Beyond Snaketown: Property Rights and Corporate Group Formation in Hohokam Society

Douglas B. Craig, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Northland Research, Inc.

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Between AD 500 and 1450, the Hohokam of southern Arizona built the largest network of irrigation canals in prehispanic North America. Despite the massive scale of these irrigation works and the apparent need to coordinate large labor forces, the absence of paramount chiefs has been interpreted for many years as evidence that Hohokam society was fundamentally egalitarian. This presentation will provide a broad overview of Hohokam social organization and discuss new evidence for the emergence of large, landholding corporate groups with inheritable property rights. The extent to which wealth and power in Hohokam society may have been concentrated in the hands of these corporate groups will also be discussed.

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