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Roots of Sedentism
Archaeological Excavations at Valencia Vieja, a Founding Village in the Tucson Basin of Southern Ariz.
By Henry D. Wallace
Center for Desert Archaeology
453 pp. / 8.50 in x 11.00 in / 2004
Paper (978-1-8863-9845-0) [s]
  
Related Interest
  - Archaeology


Roots of Sedentism takes the reader to one of the most inadequately understood points of cultural transformation in prehistory: the origins of settled village life and the origins of a dynamic culture in the American Southwest, the Hohokam. The results of large-scale excavations at Valencia Vieja, a pristine early village in the southern Tucson Basin founded in the fifth century is presented. Occupied for no more than 275 years, the village was left untouched until archaeologists began excavation. Estimated to have over 400 pit structures, Valencia Vieja residential, activity, and refuse zones were arranged in concentric rings around a central plaza that contained a probable cemetery. Comprehensive testing and extensive horizontal excavations resulted in an unusually complete picture of village structure and growth. A sequence of rebuilding episodes is documented, detailing the impacts of aggregation and early sociopolitical developments. Radiocarbon dates, house-rebuilding sequences, and key artifacts provided strong dating control and permitted comparison with similarly dated remains elsewhere in the Hohokam region of southern Arizona. The rise of maintained aggregation, residential permanence, and the establishment of permanent ritual facilities were key factors in the growth of Hohokam Culture. This volume has much to offer for scholars interested in the effects of sedentism and aggregation in agricultural societies and is a boon to Hohokam archaeologists who have strived to understand the origins of this desert culture.


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