Ceramic production, distribution, and consumption in two Classic period Hohokam communities
AuthorHarry, Karen Gayle, 1960-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractUsing compositional data, this study investigates the organization of ceramic production and distribution in the Marana and Los Robles communities, two prehistoric Hohokam site clusters dating to the early Classic period (ca. A.D. 1100-1300). Like many other site clusters in the Southwest, each community is characterized by a settlement hierarchy composed of a primary village surrounded by numerous, smaller satellite villages in a variety of ecological settings. In the Marana and Los Robles communities, the primary villages contain public architecture in the form of platform mounds. Research in the Marana community indicates that, there, the platform mound site and other sites near the top of the settlement hierarchy contain higher proportions of nonlocal and luxury goods than other settlements in the community. One such class of differentially-distributed artifacts is the ceramic ware known as Tanque Verde Red-on-brown. It is this ceramic ware that forms the basis of this dissertation. The presence of settlement hierarchies and diverse ecological settings have raised questions about the socioeconomic relationship of a community's inhabitants. Using compositional data obtained from the chemical and mineralogical analysis of Tanque Verde Red-on-brown ceramics, the present study focuses on three research issues: (1) the degree of integration or interaction between residents of a single community; (2) the relationship of community inhabitants with people living outside the community; and (3) the significance of site hierarchies and differentially-distributed artifacts. Particular emphasis is placed on the latter research issue. It is concluded that the higher proportions of Tanque Verde Red-on-brown ceramics found at some sites reflects neither centralized production nor elite-controlled distribution, as has been suggested by some researchers. Nor, however, do the data support those models suggesting that each household was economically self-sufficient. Instead, production and distribution mechanisms were found to be more variable than can be accommodated by previous models. It is argued that the economic organization reflects a combination of strategies used by the community leaders to maintain and solidify their social statuses. To examine why these strategies were adopted, the local cultural sequence and the history of population shifts are considered.
Degree ProgramGraduate College