As discussed in a previous section on stonework, the evidence for an agricultural economy is not abundant. No one can say yet to what extent these people depended upon annual domestic crops. However, the location of the village was ideal for the practice of agriculture. At the present time (1940) there are many fields in the vicinity cultivated by the Papago. The closest of these fields are concentrated near the village of Burro Pond, less than half a mile west of Valshni Village. Flood water farming is practiced by the Papago. During the summer rainy season, the water is carried from the washes to the fields in irrigation ditches. Such a system could easily have been employed at Valshni Village in the same area that is row under cultivation.
No evidence was found to indicate that the occupants of Valshni Village did have any irrigation system, but during the course of the excavations a short canal was discovered one-half mile north of the site which showed that such methods were employed during the succeeding Sells Phase. Only one canal has been previously reported from Papagueria.
The canal found during the excavations was approximately one-half mile long and ran from east to west. On the surface the canal appeared only as two, low ridges with a gravel depression between them, all being slightly above the desert level. Attention was first called to it by two large mounds devoid of pottery, obviously man-made, and rising from 1.30 meters to 1.95 meters above the desert. It was found that the canal ran between these two mounds. Two trenches were dug across the canal, one at the point where the two mounds occurred, and one which would provide a normal cross-section. The former was designated Test 1, the latter, Test II.
Test II provided a good outline of the original canal. It had been dug into the hardpan, and the old channel was 1.60 meters below the present surface and originally had been 1.25 meters deep. The original width at the top of the channel is estimated to have been about 3.0 meters (Figure 30).