*Blue color indicates thickness values outside range of expected dates.
**Bold numbers indicate average of sites with multiple readings.
Results of Study
During the project, crews measured sherd thickness at 17 sites (including all six ball courts). These sites ranged from single-room, masonry outlines to sites with multiple structures and features. As expected, it was found that all of the thickness values post-dated the Coconino Phase (A.D. 700-900). However, researchers were surprised that seven of the 17 sites dated well into the Pueblo III range (post-dating A.D. 1100), despite the absence of ceramics from that time period. These results are contrary to the belief that the Cohonina completely abandoned the Sycamore Rim area after A.D. 1100 (Christensen, Hanson, Sorrell, and Weintraub, 2006). Based on the thickness values, three of the ball court sites date well into the 1100s A.D. (Wagner Hill, Buzzard and JD). This may indicate that while most Cohonina migrated from the area prior to A.D. 1100, some may have remained, or at least returned seasonally. It is also plausible that trade networks broke down and such assemblages never made it into the study area.
(Photo: Don Christensen inspects typical Sycamore Rim Cohonina structure at 03070102693)
Newly Recorded Sites
In addition to conducting the analysis at the sites listed above, archaeologist Michael Lyndon led crews on a 210-acre block survey of southwest of JD Dam. Lyndon's crews found two new archaeological sites: Site 03070102693 and Site 2694. Both are described below.
03070102693: This site consists of a large Pueblo II Cohonina site consisting of at least 4 structures (Figure 4), and other phenomena such as rock piles and possible linear features. The site is located on a low ridge in thick oak vegetation with some ponderosa pine. Thick oak leaf litter indicates a higher density of artifacts may be present than what could be observed during the survey. Ceramics consisted of 15 sherds of San Juan Red Ware (Structure A), 1 Tsegi Orange Ware sherd, 2 Tusayan Corrugated sherds, approximately 50 sherds of Deadmans Gray, 2 sherds of unidentified Brown Ware, 1 possible Rio de Flag Brownware sherd, and 20 Kirkland Gray sherds. Lithics consisted of approximately 50 secondary flakes of Kaibab chert, 1 Kaibab chert side scraper, 2 government mountain biface fragments, 1 2-handed vesicular basalt mano, and 2 non-diagnostic Kaibab chert projectile point fragments. Two of the largest features appear too large to have been roofed, and may represent garden plots or some other non-structural feature type. It is clearly suggested from the surface scatter that the site contains intact subsurface deposits that will yield information important to the prehistory of the area. Archaeologists consider this site eligible for placement the National Register of Historic Places.
03070102694: This site is located on a low ridge between FR 105 and Lee Canyon. It consisted of 6 rock features with an associated artifact scatter that included large amounts of ground stone. The site is approximately 200 meters north of the spring in Lee Canyon in thick ponderosa pine, gambel oak, Utah juniper, Alligator juniper, and other plants such as mullein and yarrow. Ceramics consisted of 60 Deadmans gray sherds, 10 Kirkland Gray sherds, 3 sherds of Tusayan White Ware, 1 Kana'a Black-on-white sherd, and 1 Deadmans Black-on-red sherd. Lithic debitage consisted of a mix of 75 primary and secondary, Kaibab chert flakes, 5 flakes of Government Mountain obsidian, and 4 chalcedony flakes. Abundant ground stone included 8 trough metates and 2 mano fragments. It is clearly suggested from the surface scatter that the site contains intact subsurface deposits that will yield information important to the prehistory of the area. Archaeologists consider this site eligible for placement the National Register of Historic Places.
Kaibab archaeologists hope to continue gathering sherd thickness data across the Forest by testing sites in the Cohonina Heartland northeast of Williams, Arizona. It should be noted that Forest archaeologists rarely have time to do such research. However, Passport in Time projects give them the opportunity to conduct these studies while also sharing the archaeological experience with the public. In addition to the work completed during the sherd study, they surveyed 210 acres, recorded two new, large Cohonina villages, monitored 22 known sites, and conducted all data entry and analysis in the field or back at camp during evening hours. Overall, volunteers contributed 880 hours toward the project.
Christensen, Don, John A. Hanson, Daniel Sorrell, and Neil Weintraub
2006 A GIS Model for Late Pueblo II/Cohonina Multi-Directional Migration from the Coconino Plateau.
Ms. on file at the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's Office, Williams. Paper presented at the Petrified Forest Science
Symposium, May 18th, 2006.
2005 Temporal Significance of Attribute Variations in San Francisco Mountain Gray Ware.
A Master's Thesis, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.