The nature of the available data is such that it would be ill advised to draw conclusions from it. Therefore a summary of what has been presented and one possible interpretation will be included at this point.
As mentioned in the introduction, the study of the Classic period Hohokam is probably more dependent upon a study of other non-Hohokam groups than perhaps any other period of Hohokam history with the possible exception of the early Pioneer. Thus, a great deal of this work has been focused upon various non-Hohokam groups which bordered the Hohokam to the east and north. Had time permitted this would have included the South. The Sinagua, Salado, and Prescott Branches have be discussed as far as present research has permitted.
It has been demonstrated that all three of the above peoples had contact with the Hohokam at a pre-Classic horizon, the Hohokam having worked up the Salt to the upstream end of Roosevelt Lake, up the Verde and into the Flagstaff area; and up the Agua Fria to at least Lonesome Valley. This movement was taking pace by at least the Santa Cruz phase and was probably maintained through the greater part of the Sacaton (See Figure 6). Either at the end of the Sacaton or beginning of the Soho, a withdrawal of the Hohokam is witnessed. In conjunction with this withdrawal there seems to have been an occupation of the Hohokam abandoned land by non-Hohokam, at least along the Agua Fria and Verde Rivers. This is attested to by the presence of Ariz T:7:1 on the Agua Fria. Also as has been discussed, the existence of the Southern Sinagua has been questioned, the writer suspecting that the southern Sinagua might better be described as part of the Prescott Branch. Also, it is suggested here that the Prescott and Salado Branches may be more closely related than has heretofore been suspected. This would do a great deal to help explain similarities, particularly in burial forms encountered at Walnut Creek in the vicinity of Young, Arizona, at King's Ruin, forty-five miles northwest of Prescott, Arizona; and at Ariz U:9:100 in Mesa, Arizona.
Figure 6. Hypothesized greatest expansion of the Hohokam beyond the core area, circa CE 1100.
Whether violence accompanied this movement needs yet to be defined. This writer tends to believe that there was, as do others. However there are yet others who do not believe this. This question very definitely demands additional work.
The above is written to indicate that I make the interpretation that the northern and northeastern frontiers of the Hohokam collapsed at a late Sacaton or early Soho time (see Figure 7), the Hohokam withdrawing back to the Salt River Basin from up the Agua Fria, Verde and middle Salt. Also implied is that the withdrawal was not a peaceful movement, but a forced abandonment. Corollary to this is the belief that this pressure was maintained through the entire Classic period as seems to be evidenced by the architecture, which could be interpreted as being fortification orientated. This corollary would help to explain what I believe took place either near the end or soon after the end of the Classic in the Salt River Valley.
Figure 7. Northern border after a hypothesized collapse, circa CE 1100.
High resolution image, 819 x 930 pixels, 68.6KB
The suggestion that the Pima are the inheritors of the Hohokam culture has been advanced (Haury 1945:211; Ezell 1963:61-6) and this writer, on the basis of the current evidence, accepts the idea. To date however, no early Pima material has been located in the Salt River Valley (Ruppe 1996:8). I believe that the Salt River Valley was completely abandoned by the Hohokam at about A.D. 1400 (see Figure 8) and that with the complete abandonment of the Salt River, we have non-Hohokam peoples moving in, as we did along the Agua Fria and Verde at an earlier date. I would therefore place the shaft, pole covered burials recovered at Ariz U:9:100 as not being Hohokam, but of one of these non-Hohokam groups, which on the basis of current evidence could be either Salado or Prescott Branch.
Figure 8. Northern border after a second hypothesized collapse, circa CE 1400.
High resolution image, 819 x 930 pixels, 67.7KB
On the basis of very slim Pima ethnographic evidence, this history could possibly be carried a little more toward the present; however this writer will not do this, much preferring to await further evidence from the field.
As has been stressed throughout the length and breadth of this paper, and at the risk of repetition, this paper represents only a very limited amount of the evidence available, and that much more research must be done on the items covered in this paper, while several other items need to be introduced.