The State Route 188–Cottonwood Creek Project: The Sedentary to Classic Period Transition in Tonto Basin, Volume 2

Edited by Eric Eugene Klucas, Richard Ciolek-Torrello, and Holly Warner

Technical Series 78, Volume 2

382 pp. / 2010

The Sedentary to Classic Period Transition in Tonto Basin presents the results of a two-phase data recovery program conducted by Statistical Research, Inc., on the eastern slopes of the Mazatzal Mountains at the boundary of the upper and lower Tonto Basins in central Arizona. The project involved nine prehistoric sites and segments of the historical-period Globe-Payson Highway located along a 3.8-mile segment of State Route 188 near Jakes Corner. The investigations were undertaken under contract with the Arizona Department of Transportation. The prehistoric sites include two limited-activity sites located along Hardt Creek near Jakes Corner, an early Classic period field house overlooking Gold Creek, and six late Sedentary–early Classic period sites near Cottonwood Creek. The latter include two small early Classic period compounds overlying smaller Sedentary period settlements.

The Sedentary to Classic period transition, a watershed event in the prehistory of Tonto Basin, has been the subject of considerable controversy for over a half century. Early investigators had argued that this transition was a time when Hohokam colonists abandoned Tonto Basin, leaving a cultural vacuum that was subsequently filled by groups who migrated from the Mogollon Rim and created a distinct Puebloan-related culture they called the Salado. Later investigators rejected the notion of a cultural hiatus and argued for direct continuity between the pre-Classic period Hohokam and Classic period Salado cultures. Still others have suggested that Tonto Basin was an area of cultural interaction between the three major cultures of the Southwest. The variable influences of the Hohokam, Mogollon, and Anasazi were manifested in architecture, ceramics, and mortuary practices at different times and in different places within the basin. The variety of chronologies, time periods, and phases developed for Tonto Basin reflect this debate.

The State Route 188–Cottonwood Creek Project provides important new information about chronology and cultural relations during this pivotal time period in Tonto Basin prehistory. In the second volume of this three-volume series, we present the results of detailed scientific analyses of ceramics, lithics, and other artifacts; ceramic petrography subsistence remains, and human bioarchaeology from the prehistoric sites. The volume is completed with a series of appendixes concerning the ceramic analyses, including photographs of the entire ceramic mortuary collection

For Volume 1, click here.

For Volume 3, click here.