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Classic Period Projectile Point Design Variation in the Tucson Basin and San Pedro Valley, Arizona
AuthorRyan, Stacy Lynn
AdvisorKuhn, Steven L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSimilar projectile point types were used by groups living over a wide geographic region in central and southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries A.D. Substantial changes that occurred in southeastern Arizona at this time include population aggregation, the arrival of northern migrant groups, and an increase in obsidian use. An analysis focusing on two sub-regions, the Tucson Basin and the San Pedro Valley, was conducted to explore how social, technological and environmental factors influenced projectile point technology during the Classic period (A.D. 1150–1450) in southeastern Arizona. Projectile point metric and morphological attributes and obsidian source data were used for comparisons within both of the sub-regions. Despite differences in social relations, obsidian exchange networks, and access to large game, comparisons between sites in the northeastern and northwestern Tucson Basin did not reveal significant differences in projectile point types. However, a good deal of variation in base morphology is evident regardless of type among the Tucson Basin sites. Projectile points from Kayenta enclaves in the Lower San Pedro Valley are overwhelmingly made of obsidian, but do not possess significantly different attributes from those used by local groups. Notable variation was seen in the small sample from the Upper San Pedro Valley, which may be attributed to the lack of influence from groups living to the north. Overall, the similarities in projectile point forms correspond with the growth of social networks during the Classic period. Although the small size of these points restricts their usefulness for signaling group identity, variation in base morphology, serrated blade edges, and other small details may continue to inform on the learning traditions or cultural preferences of groups in the region. Future research should expand the study area to include the Upper Gila region of New Mexico, where groups were living close to the extensive Mule Creek obsidian source.
Degree ProgramGraduate College