Beginning sometime in the thirteenth century, people from the Hopi Mesas established a cluster of villages to the south along the Little Colorado River, attracted by the river's resources and the
region's ideal conditions for growing cotton. By the late 1300s, these Homol'ovi villages were the center of a robust trade in cotton among many clusters of villages near or on the southern Colorado
Plateau and were involved in the beginning of katsina religion.
This is a fascinating tale of the rise and fall of a very important settlement at a critical time for the people of the Southwest. Well written in a narrative style, it will appeal to the archaeologist and the layman with an interest in the people of the Southwest and the Hopi in particular. It is a fine example of how archaeology can make an ancient place and people come alive.
Charles Adams has directed fifteen years of research at these sites for the Arizona State Museum, including excavations in
five of the seven primary Homol'ovi villages and in other villages predating them. Through this research he concludes that the founders of these settlements were Hopis who sought to protect their
territory from migrating groups elsewhere in the Pueblo world. This book summarizes that research and broadens our understanding of the relationship of Homol'ovi to ancient and modern Hopi people.
Each Homol'ovi village had a unique history of establishment, growth, sociopolitical organization, length of occupation, and abandonment; and although the villages shared much in the way of
material culture, their size and configuration were tremendously varied. By comparing Homol'ovi research to information from projects on other settlements in the area, Adams has been able to
reconstruct a provocative history of the Homol'ovi cluster that includes relationships among the individual villages and their relationships to nearby clusters. He shows that social organization
within villages is apparent by the number and variety of ritual structures, while political organization among villages is indicated by the need for cooperation to share water for irrigation and by
the exchange of such materials as pottery, obsidian, and ground stone. Adams advances several important theories about why Homol'ovi was founded where and when it was, who its founders were, and
the importance of cotton in making Homol'ovi an important center of trade in the 1300s. He also considers why Pueblo settlements suddenly became so large, addressing theoretical issues pertaining to
multiple settlements and the rise of enormous villages containing more than 1,000 rooms. Homol'ovi is a rich work of synthesis and interpretation that will be important for anyone with an
interest in Southwest archaeology, Arizona history, or Hopi culture.