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Anthropology 2231F/G Lecture Notes - Hohokam, Jacal, Caliche

Course Code
ANTH 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 21 Hohokam
Deserts of Arizona
Major rivers: Gila and Salt River flow through the desert
Two major groups: Pima (descendents of Hohokam) and Popago
Hohokam: meaning those who vanished, or completely used up
More elaborate pottery, larger sites are general population trends, but
Hohokam have always been very distinctive from the Anasazi
Disappeared around 1400 AD
Differences from Anasazi:
o 1. Pottery
Never used coiled pottery, modeled clay into shape
Did use slips like the Anasazi
Covered the pottery with painted geometric designs, very
Colour of paints are usually red, different from black used by
Did adopt black-on-white, adopted from Anasazi
o 2. Didn’t built pueblos as living structures
Usually individual family houses
300-700 AD: houses small, family sized, rectangular, not true
pithouses (shallow pits, not deep pits like Anasazi houses)
Have a sloping ramp to go into the houses
Made in similar ways with jacal
To switch to pithouses more like those of the Anasazi from
700-1200 AD
Small, squarish to begin with
Do not have the sipapu, totally different beliefs of where
people came from
After 1200 AD, switched to above-ground structures, more like
residential compounds
o Changes in layout of sites
300 AD: few houses arranged around a central open courtyard
Prior to 700 AD
Public structures starting
o Mound building, made from trash piles, used a
hard covering (called caliche), ritual structure
Called hamlets, only about 100 people
775 - 975 AD Colonial Period
Changes to architecture of villages
True pithouses, arranged around courtyard
Appearance of ball courts
o Large areas, about 80 meters long, slope down
with a clay flooring, 34 known
o Similar to game played by Mayans, influence?
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