Alliance and Landscape on Perry Mesa in the Fourteenth Century is the first major publication about the archaeology of Perry Mesa and contains contributions by Logan Simpson archaeologists Christopher Watkins, left, and Tina Hart.
The book, published by the University of Utah Press, examines the population aggregation on Perry Mesa, a landscape that was largely vacant prior to the late A.D. 1200s. From the late 1200s to the early 1400s, thousands of people occupied large pueblos that were equally spaced along the mesa rim. Alliance and Landscape on Perry Mesa in the Fourteenth Century utilizes two explanatory frameworks, alliance and landscape, to explore why people migrated to Perry Mesa. The alliance model posits that groups on Perry Mesa allied with other nearby groups to form what is known as the Verde Confederacy against the Phoenix Basin Hohokam to the south. The landscape model suggests that the changing environmental conditions in the late 1200s made Perry Mesa more attractive for migrating farmers. The archaeological record reveals evidence in support of both models, and in Alliance and Landscape on Perry Mesa in the Fourteenth Century, researchers present and evaluate this evidence to better understand an important but little studied region in central Arizona.
In Chapter 6, Watkins and Arizona State Parks Archaeologist Sophia Kelly investigate the organization of production and exchange of plain ware ceramics within the proposed Verde Confederacy. With the aid of ceramic provenance data, they assess the extent to which plain ware ceramics moved between late prehistoric pueblos on Perry Mesa and between members of the larger confederacy. Two interaction spheres of socially proximate people were identified on Perry Mesa and the Upper Verde River as indicated by large quantities of internally exchanged plain ware vessels. This result does not preclude the existence of a higher-order confederation as low-value objects such as cooking pots were not necessarily exchanged at more distant social scales.
In Chapter 5, Demarcation of the Landscape: Rock Art Evidence for Alliance, Conflict, and Subsistence at Perry Mesa, Hart and others examine variation among the relative frequencies of rock art motifs, such as geometric and zoomorphic designs, across six sites on Perry Mesa. Rock art at these six sites is also compared to rock art sites in the surrounding region in an effort to find stylistic and thematic similarities that may support the Verde Confederacy model. The chapter also explores the relationship between Perry Mesa rock art and Hopi clan symbols. The results of this analysis offer preliminary conclusions regarding the role of rock art across the cultural and physical landscape of Perry Mesa.
Justin Rego’s article, ‘Gradiometry Survey and Magnetic Anomaly Testing of Castros de Neixón, Galicia, Spain,’ is in the latest Journal of Archaeological Science.
During the summer of 2011, a geophysical survey with subsequent magnetic anomaly testing was conducted in Northwest Iberia, in the province of Galicia, Spain, the most extensive evaluation of its kind to be performed on a Castro Culture hill fort with distinct Bronze and Iron Age occupations. The investigation focused on determining the spatial extent, occupation, and use of the multicomponent Bronze and Iron Age hill fort site(s) of Castros de Neixón. Justin is lead author on this paper, which he co-authored with Wendy H Cegielski, M. A., of Arizona State University.