Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 Contact   FAQs   Site Map 
News & Events
Research Projects
Applying to SHESC
Museums & Institutes
Partners & Collaborators
Search SHESC

Calderwood Butte Ceramic Analysis


These studies are intended to investigate ceramic provenance, the organization of ceramic production and distribution, and the structure of social and exchange networks among the ancient Hohokam communities in the lower Agua Fria River area.

This project includes the analysis of prehistoric Hohokam pottery from 16 archaeological sites situated near Calderwood Butte and along the lower Agua Fria River, Maricopa County, Arizona. It also comprises the collection and chemical assay of phyllite rocks from the Hieroglyphic Mountains for comparison with phyllite temper in the prehistoric pottery.

Several stages of research include a rough-sort analysis of all ceramics collected during Soil Systems excavations, a detailed analysis of a pottery sample chosen on the basis of sherd size and recovery context, electron microprobe analyses of raw phyllite specimens and phyllite-tempered potsherds, and the preparation of a publishable-quality analytical report for the rough sort, detailed analysis, and chemical assays.

Also, a comparative analysis of pottery from the nearby settlement of Casa de Piedras, located on the opposite bank of the Agua Fria River, is being conducted by undergraduate students enrolled in ASB-494, Research Methods in Archaeology, during the Spring, 2005. The classroom analysis is contributing valuable supplemental information pertaining to the production and distribution of prehistoric pottery in the general area, which will be integrated with the Calderwood Butte data in the final project report.

Research Team
  • David R. Abbott, Principal Investigator
  • Joshua Watts
  • Andrew Lack

Source of Funding
Project support has been received from Soil Systems Inc. ($30,000).

Presentations and Events
Final Report to Soil Systems, Inc., will be completed by August, 2005.

Abbott, David R. (2000)
"Ceramics and Community Organization among the Hohokam", University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Contact: David Abbott