Extensive and long-term specialization: Hohokam ceramic production in the phoenix basin, Arizona

David Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The ceramic evidence from 10 sites in the lower Salt River valley, Arizona, represents the entire temporal interval defined as the pre-Classic era of Hohokam prehistory. These data indicate that nearly all of the clay pots consumed in the valley over a period lasting six centuries were manufactured by just a few potter groups. The uninterrupted duration, high volume, and the large variety of vessel forms and wares produced for exchange may have been unparalleled in the prehistoric Southwest. A temporally comprehensive model of pottery manufacture in the Phoenix basin is presented, its implications for the origins of specialization, and the influence of intensive irrigation are discussed. In addition, the implications are considered for a previously published model of the Hohokam economy centered on marketplace transactions (Abbott, Smith, and Gallaga 2007).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-557
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

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