1983:47), the rate of alluvial deposition in the Cienega
Valley increased during the Sedentary period, which resulted in an increase in available farmland and
additional settlement expansion. Territorial expansion and probable population growth also occurred
within the SXAP area during the Sedentary period. If climatic conditions in the SXAP area at this
time approximated those documented by Eddy and Cooley (1983:29) for the Cienega Valley,
population growth in reaction to an increase in effective farmland would be expected. A
predominantly unstable wet-dry climate would have resulted in a reduction in size of the cienegas, the
formation of additional areas for farming (that formerly were too wet in the cienegas or too dry on the
nonriverine bajadas), increased erosion, and the initial entrenchment of the Santa Cruz River by
headcutting. This is supported by climatic data from other areas (see Figure 8), which indicate that
the early to middle Sedentary period was wetter, and the late Sedentary period, drier.
218
An increased use of floodplain and lower bajada-nonriverine zones is especially notable in
the SXAP area during the middle Sedentary period. At this time, the widest dispersal of Hohokam
settlements occurred along with an incipient northward shift in major habitation site locations. It is
hypothesized that unstable climatic conditions accompanied by scour-and-fill deposition, fairly fast
runoff, and unreliable precipitation may have been the impetus for the territorial expansion of
settlements into the lower bajada-nonriverine zones. These zones may have been used for agricultural
purposes by implementing a variety of floodwater farming techniques that made efficient use of the
sporadic precipitation and often substantial runoff. The formation of discontinuous arroyos, both on
the floodplain and bajadas, apparently was well underway by this time, in addition to increasing
entrenchment of the Santa Cruz River.
The late Sedentary period settlement pattern in the SXAP area suggests a renewed focus of
occupation in the riverine zones with little evidence for occupation or utilization of the nonriverine
zones. The data also indicate that the northward shift in settlements continued, especially to the
northeast, which resulted in a consolidation of population and sites in the northern SXAP area by the
end of the Sedentary period. However, a southerly migration to land upstream of the entrenched
river sections (external to the SXAP area), also may have occurred. For example, the Continental
Site (AZ EE: 1:32), a large village located 16 km south of the SXAP, was established at the beginning
of the Classic period (Slawson et al. 1987b; Slawson 1988c). Perhaps the Hohokam who established
this site in the early Tanque Verde phase were displaced southward from the southern SXAP area. A
similar avoidance response to headward entrenchment through upstream population drift in the form
of leap-frogging settlements has been documented along the upper San Juan River in northwestern
New Mexico and southwestern Colorado (Eddy 1974:84).
219
Classic Period (A.D. 1150 to 1450)
Eddy and Cooley (1983:47) suggest that environmental conditions in the Cienega Valley
during the late Sedentary and early Classic periods probably were similar. However, at some point
during this span of time, alluvial deposition ceased and was succeeded by stripping and arroyo
cutting, which represented the end stage of the erosional interval. The Cienega Valley in the Tanque
Verde phase experienced unstable wet-dry conditions that were characterized by rapid and unreliable
precipitation, fast runoff, and cycles of moderate drought (Eddy and Cooley 1983:29, 50). After
A.D.
1300, drought conditions lessened, the environment stabilized, and precipitation became more
reliable (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50). By the Tucson phase, the decrease in environmental fluctuation
led to slow runoff, sluggish streamflow, and the reemergence of cienegas on parts of the Cienega
Valley floodplain (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50). Despite the stabilization of the climate, settlement in
the area decreased, which resulted in the eventual abandonment of the Cienega Valley by the end of
the Classic period (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50).
The SXAP settlement pattern in the Classic period reflects a similar progression of changes
in site location and settlement size through time. Little change in settlement pattern is evident from
the late Sedentary to the early Classic period, except that resulting from a continuing northward shift
in location. If climatic conditions in the SXAP area were similar to those in the Cienega Valley, a
cessation of fluvial deposition followed by major erosional activity due to flooding, in conjunction
with periods of moderate drought, occurred during the late Tanque Verde phase. SXAP cultural and
geomorphic data support this hypothetical climatic reconstruction. The southern portion of the SXAP
area virtually was abandoned by the end of the Tanque Verde phase, whereas two major areas of
settlement (i.e., population aggregation) developed in the north. It was during this phase that the
floodplain zone, which underwent continual expansion as a result of fluvial deposition in pre-Classic
times, was the most intensely occupied. The abandonment of the southern sites and associated
220
agricultural fields very likely resulted from the discontinuous, but extensive, entrenchment of the
Santa Cruz River.
Eddy and Cooley (1983:50) indicate that although the climate had stabilized by the Tucson
phase in the Cienega Valley, settlement decreased to the point that only one Tucson phase site was
located by their investigations. An apparent settlement decrease also is evident within the SXAP
area; however, the decrease may be misleading due to heavy surficial deposition in the north. In
addition, a continuing northward and eastward trend in settlement locations would have exceeded the
survey limits of the SXAP area. Nevertheless, no data from the SXAP area conflict with Eddy and
Cooley 's (1983:50) reconstruction of climatic conditions in the Cienega Valley during the Tucson
phase.
Hohokam Settlement Patterns in the Tucson Basin
A number of archaeological investigations that have been published since the completion of
the SXAP study have produced similar data concerning settlement pattern response to changing
environmental conditions throughout not only the southern Tucson Basin, but the northern portion of
the basin, as well. Examples of major excavation projects that have corroborated the SXAP findings
include fieldwork conducted at the Valencia Site (Doelle 1985a), the West Branch Site (Huntington
1986), the San Xavier Bridge Site (Ravesloot 1987), the Continental Site (Slawson et al. 1987b), the
multiple sites in Phase B of the Tucson Aqueduct Central Arizona Project (Czaplicki and Ravesloot
1989), and Rabid Ruin (Slawson 1990). Large-scale surveys that have provided comparable
settlement pattern data include the Southern Tucson Basin Survey (Doelle et al. 1985a), the San
Xavier Farm Rehabilitation Project (Effland and Rankin 1988), and the Northern Tucson Basin
Survey (Fish 1989; Madsen et al. 1993a). In addition, geomorphological studies (e.g., Haynes and
Huckell 1986; Waters 1987a, 1987c, 1988, 1989; Waters and Field 1986) that were conducted in
conjunction with several of these projects not only have contributed significant data concerning
221
prehistoric environmental conditions along the Santa Cruz River and how these conditions changed
through time, but also they have substantiated the use of Eddy and Cooley's (1983) Cienega Valley
study as a model for the Tucson Basin.
A review of recent archaeological literature concerning the Tucson Basin indicates that the
hypothesized settlement pattern for the SXAP area from the late Colonial through Classic periods
mirrors Hohokam settlement pattern changes throughout the basin as a whole. According to Doelle
and Wallace (1991:279), the Tucson Basin Hohokam had a flexible subsistence and social system that
was able to respond to several major settlement pattern changes that are documented in the
archaeological record. These settlement pattern changes were in response to basinwide climatic and
environmental changes. This hypothesis is supported by Waters (1987c:57), who states that
environmental changes on the floodplain were responsible for the movement and reorganization of
Hohokam settlements in the Tucson Basin through time. According to Waters (1989:122), who has
conducted extensive alluvial stratigraphic studies along the San Xavier Reach of the Santa Cruz River
and on the alluvial fans of the northern Tucson Basin, the hydrologic conditions and landscape
evolution of the fluvial systems in the Tucson Basin clearly affected the archaeological record,
influenced the location of Hohokam settlements, accounted for changes in settlement patterns through
time, and dictated agricultural strategies.
An overview of settlement pattern changes in the Tucson Basin as a whole compares
favorably with the settlement pattern responses to environmental change hypothesized for the SXAP
area. As is the case in the SXAP area, little is known elsewhere in the basin about Pioneer and early
Colonial period settlement patterns in the riverine zones bordering the Santa Cruz River. However,
the data base for Hohokam settlement during this time period in the nonriverine bajada zones of the
northern basin recently has been augmented by the Northern Tucson Basin Survey (Madsen et al.
1993a). That which is known about the riverine zones during the Pioneer and early Colonial periods,
based on geomorphological studies, is that the Santa Cruz River was entrenched, but was slowly
222
filling. The presence of the entrenched channel would have prevented farming on the upper
floodplain and in the river bottom (Waters 1987c:57).
During the late Colonial and early Sedentary periods, the number of sites in the Tucson
Basin increased dramatically (Doelle and Wallace 1991:291). At this time, the floodplain was
characterized by a broad, sandy surface that probably was traversed by a small draw and was suitable
for floodwater farming (Waters 1987c:57).
As in the SXAP area, a significant settlement pattern change occurred during the middle
Sedentary period throughout the Tucson Basin with the appearance of a more dispersed settlement
pattern that incorporated a shift to nonriverine settings (Doelle 1986:13; Doelle and Wallace
1991:292). The increased use of upland settings by the Hohokam during the middle Sedentary period
has been recorded in the northwestern basin (Fish 1989; Madsen et al. 1993a), the northeastern basin
(Dart 1986), and the southern basin (Doelle et al. 1985a; Ferg et al. 1984). The migration to
nonriverine areas suggests that increased flooding, as a result of an increase in precipitation, was
occurring in the middle Sedentary period, which led to a decline in floodplain farming and a greater
emphasis on floodwater runoff or dry farming (Huntington 1986:379). This hypothesis is supported
by Haynes and Huckell's (1986) 70-kilometer-long study of the Santa Cruz River, which found that a
period of gradual aggradation occurred around
A.D. 1000
in the Tucson Basin. Furthermore, the
cutting of a discontinous gully in the southern basin that migrated upslope to the north and led to
floodplain entrenchment, would have resulted in a shift of available arable land, and perhaps an
incipient northward movement in population (Waters 1987c:59).
The late Sedentary period was a time of increasingly rapid change with a noticeable
population increase on the east side of the Santa Cruz River in the southern Tucson Basin. This was a
finding of the SXAP that was corroborated by results of the Southern Tucson Basin Survey (Doelle
et al. 1985a). During this time, use of the nonriverine areas continued to increase, with an emphasis
on agave cultivation and processing on the lower bajada in the northern basin and east of the Santa
223
Cruz River in the southern basin (Doelle and Wallace 1991:292-293). Geomorphological studies
(Haynes and Huckell 1986; Waters 1987e, 1989) have documented continued northward headcutting
of the Santa Cruz River by the discontinuous gully in the southern basin during the late Sedentary
period, which would have continued to destroy arable land. As in the Cienega Valley, cienega
environments began to form at the northern limits of the southern Tucson Basin near Martinez Hill
(i.e., at Punta de Agua and Agua de la Misi6n springs), which created new arable land (Waters
1987c:59). The response of the Hohokam in the southern Tucson Basin to these environmental
changes was a continued shift in settlement from the west to the east side of the river. A similar
response by the Hopi in 1905 and 1906 to floodplain entrenchment adjacent to the village of Oraibi
has been documented (Waters 1989:120-121 citing Bradfield 1971).
According to Doelle and Wallace (1991:293), the Tanque Verde phase of the early Classic
period saw the completion of the population shift in the southern Tucson Basin; that is, the substantial
depopulation of the west side of the Santa Cruz River with a concomitant population increase on the
east side. This settlement shift corresponded to the stabilization and filling of the river channel in the
southern basin and the expansion of cienegas near Martinez Hill (Waters 1987c:59). Although the
cienegas provided an increase in the amount of arable land, a major subsistence effort continued to be
invested in the floodwater runoff and dry farming cultivation of agave, and perhaps other crops, as
evidenced by the extensive areas of rock pile features in nonriverine settings in the northern Tucson
Basin and east of the Santa Cruz River in the southern basin (Doelle and Wallace 1991:293; Waters
1989:113).
By the Tucson phase of the late Classic period there was an apparent decline in the use of
nonriverine rock pile agricultural features (Doelle and Wallace 1991:293). Although there was little
change in site location, population aggregated to a few large villages throughout the basin.
According to Waters (1987c:59), the cienega environment still may have existed near Martinez Hill,
but it probably had decreased in size. Finally, by the end of Classic period, as documented for the
224
Cienega Valley (Eddy and Cooley 1983:50), the discontinuous gully channel in the southern Tucson
Basin had filled, and the floodplain was once again farmable (Waters 1987c:59).
To conclude, evidence suggests that the prehistoric environment of the SXAP area was one
characterized by change, as climatic conditions, particularly precipitation, varied through time.
Using the nearby Cienega Valley as a model, in conjunction with SXAP settlement pattern and
geomorphic data, it is hypothesized that the climate in the SXAP area during the Pioneer period
(A.D. 200/300 to 700) was initially characterized by stable wet conditions that gradually changed to
unstable wet-dry conditions. Toward the end of the Colonial period (A.D. 700 to 950), the climate
destabilized further to alternating stable wet and unstable wet-dry conditions. The middle to late
Sedentary period (A.D. 1000 to 1150) saw an emphasis on unstable wet-dry conditions that continued
until the Tucson phase of the Classic period (A.D. 1300 to 1450). At that time, the climate again
stabilized and wet conditions prevailed.
The effect of a fluctuating climate on the environment within the SXAP area from the late
Pioneer period through the early Classic period would have resulted in a number of major changes for
the local population, some advantageous, and some not. Alluvial deposition would have increased the
amount of available arable land, thus allowing population growth, whereas heavy flooding and arroyo
cutting would have rendered many riverine areas unusable due to the entrenchment of the Santa Cruz
River and isolation of water sources for irrigation. By the time the climate stabilized with prevalent
wet conditions in the Tucson phase, the environmental conditions apparently had degenerated to the
point that it was necessary for a major portion of the inhabitants to move north and east out of the
SXAP area to land more amenable to floodwater agriculture and more capable of supporting
aggregated populations.
225
Chapter 7
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Since the early 1970s, explanatory models concerned with Hohokam settlement pattern
change have been postulated. Many of these models have had an ecological orientation and have been
aimed at explaining change in adaptive systems (Schiffer and McGuire 1982:254). Examples of
adaptive models include those of Doyel (1977, 1980), Grady (1976), Grebinger (1971; Grebinger and
Adam 1974, 1978), Plog (1980), Weaver (1972), and Wilcox (1979; Wilcox and Shenk 1977). In
the mid-1980s to early 1990s, settlement pattern research interests began focusing on the Hohokam
Sedentary-Classic transitional period and developments in the subsequent Classic period (e.g., Doelle
1984, 1988; Doelle et al. 1985b; Doelle and Wallace 1991; Fish and Fish 1992; Fish et al. 1988;
Gregory 1987; Gregory and Nials 1985; Sires 1987; Slawson 1990; Slawson et al. 1987b). Research
emphases also expanded to include Hohokam community and household structure and their
relationships to settlement pattern change, as well as the effect of social differentiation on settlement
hierarchies (e.g., Doelle 1985a; Doelle et al. 1987; Downum 1993; Downum et al. 1985; Doyel
1987; Elson 1988; Huntington 1986, 1988; Wilcox 1987). Most Hohokam studies discuss the
environmental setting of the prehistoric communities under consideration, and occasionally comments
are offered on the possible part that the environment may have played in social and settlement pattern
development. Nevertheless, with a few notable exceptions (e.g., Graybill 1989b; Niais et al. 1989),
Hohokam research, particularly in the Tucson Basin, has been characterized by a limited emphasis on
cultural-environmental adaptive interactions.
In contrast, extensive research into the cultural-environmental interactions of the Anasazi has
been ongoing since the 1960s (Dean et al. 1985; Dean et al. 1978; Eddy 1966, 1974, 1983; Euler and
Gumerman 1978; Euler et al. 1979; Ford 1972, 1984; Jorde 1977; Karlstrom et al. 1974; Larson and
Michaelsen 1990; Leonard and Reed 1993; Orcutt 1991; Powell 1983; Schlanger 1988). A major
226
publication relating to this topic is an edited volume of papers that originally were presented in 1981
at the School of American Research during an Advanced Seminar that was entitled, "Anasazi Cultural
Developments and Paleoenvironmental Correlates" (Gumerman 1988a). One paper in that edited
volume (Dean 1988) presents a sophisticated interactive adaptation model for evaluating the effects of
environmental change on the Colorado Plateau Anasazi. The following sections discuss this model
and examine its applicability to the Tucson Basin Hohokam.
The Anasazi Adaptation Model
The adaptation model for the Colorado Plateau Anasazi developed out of a long-term
research project that began informally in 1966, and became known as the Paleoenvironmental Project.
According to Gumerman (1988b:13), the strength of this ongoing study is that each line of evidence,
including that of archaeology, geohydrology, dendroclimatology, palynology, and climatology, is
independently derived and evaluated. This serves to establish the existence of potentially significant
relationships.
The Anasazi adaptation model may be classified as a dynamic ecological model because of
the five basic principles on which it is based. Summarizing from Gumerman (1988b:13), the first
principle is that all subsystems are important in cultural and natural systems. Second, instead of
viewing the human population as being in a delicately balanced equilibrium with natural resources,
disequilibrium between population and resources is considered to be the normal state. A third
principle is that cultural and environmental variability, both spatial and temporal, is taken into
account when considering cultural adaptation. The importance of cultural buffering mechanisms in
adaptation to change is a fourth principle. Finally, dynamic ecological models are characterized by
the underlying belief that humans do not always act to optimize their energy return from the
environment, nor do they always have the necessary knowledge about their environment to make
optimizing decisions.
227
Although dynamic disequilibrium (i.e., that a population-resource imbalance is the norm
rather than the exception) is central to a dynamic ecological model, it is not a new idea, having been
proposed initially more than two decades ago by Flannery (1968) (Gumerman 1988b:15). During the
1960s, the interrelationship between culture and environment was difficult to identify, due not only to
the lack of empirical data, but also to the lack of an adequate conceptual framework within which
complex relationships among multivariate phenomenon could be analyzed (Butzer 1982:5). The
demonstrated application of systems theory to archaeological research by Flannery (1968) provided a
model by which coherent hypotheses could be formulated. Although the applicability of systems
theory has since been disallowed for some areas of archaeological research, systems theory has shown
its usefulness to the analysis and understanding of cultural-environmental interactions. According to
Butzer (1982:6), the basic principles of systems theory are essential for the integration of the
environmental dimension within a contextual archaeological approach.
Dynamic disequilibrium is a key component of the Anasazi adaptation model, which is based
on the postulate that prevailing environmental conditions limit the number of individuals that can be
supported by a particular subsistence technology (Dean 1988:27). The concept of dynamic
disequilibrium is very similar to that of allometric change as used in geomorphology. As defined by
Bull (1990:20), allometric change is the tendency for orderly adjustment between interdependent
materials, processes, and landforms in a geomorphic system. It represents a broader version of the
concept of allometry (i.e., study of the growth of a part in relation to an entire organism) as used in
the biological sciences.
The Anasazi adaptation model comprises three classes of variability: environmental,
demographic, and behavioral. For each of the three classes, one or more high-frequency processes
(HFP) and low-frequency processes (LFP) have been identified, which are listed in Table 11. The
first two classes are independent, whereas the third is dependent (Dean 1988:29). The three classes
of variability are related to one another by a modified concept of carrying capacity, wherein carrying
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capacity represents an integrative variable that is directly affected by changes in one or more of the
components of the adaptive system. Therefore, rather than being a static attribute, carrying capacity
is considered to be dynamic in that it can increase or decrease rapidly and substantially (Dean
1988:28). Furthermore, because interactions among the three classes of variability determine the
boundary conditions that regulate an adaptive system, a change in any one of the components of the
system could breach thresholds and trigger systemic culture change (Dean 1988:29). In other words,
environmental, demographic, and behavioral variability interact to form a set of relationships that
define the adaptive system at any point in time, which affects the degree of equilibrium that may be
attained. Not only does the degree of attainable equilibrium vary over time, but also over space, and
therefore, it must be assessed situationally. Thus, Dean (1988:27) not only supports Cordell and
Plog's (1979) thesis that long-term equilibrium never was achieved by the Colorado Plateau Anasazi,
he suggests that "fluctuating relationships among environmental, demographic, and behavioral
variables characterize and account for many of the observed changes in Anasazi culture."
Applicability of the Anasazi Model to the Hohokam
One of the goals of this study was to test the applicability of the Anasazi adaptation model to
the Tucson Basin Hohokam. This was accomplished by examining archaeological and geomorphic
data from the basin to see if evidence exists for LFP and HFP environmental, demographic, or
behavioral variability comparable to that recorded for the Colorado Plateau Anasazi. However, it
must be cautioned that there are aspects of the Anasazi model, specifically those related to
chronology, that cannot be applied to the Hohokam owing to the lack of precision that characterizes
the dating methods used on Hohokam sites. Therefore, the model can only be applicable to the
Hohokam in a general sense and its validity for use in the Tucson Basin must remain questionable
until such time as these problems can be resolved.
230
Environmental Variability
Geomorphological investigations in the Tucson Basin have produced strong evidence for
low-frequency environmental variability throughout the Hohokam cultural sequence, particularly
during the Sedentary and Classic periods (e.g., Haynes and Huckell 1984, 1986; Stafford 1987;
Waters 1987c, 1988, 1989). According to Waters (1989:117), the Santa Cruz River floodplain was
extremely dynamic, constantly changing in its state of dynamic disequilibrium. Consequently, the
river was more suitable for floodplain farming, and was not conducive to the development of canal
irrigation systems (Waters 1987c:59). Besides the alternating episodes of degradation and
aggradation that occurred at specific locations along the Santa Cruz River, different segments of the
prehistoric floodplain also were characterized by diverse environments composed of discontinuous
gullies, sand dunes, and cienegas, which produced a highly variable environmental setting (Waters
1989:98).
Additional evidence for episodic climatic fluctuations in southern Arizona can be seen in
Graybill's (1989a, 1989b; Nials et al. 1989) reconstruction of annual strearaflow for the Salt River
from A.D. 740 to 1370, and recently compiled streamflow data from the Salt River, Gila River, and
Salt/Verde/Tonto drainages for
A.D. 530
and A.D. 570 to present (Dean 1994). Although these
reconstructions may not be directly applicable to the Tucson Basin, the major environmental
perturbations evidenced in the Salt-Gila Basin very likely extended to the Tucson Basin, considering
the proximity of the two areas. Examples of similar climatic fluctuations in these areas, and others,
are provided in Figure 8 (see Chapter 2). This type of reconstruction, if conducted for the Santa Cruz
River, may provide additional evidence of high-frequency processes, which are not as well
documented at present. However, by studying the present-day seasonal cycle of the river, it may be
possible to extrapolate prehistoric environmental variability on a seasonal or yearly basis.
231
Demographic Variability
As Powell (1988:190) states, population size is very difficult to measure and results from
prehistoric sites often are ambiguous. In the case of the Hohokam, population size estimates are more
difficult and imprecise at any level than for any other southwestern culture (Fish 1989:47). Although
various attempts have been made to estimate prehistoric population size (e.g., Doelle 1985a), a
formula for translating site extent on the surface to actual numbers of persons does not exist (Fish
1989:47). Nevertheless, evidence for demographic variability is available for the Tucson Basin in the
form of the changing settlement pattern that has been documented by this study and others
(e.g., Doelle 1984, 1988; Doelle et al. 1985a; Doelle et al. 1987; Doelle and Wallace 1991; Fish et
al. 1988; Fish and Fish 1992; Huntington 1988) for primarily the Sedentary and Classic periods. Not
only is there reliable evidence for a population increase in the Tucson Basin from the late Colonial
through Classic periods, but, as was discussed in Chapter 6, trends in population fluctuation are
discernible on a limited basis, particularly in the southern basin. Therefore, despite the difficulties in
estimating Hohokam population numbers in the Tucson Basin, evidence does appear to exist for both
low-frequency and high-frequency demographic variability as defined by Dean (1988).
Behavioral Variability
Evidence for low-frequency behavioral variability (i.e., basic adaptation to stable
environmental conditions) is provided by the many Hohokam habitation sites located throughout the
Tucson Basin, particularly those manifesting long-term occupations. Evidence for high-frequency
behavioral variability also is present. For example, archaeological investigations in nonriverine
settings in both the northern and southern Tucson Basin have documented Hohokam agricultural
intensification in the form of extensive rock pile features for agave cultivation and processing
(e.g., Doelle et al. 1985a; Downum 1993; Fish et al. 1984; Fish et al. 1985; Fish et al. 1992; Frick
1954; Heuett et al. 1987).
232
Another high-frequency variable discussed by Dean (1988) is warfare. The occurrence of
warfare has been considered as one explanation for population aggregation in the late Classic period.
It also has been suggested as the reason for the appearance of trincheras sites in the Tucson Basin
(Wilcox 1979), although more recent research (Downum et al. 1994) discounts this factor. The
remaining high-frequency behavioral variables can be considered as a group, all related to subsistence
and survival. Evidence for increased storage (in the form of structures or containers), food
redistribution, trade, and "banking" of luxury items has been found at various Hohokam sites
throughout the Tucson Basin. For example, during the SXAP ceramic analysis (Slawson 1987d), an
increase in the number of plain ware jars relative to decorated ware jars through time, which may be
indicative of increased storage needs, was documented for several large village sites. Similarly, food
redistribution may be indicated by the higher number of bowls versus jars that were found
immediately adjacent to the ballcourt at the Ballcourt Site (AZ BB: 13:221) in the SXAP area. A
similar ratio was not found elsewhere within this large village site (Slawson 1987d).
The last items, "banking" of luxury items and trade for food, are the most difficult to
document with archaeological data. However, excavations at both Rabid Ruin (AZ AA: 12:46) in the
north-central basin and the Continental Site (AZ EE: 1:32) in the southern basin yielded evidence that
these activities may have occurred (Slawson et al. 1987b; Slawson 1990). In addition, fieldwork
conducted at the large Marana site community also has provided supportive data for the "banking" of
luxury items by the Hohokam, possibly to be later traded for some item or service, including perhaps
food (Rice et al. 1986).
Conclusions
Following a theoretical perspective grounded in environmental archaeology and a
methodological approach based in contextual archaeology, the applicability of the Anasazi adaptation
model to Tucson Basin Hohokam settlement patterns within the study area was examined. Based on
233
the hypothesis that the adaptive behavioral responses of the Colorado Plateau Anasazi to changing
environmental and demographic conditions were not unique in the Southwest, similar adaptive
reactions to similar changes may have characterized the Hohokam. The Ariasazi adaptation model
developed by Dean (1988) offers a new perspective by which to examine the Tucson Basin Hohokam
and their cultural interaction with their environment. A comparison of the model's environmental,
demographic, and behavioral classes of variability (and the low-frequency and high-frequency
variables within each class) with available settlement pattern and environmental data from the Tucson
Basin demonstrates that the Anasazi adaptation model may have applicability to a study of the
Hohokam.
As Fish (1989:35) states, originating with evidence from the Colorado Plateau, the use of
environmental change to explain cultural change in Hohokam prehistory was a general trend of the
1960s and 1970s. The purpose of this study was not to attempt to explain settlement pattern change
based on documented and hypothesized environmental changes, but rather to determine if any
association exists between the two. There are many possible reasons for changes in settlement
patterns, including warfare, internal conflicts, social reorganization, inner cultural tendencies, outside
influences, disease, immigration, and emigration, and it is likely that one or more contributed to the
changing pattern in site distribution through time that is documented by this study. However, to
paraphrase Masse (1991:222) and risk being labeled an "environmental determinist," the Tucson
Basin Hohokam lived in a semiarid, generally inhospitable environment to which they had to adapt.
Although it is true that the Hohokam could not have survived and developed as long as they did
without being capable of adjusting to environmental fluctuations through time, the possible effects
that insufficient, excessive, or unpredictable precipitation had on the prehistoric inhabitants of the
Tucson Basin should not be discounted when considering possible influences on prehistoric settlement
in this area of southern Arizona as revealed by the archaeological record.
234
Appendix A
LISTS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS IDENTIFIED IN THE SXAP AREA
235
LIST OF PLANTS IDENTIFIED IN THE SXAP AREA
Ferns
Pteridaceae
Fern family
Cheilanthes sp.
Notholaena cochinensis
Notholaena sinuata
Notholaena standleyi
Pellaea sp.
Bead fern
Helechillo
Wavy cloak fern
Goldback fern
Cliff brake
Selaginellaceae
Spike moss family
Selaginella sp.
Spike moss
Gymnosperms
Ephedraceae
Joint-fir family
Ephedra trifurca
Indian tea
Dicots
Acanthaceae
Aniscanthus thurberi
Rue llia nudiflora
Acanthus family
Aizoaceae
Trianthema portulacastrum
Amaranthaceae
Amaranthus fimbriatus
Amaranthus palmeri
Tidestromia oblongifolia
Desert honeysuckle
Ruellia
Iceplant or Carpet weed family
Verdolaga blanca
Amaranth family
Fringed amaranth
Careless weed
Desert sweet
236
Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Apium leptophyllum
Bowlesia incana
Conium maculatum
Daucus pusillus
Spermolepis echinata
Aristolochiaceae
Aristolochia watsoni
Asclepiadaceae
Sarcostemma cynanchoides
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Acortia nana
Acortia wrightii
Ambrosia ambrosioides
Ambrosia confertiflora
Ambrosia deltoidea
Ambrosia dumosa
Artemisia ludoviciana
Baccharis brachyphylla
Baccharis salicifolia
Baccharis sarathroides
Bahia absinthifolia
Baileya multiradiata
Baileya pauciradiata
Brickellia coulteri
Chaenactis carphoclinia
Chaenactis stevioides
Cirsium sp.
Dyssodia pentacha eta
Dyssodia porophylloides
Encelia farinosa
Encelia frutescens
Erigeron divergens
Filago arizonica
Filago depressa
Gnaphalium sp.
Gutierrezia microcephala
Gutierrezia serotina
Haplopappus laricifolius
Haplopappus tenuisectus
Heterotheca psammophila
Hymenoclea monogyra
Carrot family
Wild celery
Bowlesia
Poison hemlock
American carrot
Spermolepsis
Birthwort family
Indian root
Milkweed family
Climbing milkweed
Sunflower family
Desert holly
Brownfoot
Wash ragweed
Slimleaf bursage
Triangle bursage
White bursage
Mugwort
Shortleaf desert broom
Seep willow
Desert broom
Bahia
Desert marigold
Desert marigold (Lax flower)
Brickellia
Pincushion flower
Pincushion flower
Thistle
Dyssodia
Dyssodia
Brittlebush
Rayless encelia
Fleabane
Filago
Dwarf filago
Cudwe,ed.
Snakewe,ed
Matchweed
Turpentine bush
Burrowe,ed
Telegraph weed
Wash burrobush
237
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Sunflower family (continued)
Hymenothrix wislizenii
Iva ambrosiaefolia
Machaeranthera canescens
Machaeranthera pinnatifida
Machaeranthera tagetina
Malacothrbc fendleri
Microseris linearifolia
Parthenice mollis
Pectis papposa
Pectis rusbyi
Porophyllum gracile
Psilostrophe cooperi
Rafinesquia neomexicana
Senecio douglasii var. monoense
Senecio sp.
Silybum marianum
Sonchus oleraceus
Stephanomeria exigua
Stephanomeria pauciflora
TrLxis californica
Verbesina enceliodes
Vigueria annua
Xanthium strumarium
Zinnia acerosa
Bignoniaceae
Bignon family
Chilopsis linearis
Desert willow
Boraginaceae
Borage family
Amsinckia intermedia
Amsinckia tessellata
Cryptantha angustifolia
Cryptantha decipiens
Cryptantha micrantha
Cryptantha pterocarya
Lappula echinata
Pectocarya palmeri (?)
Pectocarya platycarpa
Pectocarya recurvata
Tiquilia canescens
Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Arabis sp.
Hymenothrix
Poverty weed
Aster
Aster
Aster
Desert dandelion
Silver puffs
Parthenice
Chinchwe,ed
Chinchwe,ed
Odora
Paperflower
Desert chicory
Wash groundsel
Groundsel
Milk thistle
Sow thistle
Skeleton weed
Desert straw
Trixis
Crownbeard
Annual goldeneye
Cocklebur
Desert zinnia
Descurainia pinnata
Fiddleneck
Fiddleneck
Popcorn flower
Popcorn flower
Popcorn flower
Popcorn flower
Stick-seed
Harpagonella
Comb bur
Curved comb bur
Shrub coldenia
Mustard family
Rockcress
Tansy mustard
238
Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Mustard family (continued)
Draba cuneifolia
Lepidium lasiocarpum
Lepidium thurberi
Les querella gordoni
Sisymbrium irio
Streptanthus carinatus
Thelypodium lasiophyllum
Thysanocarpus laciniatus
Cactus family
Cactaceae
Cereus giganteus
Cereus greggii
Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina
Coryphantha vivipara var. bisbeeana
Echinocereus fasciculatus
Ferocactus wislizenii
Mammillaria microcarpa
Mammillaria thornberi
Opuntia acanthocarpa
Opuntia arbuscula
Opuntia bigelovii
Opuntia chlorotica
Opuntia fulgida
Opuntia leptocaulis
Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata
Opuntia phaeacantha var. major
Opuntia spinosior
Opuntia versicolor
Opuntia violaceae var. santa-ritae
Caprifoliaceae
Whitlow grass
Peppergrass
Peppergrass
Bladderpod
London rocket
Silverbells
Thelypodium
Fringe pod
Honeysuckle family
Sambucus mexicanas
Caryophyllaceae
Saguaro
Night blooming cereus
Mulee pineapple cactus
Bisbee beehive cactus
Hedgehog cactus
Barrel cactus
Fishhook cactus
Thornber's fishhook
Buckhorn cholla
Pencil cholla
Teddy bear cholla
Pancake prickly pear
Chainfruit cholla
Christmas cholla
Englemann prickly pear
Prickly pear
Cane cholla
Staghom cholla
Purple prickly pear
Loeflingia squarrosa
Mexican elderberry
Carnation family
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex canes cens
Atriplex polycarpa
Chenopodium album
Monolepsis nuttalliana
Salsola iberica
Leoflingia
Saltbush family
Four-wing saltbush
Cattle spinach
Pigweed
Poverty weed
Russian thistle
239
Convolvulaceae
Morning glory family
Cuscuta sp.
Evolvulus alsinoides
Ipomoea coccinea
Ipomoea hirsutula
Ipomoea leptotoma
Dodder
Dio de vibora
Scarlet morning glory
Morning glory
Morning glory
Gourd family
Curcurbitaceae
Apodanthera undulata
Cucurbita digitata
Tumamoca macdougalii
Euphorbiaceae
Coyote melon
Tumamoc globeberry
Spurge family
Acalypha neomexicana
Croton sp.
Ditaxis neomexicana
Euphorbia abramsiana
Euphorbia capitellata
Euphorbia florida
Euphorbia hyssopifolia
Euphorbia micromera
Euphorbia polycarpa
Jatropha cardiophylla
Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Acacia constricta
Acacia greggii
Fouquieria splendens
New Mexico copperleaf
Croton
Ditaxis
Spurge
Spurge
Spurge
Spurge
Sonoran sand mat
Sand mat
Limberbush
Legume family
Astragalus wootoni
Calliandra eriophylla
Cassia covesii
Cercidium floridum
Cercidium microphyllum
Dalea parryi
Dalea pulchra (greggii)
Desmodium pro cumbens
Hoffinanseggia glauca
Lotus humistratus
Lupinus concinnus
Prosopis velutina
Sphinctospermum constrictum
Fouquieriaceae
Melon-loco
Whitethom acacia
Catclaw acacia
Locoweed
Fairy duster
Desert senna
Blue paloverde
Foothill paloverde
Parry dalea
Dalea
Tick clover
Hog potato
Lotus
Elegant lupine
Velvet mesquite
Sphinctospermum
Ocotillo family
Ocotillo
240
Geraniaceae
Erodium cicutariurn
Erodium texanum
Geranium family
Filaree
Storksbill
Hydrophyllaceae
Waterleaf family
Eucrypta micrantha
Nama hispidum
Phacelia coerulea
Phacelia crenulata
Phacelia distans
Eucrypta
Nama
Phacelia
Phacelia
Wild heliotrope
Krameriaceae
Rattany family
Krameria grayi
White rattany
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Mint family
Hyptis emmyi
Marrubi urn vulgare
Salvia columbariae
Teucrium cubense
Desert lavender
Horehound
Chia sage
Germander
Linaceae
Flax family
Linum lewisii
Blue flax
Loasaceae
Mentzelia multiflora
Mentzelia spp.
Blazing star family
Malpighiaceae
Janusia gracilis
Malvaceae
Abutilon californicum
Abutilon incanum
Herissantia crispa
Hibiscus coulteri
Sida physocalyx
Sphaeralcea fendleri
Sphaeralcea spp.
Blazing star
Blazing star
Malpighia family
Janusia
Mallow family
Mallow
Indian mallow
Herissantia
Desert rose mallow
Mallow (Tuberous sida)
Globe mallow
Globe mallow
241
Martynaceae
Devil's claw family
Proboscidea altheaefolia
Proboscidea parvillora
Nyctaginaceae
Four o'clock family
Allionia incarnata
Boerhaavia coccinea
Boerhaavia coulteri
Boerhaavia erecta var. intermedia
Boerhaavia spicata
Boerhaavia sp.
Commicarpus scandens
Oleaceae
Windmills
Red spiderling
Coulter spiderling
Boerhaavia
Boerhaavia
Boerhaavia
Commicarpus
Olive family
Fraxinus velutina
Menodora scabra
Onagraceae
Devil's claw
Devil's claw
Arizona ash
Menodora
Evening primrose family
Camissonia californica
Gaura parviflora
Oenothera primiveris
Oenothera sp.
Orobanchaceae
Bursage strangler
Poppy family
Argemone munita
Eschscholtzia mexi cana
Plantaginaceae
Mustard primrose
Lizard tail
Yellow desert primrose
Evening primrose
Broom rape family
Orobanche cooperi
Papaveraceae
Plantain family
Plantago insularis
Polemoniaceae
Prickly poppy
Gold poppy
Wooly plantain
Phlox family
Eriastrum diffusum
lpomopsis longiflora
Star phlox
Phlox
242
Polygonaceae
Buckwheat family
Chorizanthe brevicornu
Chorizanthe rigida
Eriogonum abertianum
Eriogonum deflexum
Eriogonum thurberi
Eriogonum tri chopes
Eriogonum wrightii
Polygonum argyrocoleon
Rumex hymenosepalus
Portulacaceae
Purslane family
Portulaca suffrutescens
Portulaca parvula
Portulaca retusa
Talinum aurantiacum
Talinum paniculatum
Primulaceae
Ranunculaceae
Rock jasmine
Buttercup family
Anemone tuberosa
Clematis drummondii
Delphinium scaposum
Anemone (Desert wind flower)
Virgins bower
Larkspur
Buckthorn family
Rhamnaceae
Zizyphus obtusifolia var. canescens
Condalia warnockii
Grey-leaved abrojo
Bitter condalia
Bedstraw family
Galium sp.
Sapindaceae
Shrub purslane
Purslane
Purslane
Talinum
Pink baby breath
Primrose family
Androsace occidentalis
Rubiaceae
Brittle spine flower
Spiny herb
Wild buckwheat
Skeleton weed
Buckwheat
Buckwheat
Buckwheat
Silversheath knotweed.
Indian rhubarb
Bedstraw
Soapberry family
Sapindus saponaria
Scrophulariaceae
Soapberry
Figwort family
Linaria texana
Penstemon spp.
Texas toad flax
Penstemon
243
Solanaceae
Nightshade family
Datura discolor
Jimson weed
Wolfberry
Wolfberry
Tree tobacco
Indian tobacco
Tomatillo
Tomatillo
Tomatillo
Silverleaf nightshade
Lycium andersonii
Lycium exsertum
Nicotiana glauca
Nicotiana trigonophylla
Physalis acutifolia
Physalis crassifolia
Physalis lobata
Solanum elaeagnifolium
Cacao family
Sterculiaceae
Ayenia comacta
Ayenia
Ulmaceae
Elm family
Celtis pallida
Desert hackberry
Urticaceae
Nettle family
Pari etaria hespera
Pellitory
Verbenaceae
Verbena family
Aloysia wrightii
Verbena gooddingii
Oreganillo
Verbena
Viscaceae
Mistletoe family
Phoradendron californicum
Desert mistletoe
Zygophyllaceae
Caltrope family
Kallstroemia californica
Kallstroemia grandiflora
Larrea tridentata
Caltrope
Mexican poppy
Creosote bush
Monocots
Agavaceae
Dasylirion wheeleri
Yucca elata
Agave family
Sotol
Soaproot yucca
244
Liliaceae
Allium sp.
Dichelostemma pulchellum
Lily family
Poaceae
Aristida adscensionis
Aristida glabrata
Aristida ternipes
Bouteloua aristidoides
Bouteloua barbata
Bouteloua radicosa
Bouteloua repens
Bromus wildenowii
Chions virgata
Cottea pappophoroides
Cynodon dactylon
Enneapogon desvawcii
Eragrostis cilianensis
Eragrostis curvula
Eragrostis orcuttiana
Eriochloa lemmoni
Erioneuron pulchellum
Heteropogon contortus
Hilaria mutica
Leptochloa filifortnis
Muhlenbergia porteri
Muhlenbergia rigens
Panicum arizonicum
Pappophorum vaginatum
Schismus barbatus
Setaria geniculata
Sporobolus sp.
Tri chachne californica
Wild onion
Bluedicks
Grass family
Sixwe,eks three-awn
Three-awn
Three-awn
Needle grama
Sixweeks grama
Grama grass
Grama grass
Brome grass
Rhodes grass
Cottea
Bermuda grass
Spike pappusgrass
Lovegrass
Lovegrass
Lovegrass
Cup grass
Fluff grass
Tanglehead
Galleta grass (Tobosa)
Sprangle-top
Bush muhly
Deer grass
Panic grass
Pappusgrass
Abu mashi (Mediterranean grass)
Bristlegrass
Dropseecl
Cotton-top
List of plant species identified in the San Xavier Archaeological Project area was obtained from
Miller (1987:15-23) and Tierra Madre Consultants (1984:44-51). All nomenclature has been
standardized according to Lehr (1978).
245
LIST OF ANIMALS IDENTIFIED IN THE SXAP AREA
Amphibians
Bufonidae
True toad family
Bufo alvarius
Bufo punctatus
Bufo retiformis
Colorado River toad
Red-spotted toad
Sonoran green toad
Reptiles
Colubridae
Colubrid snake family
Salvadora hexalepis
Arizona elegans
Masticop his flagellum
Pituophis melanoleucus
Elapidae
Desert patch-nosed snake
Glossy snake
Red racer
Gopher snake
Coral snake family
Micruroides euryxanthus
Gekkonidae
Banded gecko
Heloderma suspectum
Iguanidae
Sonoran coral snake
Gecko family
Coleonyx variegatus
Helodermatidae
Venomous lizard family
Gila monster
Callisaurus draconoides
Crotaphytus wislizenii
Dipsosaurus dorsalis
Holbrookia texana
Phrysonoma solare
Sceloporous magister
Sceloporus occidentalis
Urosaurus ornatus
Uta stansburiana
Iguana family
Zebra-tailed lizard
Leopard lizard
Desert iguana
Greater earless lizard
Regal horned lizard
Desert spiny lizard
Western fence lizard
Tree lizard
Side-blotched lizard
246
Teidae
Whiptail and allies family
Cnemidophorus tigris
Cnemidophorus sexlineatus
Western whiptail
Six-lined racerunner
Tortoise, water, and box turtle family
Testudinidae
Gopherus agassizi
Desert tortoise
Viperidae
Viper family
Crotalus atrox
Crotalus scutulatus
Western diamondback rattlesnake
Mohave rattlesnake
Birds
Osprey, hawk, eagle, and harrier family
Accipitridae
Accipiter cooperii
Accipiter striatus
Aquila chiysaetos
Buteo jamaicensis
Buteo swainsoni
Circus cyaneus
Elanus caeruleus
Parabuteo unicinctus
Alaudidae
Cooper's hawk
Sharp-shinned hawk
Golden eagle
Red-tailed hawk
Swainson's hawk
Northern harrier
Black-shouldered kite
Harris hawk
Eremophila alpestris
Lark family
Horned lark
Swan, goose, and duck family
Anatidae
Anas ("Spatula") clypeata
Northern shoveler
Swift family
Apodidae
Aeronautes saxatilis
White-throated swift
Nightjar family
Caprimulgidae
Chordeiles acutipennis Phalaenoptilus nuttallii
Lesser nighthawk
Common whippoorwill
247
Cathartidae
Cathartes aura
New world vulture family
Turkey vulture
Charadriidae
Plover family
Charadrius vociferus
Pigeon and dove family
Columbidae
Zenaida asiatica
Z,enaida macroura
White-winged dove
Mourning dove
Crow and jay family
Corvidae
Corvus brachyrhynchos
Corvus corax
American crow
Common raven
Cuckoo family
Cuculidae
Geococcyx californianus
Falconidae
Killdeer
Falco mexicanus
Falco sparverius
Greater roadrunner
Falcon family
Fringillidae
Prairie falcon
American kestrel
Grossbeak, finch, sparrow, and bunting
family
Aimophila botterii
Aimophila carpalis
Aimophila rufi ceps
"Amphispiza" bilineata
Calamospiza melanocorys
Catpodacus mexicanus
"Chlorura" (Pipilo) chlorurus
Chondestes grammacus
Passerculus sandwichensis
Passerina "amoena"
Pheucticus "melanocephalus"
Pipilo fuscus
Pooecetes gramineus
Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis) sinuatus
"Richmondena" (Cardinalis) cardinalis
Spizella breweri
Spizella pallida
Botteri's sparrow
Rufous-winged sparrow
Rufous-crowned sparrow
Black-throated sparrow
Lark bunting
House finch
Green-tailed towhee
Lark sparrow
Savannah sparrow
Laxuli bunting
Black-headed grosbeak
Brown towhee
Vesper sparrow
Pyrrhuloxia
Northern cardinal
Brewer's sparrow
Clay-colored sparrow
248
Fringillidae
Grossbeak, fmch, sparrow, and bunting
family (continued)
Spizella passerina
Zonotri chia leucophrys
Hirundinidae
Swallow family
Hirundo rustica
Petrochelidon (Hirundo) pyrrhonota
Progne subis
Tachycineta thalassina
Icteridae
Mimidae
Hooded oriole
Scott's oriole
Brown-headed cowbird
Eastern meadowlark
Bronzed cowbird
Shrike family
Lanius ludovicianus
Mimus polyglottos
Toxostoma curvirostre
Motacillidae
Amthus spinoletta
Northern mockingbird
Curve-billed thrasher
Pipit and wagtail family
Water pipit
Verdin and bushtit family
Auriparus flaviceps
Psaltriparus minimus
Parulidae
Loggerhead shrike
Mockingbird and thrasher family
Paridae
Barn swallow
Cliff swallow
Purple martin
Violet-green swallow
Weaver finch family
kterus cucullatus
kterus parisorum
Molothrus ater
Sturnella magna
Tangavius (Molothrus) aeneus
Laniidae
Chipping sparrow
White-crowned sparrow
Verdin
Bushtit
Woodwarbler family
Dendroica coronata
Dendroica townsendi
Oporornis tolmiei
Vermivora luciae
Wilsonia pusilla
Yellow-rumped warbler
Townsend's warbler
MacGillivray's warbler
Lucy's warbler
Wilson's warbler
249
Phalaropodidae
Phalarope family
Steganopus (Phalaropus) tricolor
Phasianidae
Callipepla squamata
Lophoriyx (Callipepla) gambelii
Scaled quail
Gambel's quail
Woodpecker family
Colaptes auratus
Dendrocopos (Picoides) scalaris
Melanerpes uropygialis
Ptilogonatidae
Scolopacidae
Phainopepla
Sandpiper family
Ereunetes (Calidris) mauri
Erolia (Calidris) minutilla
Tringa solitaria
Western sandpiper
Least sandpiper
Solitary sandpiper
Typical owl family
Bubo virginianus
Micrathene whitneyi
Otus (kinnicottii) asio
Speotyto (Athene) cunicularia
Stumidae
Elf owl
Western screech-owl
Burrowing owl
European starling
Thrush and old world warbler family
Polioptila melanura
Regulus calendula
Threskiomithidae
Great homed owl
Starling family
Sturnus vulgaris
Sylviidae
Northern (gilded) flicker
Ladder-backed woodpecker
Gila woodpecker
Silky flycatcher family
Phainopepla nitens
Strigidae
Wilson's phalarope
Grouse and quail family
Picidae
Plegadis chihi
Black-tailed gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Ibis and spoonbill family
White-faced ibis
250
Trochilidae
Hummingbird family
Costa's hummingbird
Broad-tailed hummingbird
"Calypte" costae
Selasphorus platycercus
Troglodytidae
Wren family
Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Catherpes inexicanus
Salpinctes obsoletus
Tyrannidae
Cactus wren
Canyon wren
Rock wren
Tyrant flycatcher family
Western wood pewee
Contopus sordidulus Empidonax oberholseri
Myiarchus cinerascens
Pyrocephalus rubinus
Sayornis nigri cans
Tyrannus verticalis
Tyrannus vociferans
Dusky flycatcher
Ash-throated flycatcher
Vermilion flycatcher
Black phoebe
Western kingbird
Cassin' s kingbird
Barn-owl family
Tytonidae
Tyto alba
Common barn-owl
Mammals
Canidae
Dog, wolf, and fox family
Coyote
Kit fox
Canis latrans
Vulpes macrotis
Cervidae
Deer family
Odocoileus hemionus
Cricetidae
Mule deer
Native rat and mouse family
Neotoma albigula
Neotoma lepida
Onychomys torridus
Peromyscus eremicus
Peromyscus maniculatus
White-throated woodrat
Desert woodrat
Southern grasshopper mouse
Cactus mouse
Deer mouse
251
Felidae
Cat family
Fells concolor (browni)
Lynx rufus
Heteromyidae
Mountain lion
Bobcat
Pocket mouse, kangaroo mouse, and
kangaroo rat family
Dipodomys merriami
Dipodomys spectabilis
Perognathus baileyi
Perognathus intermedius
Perognathus longimembris
Perognathus penicillatus
Leporidae
Hare and rabbit family
Lepus alleni
Lepus californicus
Sylvilagus audubonii
Antelope jackrabbit
Blacktail jackrabbit
Desert cottontail rabbit
Raccoon and coatimundi family
Procyonidae
Procyon lotor
Raccoon
Squirrel family
Sciuridae
Citellus (Ammospermophilus) harrisi
Citellus tereticaudus
Citellus variegatus
Tayassuidae
Merriam kangaroo rat
Bannertail kangaroo rat
Bailey pocket mouse
Rock pocket mouse
Little pocket mouse
Desert pocket mouse
Pecani (angulatus) tajacu
Yuma antelope squirrel
Round-tailed ground squirrel
Rock squirrel
Peccary family
Javelina
List of animal species identified in the San Xavier Archaeological Project area was obtained from
Miller (1987:24-30) and Tierra Madre Consultants (1984:52-56).
252
Appendix B
HOHOKAM SITES IN THE STUDY AREA DATA BASE
The following 11 tables contain the basic information for the 328 Hohokam sites that
constitute the data base for this study. The site distribution and settlement pattern maps discussed in
Chapter 5 are based on the data contained in these tables. A separate data table is provided for each
topographic map within the study area on which sites are recorded. For each site, information is
listed relevant to the types of features present, period or phase of occupation, site size, and references
where additional data or discussions of the site can be found. The listed features and references are
not necessarily exclusive; they do, however, include the major types of features present and the major
references. The date that is listed for the Arizona State Museum site card for each site is the year that
the site was originally recorded--if the site card was updated, the year that that was done is shown in
parentheses.
The following abbreviations are employed in the data tables: Arizona State Museum (ASM),
Canada del Oro (CDO), Early Rincon (ER), Middle Rincon (MR), Late Rincon (LR), Tanque Verde
(TV), and fire-cracked rock (FCR). The temporal occupations of the sites are designated in the
following manner: hyphens (e.g., Rillito-Rincon) indicate a documented sequential occupation, as
represented by the ceramic collections. In contrast, commas (e.g., Rillito, Tanque Verde) indicate a
hiatus in occupation between phases or subphases, as represented by the ceramic collections.
Although the hiatus may be a true representation of the prehistoric occupational sequence of a site, it
also may be reflective of formation processes and archaeological collection procedures.
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Appendix C
SAN XAVIER ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT SITE DATA TABLES
The following two tables contain the basic information for the San Xavier Archaeological
Project (SXAP) Hohokam sites that are discussed in Chapter 6. Separate tables are provided for site
size and feature information (Table 23) and for material culture information (Table 24). The listed
features and artifacts are not necessarily exclusive; that is, additional types of features and artifacts
were recorded at the SXAP sites. For example, fire-cracked rock concentrations, rock rings, rock
piles, and artifact concentrations were recorded at most of the sites. Similarly, almost all of the sites
yielded ceramic, flaked lithic, and utilitarian ground stone artifacts. Additional information relevant
to these sites can be found in the SXAP report (Heuett et al. 1987).
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