HOHOKAM PERIODS: CHANGES OVER SPACE AND TIME
Main sources: Haury, Emil, 1976, The Hohokam: Desert Farmers and Craftsmen, Tucson: University of Arizona Press; Doyel, David & Fred Plog, eds., 1980, Current Issues in Hohokam Prehistory, Tempe: Arizona State University Anthropological Research Papers no. 23; Noble, David, ed., 1991, The Hohokam: Ancient People of the Desert, Santa Fe: School of American Research Press; Crown, Patricia & James Judge, eds., 1991, Chaco & Hohokam: Prehistoric Regional Systems in the American Southwest, Santa Fe: School of American Research Press; Gumerman, George, ed., 1995, Exploring the Hohokam: Prehistoric Desert Peoples of the American Southwest, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
PIONEER (300 BC to 550 AD)
In the early phases, there were few sites: these were mainly in the Central Gila-Salt Rivers area. Early villages were small, but already there were long, wide irrigation canals, and luxury goods were present.
Phase (ca. 300 B.C.-A.D. 0)
Phase (ca. A.D. 0-200)
COLONIAL (550 to 900 AD) (two phases)
Expansion -- into the Salt and Gila river tributaries -- into Verde Valley toward Flagstaff; Along the Agua Fria toward Prescott, and into the San Pedro and Santa Cruz basins; east along the Gila into the Safford area. Sites line these streams, so true colonial expansion, leading to the greatest geographical extent of the Hohokam in this period. Cause? Population expansion following earlier efficient irrigation farming.
Residences: continue as in Snaketown Phase - long, ellipsoid pithouses
Increased Mesoamerican influence: platform mounds first, then ballcourts; tepary beans (this period correlates with the Mesoamerican Classic Period: Teotihuacan waxes, then wanes)
Ceramics -- proportionally more painted, more complex designs;
Stone work very elaborate -- long serrated points, animal-sculptured stone bowls;
Shell carving and beads more elaborate and common;
mosaic mirrors from Mesoamerica -- pyrite plates cut from larger plates, set into adhesive.
SEDENTARY ("SACATON") 900 - 1100 AD
area contracted somewhat, though some expansion near Flagstaff, related to eruptions
of sunset crater in 1066-67 -- more fertile soil due to greater infiltration of
rainfall into ash layer.
Both cremation and extended inhumation burials;
40% of all ceramics decorated
plaque mirrors elaborated (show identical developmental sequence to that of
Copper Bells first appear (copper comes from West Coast of Mexico);
At end of this period: abandonment of most long-occupied sites -- don't know why -- climate, water?
CLASSIC (2 phases) 1100-1450 AD
This was a period of very substantial
social and cultural changes:
The Classic Period may have been a time of greater moisture in the Hohokam area, allowing for this population increase. At the same time, the Anasazi cultures - having reached their peak in places like Chaco Canyon - were undergoing a decline, as were Mogollon Mountain Tularosa and Mimbres sites. It may be that rainfall incidence in these areas had become increasingly unpredictable.
The end of the Classic is the end of Hohokam -- abandonment of towns & villages, decline of previous elaborations -- Apache nomad influence? Collapse of Mesoamerica? Irrigation failures? The Casa Grande Great House was built 1250-1325 AD, but after 1450 the entire complex was abandoned.