In central Arizona, between Phoenix and Flagstaff, archaeologists have uncovered a series of settlements that may be more representative of the prehistoric Southwest than the celebrated civilization of the Anasazi and Hohokam. People of the Tonto Rim tells the story of the people who lived there from about A.D. 1000 to 1300, recounting the ...
In central Arizona, between Phoenix and Flagstaff, archaeologists have uncovered a series of settlements that may be more representative of the prehistoric Southwest than the celebrated civilization of the Anasazi and Hohokam. People of the Tonto Rim tells the story of the people who lived there from about A.D. 1000 to 1300, recounting the investigation of their society as well exploring the implications for our understanding of other societies beyond the Southwest. The excavations around Shoofly Village near Payson, Arizona, began in 1984. Working with students and amateur volunteers, a team of archaeologists unearthed a surprising variety of material remains. The small communities of this upland area, organized into villages, hamlets, and households, used a diversity of building styles and left behind a half million artifacts. Their society, though less prosperous than that of the Anasazi and lacking the productivity of highly centralized states, exhibited flexibility and resilience that enabled it to last for several centuries. The people of the Tonto Rim, Charles Redman argues, integrated a diversity of lifestyles, incorporating such external innovations as domesticated plants, masonry, and contiguous architecture, as well as special pottery techniques, and therefore flourished longer than their better-known neighbors. Introducing the questions and techniques that motivate archaeologists, People of the Tonto Rim leads the reader through the entire excavation process, yielding that rare kind of book equally compelling to scholar and general reader alike.
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