20th Annual Meeting of the American Cultural Resources Association (St. Pete's Beach, Florida, Sept 2014)
Session "Update from the Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP)"
Speakers: Marion Werkheiser, Cultural Heritage Partners PLLC, Chrisopher Polglase, Technical Director of Cultural Heritage, Environmental Resources Management, Donn Grenda, ACRA Salary Survey/CRM Survey Committee; Statistical Research, Inc.
Moderator: Donn Grenda, ACRA Salary Survey/CRM Survey Committee; Statistical Research, Inc. PLLC
The Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) is a coalition of representatives from the energy industry and the preservation community with a mission to promote energy development and to protect significant historic and cultural sites. Our coalition includes representatives from Shell, Southwestern Energy, the Society for American Archaeology, and numerous ACRA-member firms. GAPP is developing and piloting a set of voluntary practices for energy companies that facilitate development, manage risk, and yield positive outcomes for historic and cultural resources and the communities that value them. During this session we will present our progress and plans for a pilot project in the Utica shale of eastern Ohio, discuss national implications of GAPP's work, and solicit input from ACRA members. Presenters will include Marion Werkheiser, counsel to the GAPP Board of Directors and day-to-day manager of the effort; Chris Polglase, Co-Chair of GAPP's Significance & Valuation Working Group, and Donn Grenda, Co-Chair of GAPP's Identification & Information Resources Working Group.
20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologist (Istanbul, Turkey; Sept 2014)
Bridging the Gap: The Gas and Preservation Partnership Nation-Wide Heritage Resources Inventory Initiative
Donn R. Grenda and Michael Heilen
In the United States, heritage resource records are spread across hundreds of local, state and federal repositories. Some of these are digital and web accessible but many are paper-based. The absence of a nation-wide digital inventory impedes regional research efforts and planning for large projects. Many energy projects that can impact important archaeological sites are conducted outside of existing regulation across large planning areas and are fast-paced, requiring rapid access to information on archaeological sensitivity and site significance. GAPP is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to work collaboratively and pragmatically with preservationists and the energy industry to identify and manage heritage resources while encouraging efficient development of energy reserves. In this presentation, we discuss an innovative, col- laborative effort by GAPP to develop a centralized, national heritage resource information system. The database will pro- vide geospatial and attribute data on archaeological sensitivity and significance to support planning decisions and project implementation. Although technically feasible, major challenges that need to be confronted are 1) the broad scale and complexity of the effort; 2) the protection of sensitive information; 3) funding; and especially, 4) the politics of heritage data management and dissemination.
Union of Concerned Scientists Press Conference (Washington, DC; May 2014)
On the Effects of Climate Change on Cultural Resources
As many of the other speakers here today will discuss, climate change is eroding and will continue to erode our historic fabric, disturbing and destroying many archaeological, traditional, and historic sites that embody the values we cherish as a nation. I want to speak less about specific sites than about two related topics: the management of historic sites and the importance of archaeology in facing climate change.
79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (Austin, Texas; April 2014)
Cosmology and the Mundane in Hohokam Experiences of Place
Scott Van Keuren (University of Vermont) and William Graves
Hohokam communities were among the longest-occupied ancient settlements in the American Southwest. Archaeologists have highlighted the links between mountains, caves, and other sacred locations and the placement of “high profile” features such as ball courts, plazas, platform mounds. This paper explores how ritual practices in pits and other “low profile” or mundane features may have played an equally important role in evoking cosmological beliefs, situating communal social relations, and transcribing the potency of specific locations. From an archaeological standpoint, such ritual loci are discrete but nonetheless central to (re)marking historically-charged places in these societies.
Communalism, Household, and Power in the Pre-Classic Tucson Basin
William Graves and Eric Klucas
In this paper, we explore potential variability in power and inequality among households and communities in the Pre-Classic period Tucson Basin. We examine variability in household storage capacity, the communal consumption activities, and access to social and economic relationships with the Phoenix Basin, to identify variability in control over the means of production, the social scale of consumption, and access to long-distance materials and ideas. Throughout the Pre-Classic period, a seemingly paradoxical relationship between communalism and the rise of inequality developed among the Tucson Basin Hohokam as households were able to acquire power differentially and social inequality became increasingly entrenched.
Extramural Pit Classification: Form, Function, and Archaic period Land-use in the Western Phoenix Basin
Large-scale excavation of a 44-acre area within a larger site in the western Phoenix Basin of southern Arizona revealed close to 2,800 pit features. Observations of the size, shape, and thermal alteration of a sample (n= 1,379) of these pits allowed the authors to perform statistical examinations of pit spatial geometry in order to group similar pits, and to separate dissimilar pits. The results of these groupings were the establishment of 16 mutually exclusive categories of pit size, shape, and thermal involvement. These categories established a framework to examine pit function based on content and use. The results of this analysis show meaningful trends of spatial distribution across the excavated portion of the site, as well as chronologic groups within a larger cultural context. The examination of these extramural pit features provides insight into Archaic land-use and subsistence patterns, which are intimately tied to this lower-bajada landscape.
The Business of CRM: Achieving Sustainability and Sustaining Professionalism
The development of cultural resource management (CRM) as a profession/industry intensified in the United States after key federal legislation was passed in 1974. After several decades, practitioners realized that already established professional organizations, with more scholarly roots, could not fully serve the complex needs of a “profession” that was intimately tied to both heritage advocacy and business. The American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA) was formed in 1995, and today, with over 150 firms as members, is a hybrid between a professional organization and a trade association. ACRA’s goal is to be the voice of the billion dollar CRM industry. The association’s efforts to provide members with the tools to professionalize and sustain the industry are exemplified by the services it provides: e.g., building a solid image for the industry; supporting and promoting CRM at the national level by “educating” legislators about preservation and the industry; disseminating information via conferences, networking opportunities, workshops, newsletters and updates, printed materials, and the Internet and the World Wide Web; establishing and maintaining relationships with organizations having common or overlapping purposes; collecting metrics on the industry and its practitioners; and establishing and encouraging best practices.
An Overview of Investigations at Sierra Diablo Cave, Texas (2008-2013)
J. Javi Vasquez (Statistical Research, Inc.), Vance T. Holliday, Arthur H. Harris (University of Texas at El Paso) and Susan M. Mentzer (University of Texas at El Paso)
Excavations at Sierra Diablo Cave, located in Trans-Pecos, Texas, have continued every year since 2008. The site is a now-dry, stratified cave and exhibits excellent overall preservation of cultural and faunal materials. In addition to documenting a well-expressed Archaic occupation, the project has focused on in situ Pleistocene deposits which contain late Pleistocene vertebrate fauna [eg., (Equus (horse), Capromeryx (miniature pronghorn), Stockoceros (Stock’s pronghorn), Nothrotheriops (Shasta ground sloth), Desmodus stocki (Stock’s vampire bat), Aztlanolagus agilis (Aztlán rabbit), Coragyps occidentalis (Western Black Vulture), Gymnogyps californianus (California Condor), and Panthera atrox (American lion)], stone and bone tools, and charcoal. Archaic items recovered from the cave (during and prior to the last five years of documented work) include atlatls, projectile points, sandals, basket fragments, corn cobs, and various other textiles. Lower deposits, associated with Pleistocene fauna, include stone tools, a bone point, debitage, and various other items. Biogenic, geogenic, and anthropogenic processes influenced the current state of stratigraphic continuity and composition throughout the site. The older sediments include eolian fines, abundant mammal dung, some roof fall, and water-lain deposits, probably from former seeps in the cave.
The Role of the Bluff Great Kiva in Temporal Perspective: From Integration to Dissolution of Chaco-era Communities
Christine Ward, Mark Mitchell (Paleocultural Research Group) and Catherine Cameron (University of Colorado)
Chaco-era great kivas integrated the communities around them. But what happened after Chaco’s collapse? Was the purpose of great kivas adjusted to reflect these larger changes occurring around them? Did the social significance that Chaco-era communities invested in great kivas linger, or were they re-imagined and re-purposed? In this paper, we review the evidence at the Bluff Great Kiva for its role – and perhaps changing role – within the Bluff Great House community and within the larger northern San Juan region. During the Chaco era, the Bluff great kiva was a setting for community-wide activities. In the post-Chaco era, the community and great house continued to be actively used, though both the great house and great kiva were remodeled repeatedly. Evidence from the great kiva’s northern antechamber points to an increasingly domestic use of that space. Did the social significance people attached to the great kiva also change? We review the evidence for the changing role of the Bluff great kiva space, both directly through excavation data as well as through comparison with other great kivas in great house communities of the northern San Juan region.
" Approaches to Understanding Desert Pavement Quarries"
Organized by Statistical Research, Inc.
The posters in this symposium present the results of recent research at Fort Irwin and the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert of California. The research focuses on desert pavement quarries, which can extend for many hectares and include thousands of artifacts and features. These sites present challenges both in terms of the methods used to record them and the interpretations made from the data. The posters discuss novel ways of recording massive sites in the field, and present the results of a 10,000-acresurvey at Fort Irwin.
A New Approach to Recording Desert Pavement Quarries
Ken Becker, Scott Kremkau, Steve Shelley and Steve Norris
The Mojave Desert of California contains a rich and varied archaeological record reflecting over 10,000 years of human occupation. Vast areas of desert pavement containing abundant stone suitable for stone tool production blanket the lower bajadas and alluvial fans located there. Many of these desert pavements were quarried over millennia for tool stone resulting in concentrations of well preserved segregated reduction loci (SRL) representing single reduction events. These pavement quarries can cover an area of more than 400 ha and contain thousands of SRLs and tens of thousands of individual artifacts. The sheer numbers of artifacts present a challenge to fully inventorying and evaluating these resources. During a 10,000 - acre survey at Fort Irwin and the Nation al Training Center, Statistical Research, Inc., developed a suite of field methods and postfield analyses using Global Positioning System and geographic information system technologies to quickly and efficiently record and define these sites in their entirety. These methods reduced field time by at least 50 percent over traditional recording methods.
What's Rocks Got to Do with It: Results of a 10,000-Acre Survey at Fort Irwin and the National Training Center
Dean Duryea, Scott Kremkau, and Ken Becker
During the Mission period in coastal California, Native Americans dramatically altered their plant food diet, owing to the unprecedented cultural disruption caused by the arrival of Spanish and a suite of new domesticated plants and animals. Recent research is revealing that the scale and pace of these changes were highly varied within California, and we are gaining new insights into the broader social context of these changes. Notably, traditional Native foods become more that a basic necessity, and emerge as an important marker of cultural identity during these colonial times. In this paper, we will discuss major changes during the Mission Period in the nature of local plant procurement strategies.
Lithic Landscapes in the Mojave Desert
This poster explores lithic procurement strategies in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California. The project area is located at Fort Irwin and the National Training Center. Recently Statistical Research, Inc. surveyed 10,000 acres on the installation and identified several large lithic procurement sites, some covering several square kilometers. The sites consist of thousands of pieces of lithic debitage, and hundreds of cores, tested cobbles, and hammer stones. This poster looks at how the lithic resources at these procurement sites were utilized by prehistoric inhabitants of the Mojave, and how the sites fit into the wider settlement pattern system of the region.
SRI papers on US Highway 491
Agricultural Dependence and Sedentism in the Southern Chuska Valley
Richard Ciolek-Torello and Bradley Vierra
Two general models describe the transition to a sedentary, agricultural way of life in the Southwest. One suggests that agriculture and sedentism are closely linked and came quickly following the introduction of agriculture in the Late Archaic period. Following this model, a distinctive pattern of domestic organization developed early and persisted essentially unchanged throughout prehistory, despite substantial changes in architecture and household structure. The second model suggests that agricultural dependence and sedentism came perhaps as much as a thousand years later because people initially used agriculture to maintain a hunting and gathering economy. Proponents of this model argue that agriculture and sedentism function independently and that intensive agricultural production preceded sedentism. This second model emphasizes changes in architecture, storage, material culture, and demography as well as agricultural diversification and the development of agricultural technologies as indicators of changing economies and mobility patterns. In this presentation, we examine these opposing models using architectural and subsistence data from the NM-491 project.
Land Use and Social History in the Southern Chuska Valley
Movement has always been a critical part of life for the prehistoric people residing in the Southwest. This movement involves periods of relative residential stability with some households emphasizing a greater degree of mobility and others aggregating into communities with more complex occupational histories. Therefore the discussion has shifted to cyclic patterns of regional movement that provide for a much larger scale of residential mobility than previously imagined. Both foragers and agriculturalists traveled over great expanses of the landscape during their lifetimes and across successive generations. The knowledge of this history would have become an integral part of their lives and cultural identity.
Households on the Social Landscape: A Perspective from the Southern Chuska Basin
John Douglass and William Graves
Households are fundamentally economic and social units. Many times conservative in their adaption to change, households are a unique laboratory for studying larger social, economic, and political trends in which they reside and interact. Households excavations dating between the Archaic through Pueblo III periods in the southern Chuska Basin, as part of the U.S. Highway 491 archaeological project, offer an important sample for understanding the relationship between households and dynamically changing larger regional political alliances, ceremonial spheres, and economic relationships through time. Public architecture and communal contexts suggest certain ties and trends for particular time periods. Do household excavations offer similar, or complementary, information? In this paper, we study and juxtapose these trends through the lens of households.
Cultural Landscapes of the Chuska Valley, New Mexico
Michael Heilen and Phillip Leckman
In this paper, we examine cultural landscapes of the Chuska Valley, in northwestern New Mexico, through the concepts of persistent place and persistent community. Using data on more than 6000 sites recorded in the New Mexico Cultural Resources Information System, variation across time and space in Archaic and Anasazi settlement location, clustering, intervisibility, and function is analyzed to identify where persistent places and communities emerged and to interpret long-term patterns of regional occupation and abandonment. Particular attention is paid to understanding potential relationships among sites, including the role that sites with integrative structures—such as plazas, great kivas, or great houses— likely played in influencing the organization of settlement across the landscape. The ways in which environmental and cultural factors may have affected the formation and abandonment of persistent places and communities are also considered.
Community Organization and Culture Change in the Chuska Valley, New Mexico
Phillip Leckman and Michael Heilen
Over the many centuries spanning the Archaic and Anasazi occupation of the Chuska Valley, many
communities formed, endured, or faded in the face of shifting patterns of regional migration, the emergence of new cultural systems, and other dimensions of social and environmental change. In this paper, we examine the internal organization of some of these communities, comparing and contrasting community scale, patterns of clustering or dispersal, the presence and role of integrative architecture, and other community attributes over space and time. In particular, we consider the relationship between these dimensions of community organization and the role of persistent places and communities within the broader Chuska Valley landscape. These analyses provide a basis for tracing the ways in which the organization of community space and architecture contributed to the endurance of prehistoric occupation in some locales and the more fluid, shifting nature of occupation in others.
Modeling Ancient Agricultural Land Use in the Southern Chuska Valley, New Mexico
Jeffrey Homburg, Michael Heilen, and Phillip Leckman
The US 491 project provided an opportunity to model agricultural systems that supported settlements concentrated in the Chuska Valley in northwest New Mexico. We analyzed GIS data, soil data, and ethnographic information to model agricultural field locations, soil quality, and anthropogenic effects of cultivation on soil productivity. Soil survey-, topographic-, and hydrological-data were analyzed for known agricultural runoff fields to identify the salient characteristics of these fields and to model other potential field locations across the study area. Analysis considered factors such as slope elements, gradients, and watershed sizes, along with soil quality variables, such as available water content, pH, texture, and horizon depth. Long-term properties of soil quality were measured for suspected fields along the US 491 corridor using chemical and physical tests (organic and inorganic carbon, nitrogen, available and total phosphorus, pH, bulk density, and particle-size analysis) to assess the nutrient status, compaction effects, and soil-water characteristics of agricultural fields. Together, these analyses allowed us to evaluate agricultural potential and cultivation effects for different parts of the study area and to assess changing relationships through time of aboriginal settlements to potential field locations.
Results of the Ceramic Analyses from the New Mexico Department of Transportation U.S. 491 Highway Project in the Southern Chuska Valley, NM
Meaghan Trowbridge and Robert Heckman
Analysis of ceramic artifacts offers an avenue through which many questions pertaining to regional interaction throughout the Southwest can be addressed. The San Juan Basin was an incredibly active place in terms of social interaction and migration during prehistoric times, and ceramics recovered from sites in the southern Chuska Valley indicate that local groups had significant social and/or economic ties to other regions, such as the northern Colorado Plateau. Data recovery of more than two dozen archaeological sites by Statistical Research, Inc. as part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation US 491 highway project produced more than 60,000 ceramic artifacts. Ceramics analyzed represent a span of occupations from Basketmaker III through Pueblo III periods, and include wares and types from both local and non-local geographic contexts. This paper presents an overview of results from the ceramic analysis, and touches on interesting patterns and observations noted through time at the sites investigated.
Architectural and Household Evolution along the Southern Chuska Slope
David Unruh, Phillip Leckman, Richard Ciolek-Torello and John Douglass
Domestic architectural change through time has been observed to be an important window into larger social, political-economic, and ritual venues. Across time and space, the transition from round or circular, below-ground structures to rectangular or square, above-ground structures is seen as representative of fundamental changes in household economic and social organization. At the same time, some aspects of former architectural styles persist. Our paper focuses on this transition and persistence from the perspective of a sample of households dating between the Archaic and Pueblo III periods investigated as part of the US Highway 491 project. Through a close examination of domestic activities and structure function using architecture, floor assemblages, and features, we will develop models of the processes involved in this important, pan-cultural phenomenon, via a perspective from the American Southwest.
SRI papers on Luke Air Force Base
The Lukeolith: A Newly Described Ground Stone Implement from the Luke Air Force Base Solar- Power-Array Archaeological Data Recovery Project
Canon Daughtrey (University of Arizona), Jesse Ballenger, and Rita Sulkosky
The Middle and Late Archaic technologies of the Sonoran Desert are known from sites that occur either on the upper bajadas or in the floodplains. Recent excavations at Luke Air Force Base in the Phoenix Basin of Arizona resulted in the first robust collections from the lower bajada, an expansive landscape characterized by a narrow range of wild plant foods, limited game animals, and little water. Despite these constraints, Archaic period foragers invested heavily in the procurement, transport, and manufacture of formal ground stone technologies. Typical manos, metates, pestles, and mortars are accompanied by a distinctive tool category that does not articulate with other ground stone implements at the site. This poster describes the morphology and wear patterns that define the so-called “lukeolith,” formally shaped implements that do not have a functional analog in the Southwest. Preliminary microanalysis suggests these implements may have been used to work soft or pliable materials and alternative explanations are offered citing cross-geographical and cultural comparative examples. Additionally, we present the results of a geospatial analysis situating the lukeolith within an intrasite context which highlights their spatial and functional relationships with traditional ground stone artifact types.
Clovis, Folsom, and Climate: The Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund
Vance Holliday(University of Arizona), Bruce Huckell (University of New Mexico) and Jesse Ballenger (Statistical Research Inc.)
The Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund (AARF) was established at the University of Arizona by Joe and Ruth Cramer in 2001. AARF’s mission focuses on the archaeology and geoarchaeology of First Americans in the American Southwest, including northwest Mexico. In central New Mexico AARFsupported excavation and stratigraphic mapping of the Boca Negra Wash and Deann’s Folsom sites in the Albuquerque Basin, and a long-term program of testing, mapping and coring of the extensive Mockingbird Gap Clovis site on the Jornada del Muerto. This research suggests that Clovis and Folsom subsistence in this region was focused on bison hunting carried out by small, mobile groups adjacent to playa wetlands and marshy draw environments. AARF work in the San Pedro Valley of Arizona has pushed the alluvial chronology of the inner valley back to Clovis times, mapped the distribution of “black mats,” and continued testing of mammoth sites in the valley. Inventories of surface finds map the occurrence of Paleoindian occupations throughout the AARF region. High concentrations of Folsom sites are documented along the Rio Grande Valley, but no Folsom artifacts are known from southern Arizona or northwest Mexico.
The Technological Organization of Desert Hunter-Gatherers during the Middle-Late Archaic Transition in the American Southwest
Jesse Ballenger and Matt Pailes (University of Arizona)
Large-scale excavations at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, Arizona resulted in the collection of approximately 60 Middle to Late Archaic projectile points and fragments. Most of the intact bifaces fit the criteria for Chiricahua and San Pedro type points, technologies that are typical of these periods in the Sonoran Desert. The Luke collection is unique because few sites preserve the Middle-Late Archaic transition in a stratified and dated open air context. Still more, it samples an unanticipated technological landscape of dedicated high-tech biface manufacture (total weight 6.5 kg) contrasted by large, shaped ground stone tools (total weight 3528 kg) that were transported to the site at considerable expense. These stereotypically male and female technologies transcend the appearance of maize elsewhere in the Southwest, but there is no convincing evidence that maize was cultivated or consumed at the site. Previous studies identify a dramatic reduction in mobility during the Late Archaic period, when evidence for semi-permanent riverine agricultural village life appears in the region. Using routine measures of technological organization, this poster presents the evidence for continuity in residentially mobile hunter- gatherer lifeways and subsistence during and after the transition to agriculture.
Get along Little Bunnies: A Possible Early Twentieth Century Rabbit Drive in Southern Arizona
A single historical-period pit was discovered among the thousands of prehistoric features in the Luke Air Force Base Project, near Phoenix, Arizona, and that pit yielded over a thousand pieces of bone. Most are leporids or are from rabbit-sized taxa, including a minimum of fourteen cottontails and jackrabbits, interred with shotgun shells dating to the 1900s to 1920. Bones are well preserved, unburned, and many are intact. All leporid regions are represented, and portions were articulated at the time of excavation. Other pest species were found in the same pit.
Why are the rabbit carcasses so complete? Why were so many killed but not consumed? A look at early twentieth century interactions between humans and leporids offers a possible explanation. Jackrabbit drives are not only a part of Arizona's prehistory, but in the late nineteenth and the first third of the twentieth century, periodic localized peaks in leporid populations competed with cattle for forage and with farmers for their crops. The Arizona Territories offered bounties for rabbit ears and local ranchers and farmers organized rabbit drives in response, at times killing hundreds or thousands of leporids. This feature may provide evidence of a similar hunting episode.
Archaic Period Subsistence and Resource Use in a lower-Bajada Environment
Recent excavations for the Luke Solar Project in the western Phoenix Basin revealed one of the largest Archaic sites known to date, situated on a lower-bajada environment. The Middle and Late Archaic Periods were a time of transition in southern Arizona, as foragers became farmers, ceramics were adopted, and other aspects of life changed. Over the last few decades, new data on the Late Archaic/Early Agricultural period has increased our knowledge of this time period, particularly in riparian areas, but the Middle Archaic is still poorly understood. Middle Archaic sites are scarce and are often small, consisting largely of flaked and ground stone artifacts, faunal collections tend to be scanty if present, and floral remains only infrequently recovered. The Middle and Late Archaic occupations uncovered as part of the Luke Solar project include thousands of features, a large faunal collection, numerous identifiable plant remains, and a high frequency of ground stone tools. The Luke Solar project provides an excellent opportunity to examine the ways in which Archaic groups interacted with their environment, the available resources, and the subsistence practices of Middle and Late Archaic groups in a lower-bajada environment.
The Ground Stone Landscape at Luke Air Force Base: A Four-Dimensional Approach
Amelia Natoli, Cannon S. Daughtrey (University of Arizona), Rita Sulkosky, Z. Nahide Aydin, and Jesse A.M. Ballenger
From 2010 to 2013, Statistical Research, Inc. conducted excavations at Site AZ T:7:419 (ASM) for the Luke Solar-Power-Array Archaeological Data Recovery Project. Totaling about 3000 features spread across 44 acres, this is the largest Archaic site identified in the greater Phoenix Basin. The site is located on the lower-bajada of the White Tank Mountains near Phoenix, Arizona. Radiocarbon dates range from the Early Archaic to the Classic Period (ca. 7000 cal. B.C. – cal. A.D. 1200), with the most intensive occupation during the Middle to Late Archaic periods (ca. 3300–700 cal. B.C). Over 2000 ground stone artifacts were recovered from the site, and nearly a third of those were found in an extramural context, believed to have been strategically cached or left in-place for future processing activities. Most of the extramural ground stone are represented by complete, formally shaped tools. In this study, we examine how the spatial and temporal distribution of various ground stone artifacts informs on the organization of wild plant processing before and after the appearance of maize in the U.S. Southwest, whether caching behavior can be identified at the site, and the evidence for task-specific tool associations (tool kits).
New Aspects of Archaic Land-Use in the Sonoran Desert: Intensive Excavation at Luke AFB, Arizona
Statistical Research, Inc’s., mitigation of a proposed solar-power-array at Luke Air Force Base involved excavating 44 contiguous acres, sampling ca. 3,000 features, and documenting the largest and most diverse Middle Archaic occupation in Arizona to date. Site function and socioeconomic organization varied from a resource procurement staging and processing locale frequented by task groups to a seasonal habitation including multiple contemporary structures built and used by family groups. The increased occupational intensity signaled by the repeated but short-term establishment of seasonal habitations coincided with short periods of increased precipitation, aggradation, and biotic productivity. On-site subsistence is particularly interesting because it involved significant investment in a formal ground- stone technology applied to nearby native plants, and this subsistence pattern persisted for millennia before and after the arrival of maize horticulture in surrounding locales at ca. 2100 B.C. At Luke AFB, all this transpired in a lower-bajada setting that is traversed but not occupied in most Middle and Late Archaic land-use models. Ongoing analyses and current project results are used to present these newly documented aspects of settlement, subsistence, and social organization during the Middle-to-Late Archaic transition in the Sonoran Desert.
Geochronology of Luke Solar
Jason Windingstad, John Hall, Jesse Ballenger and Robert Wegener
The nearly contiguous 46-acre footprint of the Luke Solar project area housed a shallowly stratified middle and late Archaic archaeological record associated with a laterally complex mosaic of distal bajada alluvial fan deposits. One of the primary objectives of the geoarchaeological analysis was placing this important archaeological record into a time-stratigraphic framework. The complex nature inherent to alluvial fan environments, however, makes correlation across space difficult if not impossible without some form of independent age control. One hundred and twenty radiocarbon dates from geologic and cultural contexts along with the detailed description over 200 profiles, exposed in mechanically excavated trenches, allowed us to place site deposits into five major geologic units. The chronostratigraphic model indicates site occupations were contemporaneous with a major period of fan deposition between 4500- 4000 14C yr BP and with multiple fan aggradational episodes dated between 2900-1300 14C yr BP. Regionally, the periods of active fan deposition at Luke Solar correlate with other dated alluvial fan and paleoflood deposits in the Southwest suggesting climate change as a major driving mechanism for both geomorphic and prehistoric cultural shifts.
Poster Session · MIDDLE AND LATE ARCHAIC PERIOD SUBSISTENCE AND SETTLEMENT IN THE WESTERN PHOENIX BASIN, ARIZONA: THE LUKE AIR FORCE BASE SOLAR-POWER- ARRAY ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA RECOVERY PROJECT
From 2010–2013, Statistical Research, Inc., (SRI) completed phased mitigation on Luke Air Force Base near Glendale, AZ, for the construction of a proposed 17-megawatt, 107-acre solar-power-array. Excavations encompassed 44 contiguous acres of a larger archaeological site, which contained over 3,000 buried and shallowly stratified features preserved in a lower-bajada environment. Project results include the most substantial evidence of Middle and Late Archaic land use in the Phoenix Basin and southern Arizona. Based on the archaeological and geoarchaeological analysis, the site functioned as a seasonal habitation or resource procurement, processing, and staging locale intermittently occupied between 7000 cal. B.C.–cal. A.D. 1200. Occupational intensity was greatest during the Middle and Late Archaic Periods, and especially between ca. 3300 and 2400 cal B.C. Evidence from these Archaic occupations reflects the activities of mobile foraging groups processing wild plant resources. Virtually no evidence of maize was recovered, suggesting the site occupants were not engaged in early agriculture, unlike contemporaneous groups along the middle Santa Cruz River near Tucson. This symposium presents the results of ongoing analysis that are increasing our understanding of the Middle and Late Archaic periods in southern Arizona and the greater U.S. Southwest.
48th Annual Meeting of the Society for California Archaeology (Visalia, California; March 2014)
Social Status in a Gabrielino Coastal Village
Richard Ciolek-Torello, Seetha Reddy, Donn Grenda, John Douglass, and Patrick Stanton
Ethnohistoric accounts suggest that the Gabrielino were a complex huntergatherer society similar to their Chumash neighbors. They had a rich and elaborate material culture and a ranked society with a chiefly class. Building upon Pat Martz's research on Chumash burial grounds, we report on the results of a recent study from the Ballona Wetlands in west Lost Angeles. Based on Martz's indicators of wealth, social status, and prestige, we identified six distinct high status social classes or roles that developed in coastal Gabrielino society. Significantly, most of these roles emerged only in the late Mission period with little evidence for social differentiation before
14th Annual Southwest Symposium (Las Vegas, Nevada; January 2014)
Identifying Nested Social Groups: The Pioneer Period in the Tucson Basin
Eric Eugene Klucas and William M. Graves
One way to describe human societies and communities are as collections of separate but interrelated social groups that vary in size, composition, and function. A major source of the complexity of social relations that characterize human communities is that individuals are often members of multiple social groups simultaneously—social groups that cross-cut and extend beyond the social scales of community and family and that each come with its own set of obligations and responsibilities. In this paper, we explore the kinds of social groups that may have composed the early village sites of the Tucson Basin. Our data set includes Pioneer period sites in both the northern and central Tucson Basin. Through an examination of residential features, burial features, site structure and the use of space, we discuss the archaeological correlates of these groups and offer our interpretations of how these groups were integrated into an emerging, broader Hohokam society. In addition, we explore how the composition and structure of these various groups may have set the stage for the development of later expressions of Hohokam social, political, and economic organization.