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John R. Roney & Robert J. Hard – “Early Agriculture and Collective Action in the Southern Southwest”

March 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST (Arizona)

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As far as we know, corn was the earliest cultivated plant in the Southwest.  It was introduced from further south in Mexico no later than 2100 BC, and perhaps much earlier.  By 2000 BC it was widely dispersed in the Southwest, and for several millennia afterwards it seems to have been grown casually by people who continued to follow lifeways largely shaped by hunting and gathering.  This model holds up well for much of the Southwest, but we believe that events unfolded very differently in the southern Basin and Range country.  Here, along the river valleys of Arizona, Sonora, and Chihuahua, as early as 1300 BC we find evidence of increased reliance on agriculture, increasing sedentism, irrigation, warfare, massively aggregated and fortified settlements, experimentation with integrative architecture, and the appearance of other items of material culture likely pertaining to social integration, including small stone mortars and pestles, stone pipes, and cruciforms.  In this presentation, we review evidence from the Tucson Basin, from the site of La Playa in northern Sonora, from a series of cerros de trincheras along the Rio Casas Grandes in northwestern Chihuahua, and from sites along the Upper Gila River in the Safford and Duncan Valleys.  We stress that this is a broad regional development, focused on the major river valleys, and we emphasize the theme of collective action—endeavors that involved cooperation and coordination well beyond the scale of individual families. 

 

 

Photo Caption: Cerro de los Torres, a Late Archaic site north of Casas Grandes. (Photo by Adriel Heisey)


Details

Date:
March 15
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST
Event Category:

Organizer

Paul Minnis
Email:
minnis@ou.edu