This lecture covers the Hohokam cultures who inhabited what is now southeast Arizona for thousands of years as well as the Sinagua of the Agua Fria and Verde Rivers in north-middle Arizona. “Southwest” vs Mesoamerican Continuum The “southwest” is a common practice in referring to this region. This is a relative term, based upon recent nationalism. Prior to the 1848 invasion of New Spain (Mexico) by the young United States, this was Spanish Territory. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, as Stephen Lekson so convincingly argues, this was the northern edge of the Mesoamerican world, with similar food, cultural, belief and trading customs, not to mention architecture. While each of these peoples and cultures share traits, they are relatively distinct. However this lecture treat these cultures and sites as the north end of a Mesoamerica continuum. One of the reasons this is so difficult from a global perspective is that archaeologists are relying on an arbitrary split between the Hohokam and what was known as the Anasazi and now the Ancestral Puebloans (lectures 3 to 6). The mountain ridge that bridges them is the Mogollon ridge as is the difference between who studies what is now southern Arizona and who studies northern Arizona, New Mexico and the Colorado Plateau. From an architectural history standpoint is this another continuum. Therefore the “bridge” between the Arizona Hohokam and the Northern Arizona, New Mexico-Colorado Plateau “Anasazi” (who are roughly contemporary) is the Mogollon to Mimbres transition and the Hopi/Kayenta/Salado emergence (lecture 6). All of these happen in parallel.
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