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Excavations
at
Valshni
Village,
Arizona

Cover
Copyright

2002 Editor's Foreword

1973 Editor's Foreword

Author's Preface

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Regional & vicinity maps

Introduction

Habitat

Methods

Dating

Architecture
Vamori
Topawa
Non-architectural Features
Pottery
Local
Intrusive
Misc. Clay Objects
Burial

Stonework

Bonework

Shellwork

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Canal

Bibliography

2000 notes

Logo


Habitat

Valshni Village is situated in the middle of a broad flat covered with mesquite and creosote bushes and is approximately 2300 feet above sea level. None of the other typical flora of this desert region was found on the site, however most of these plants are found closer to the hills. No vegetal matter was found during the excavations, but many plants were undoubtedly important in the economy of the prehistoric occupants of the village (Scantling, 1940:56). That these people relied to a great extent upon hunting is shown by the quantity of animal bones found throughout the rubbish. Dr. W. H. Burt, Curator of Mammals, University of Michigan, identified the animal bones found (Table 1). The bones collected from the rubbish scattered over the site totaled 285 pieces.


Table 1
Common Name Species Name No. of
Bones
Arizona Whitetail Deer Odocoileus couesi 1
Mule or Blacktail Deer Odocoileus hemionus 2
Deer Odocoileus, unidentified as to species 140
Antelope Jackrabbit Lepus alleni 52
California Jackrabbit Lepus californicus 86
Cottontail Rabbit Sylvilagus 1
Rabbit Unidentified as to species 80
Coyote Canis latrans 2
Wildcat Lynx 1

It should be noted that no mountain sheep bones are among these. During the excavations, seventeen good specimens of mountain sheep horns (Ovis canadensis) were recovered, and fragments of horns were found throughout the site. It is probable that bones of these animals were found but were broken beyond identification. Another point of interest is that no evidence of mountain sheep was found at the Jackrabbit Ruin. Mountain sheep have been in the region during historic times (Lumholtz, 1912:22) and were certainly there during the occupation of Valshni Village. So either there was a shift in the range of these animals during the Sells Phase, or else they were just ignored by the people as a source of food. The latter seems more likely as there seems to have been no change which would have caused these animals to leave the country temporarily. The Sells Phase saw many changes in the local culture, among them an apparent intensification of agriculture over the findings in Valshni Village. Probably this kept the people so occupied that they gave up using the animals which were the hardest to obtain and required the most time to hunt.


Figure 3. Looking East across Baboquivari Valley from Valshni Village. (Courtesy Arizona State Museum). Reduced size from original print.
Higher resolution image. This image provides a better 'feel' for the country. Minimal image compression. 1338 x 890 pixels, 580 KB.

Papagueria is bounded on the north by the Gila River; on the east by the Baboquivari Mountains; on the south by the Altar River; while the western boundary is formed by the Growler Mountains (Lumholtz, 1912:16). It is an extremely arid and inhospitable land. "A warm climate, almost constant sunshine, and very little rain set the area apart as a land of small population, both animal and human" (Bryan, 1925:1). About 80% of the area is made up of valleys with an average elevation of about 2300 feet (Bryan, 1925:101). The remainder of the area is composed of isolated mountain ranges and their pediments ranging from 3000 to 7441 feet above sea level, the average elevation being 4000 feet (see Fig. 3). Winter temperatures are mild, favoring a long growing season.

The average annual rainfall for the region is from five to ten inches (Bryan, 1925:79).

The location of Valshni Village in the broad flats of the Baboquivari Valley was ideal for an agricultural community. Bryan (1925:249) says of this valley:

The streams on passing from the pediment to the alluvial slope lose their dissecting habit and form extensive adobe flats which, with the resulting flood water fields, are characteristic of the floor of the valley.

One of the chief problems of the residents of Valshni Village must have been their water supply. There is no evidence that any of the washes in the Baboquivari Valley have carried a permanent flow of water in recent times. This may be an erroneous conclusion. However, if there was not a permanent water supply at the time of occupation, it is probable that the people stored water in reservoirs for use during the dry season. Also, they may have moved to permanent springs and streams in the mountains when water in the valley was not available.





. Introduction
Top of page



Table of Contents
Methods .


Table of Contents
(Sequencing left to right, top to bottom)

Cover

Copyright

2002 Editor's Foreword

1973 Editor's Foreword

Author's Preface

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Regional & vicinity maps

Introduction

Habitat

Methods

Dating

Architecture

Vamori Architecture

Topawa Architecture

Non-architectural Features

Pottery

Local pottery

Intrusive pottery

Misc. Clay Objects

Burial

Stonework

Bonework

Shellwork

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix: Canal

Bibliography

2000 notes



Walter 'Dutch' Duering
PO Box 8429
Phoenix, AZ 85066-8429
United States

duering@stockmorehouse.com