Far Western Basketmaker Beginnings

The Jackson Flat Project

The Basketmaker presence in southern Utah has traditionally been viewed as peripheral to developments originating in the Four Corners region. Far Western Basketmaker Beginnings offers an entirely new and provocative perspective—that the origins of farming on the northern Colorado Plateau are instead found far to the west along Kanab Creek.

This volume, based on the results of excavations at Jackson Flat Reservoir south of Kanab, examines a litany of firsts: the earliest Archaic pithouses ever found in this region, evidence that maize farmers arrived here a thousand years earlier than previously reported, and the emergence of a complex Basketmaker farming and foraging culture. Specialists in Far Western Puebloan culture, architecture, settlement patterns, subsistence, chronometry, and prehistoric technologies make a compelling case that farming was introduced to the region by San Pedro immigrants, and that the blending of farmers with local foraging groups gave rise to a Basketmaker lifeway by 200 BC. This book marks a giant leap forward in archaeologists’ understanding of the earliest maize farmers north and west of the Colorado River. 
Heidi Roberts is founder of HRA Conservation Archaeology, and has directed large excavation and multiyear research projects throughout the Great Basin and Southwest. In addition to professional publications, she is author of the novel The Archaeological Adventures of I. V. Jones

Richard V. N. Ahlstrom is retired principal from HRA Conservation Archaeology. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on archaeology and dendrochronology in the Southwest and Great Basin. 

Jerry D. Spangler is director of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance. He is author or coauthor of several books, including Nine Mile Canyon and The Crimson Cowboys.
Table of Contents:


List of Figures
List of Tables

Part I: Background
1. Introduction by Heidi Roberts 
2. Project History by Kenneth L. Wintch 
3. Research Questions and Methods by Heidi Roberts and Richard V. N. Ahlstrom 
4. Jackson Flat Chronologies by Richard V. N. Ahlstrom 
5. Environment by Richard V. N. Ahlstrom, William Eckerle, and Heidi Roberts 
6. Previous Basketmaker Research by Jerry D. Spangler, Heidi Roberts, and Richard V. N. Ahlstrom 

Part II: Excavated Sites
7. The Archaic Period (5000–1300 BC) by Heidi Roberts 
8. The Early Agricultural Period (1300–800 BC) by Heidi Roberts 
9. The Basketmaker II Period (200 BC–AD 550) by Heidi Roberts and Jerry D. Spangler 
10. The Basketmaker III Period (AD 550–700) by Heidi Roberts and Jerry D. Spangler 
11. The Pueblo I Period (AD 700–900) by Heidi Roberts and Jerry D. Spangler
12. The Pueblo II-III Period (AD 900–1300) by Heidi Roberts and Jerry D. Spangler
13. The Post-Puebloan Period (AD 1300–1776) by Heidi Roberts

Part III: Material Culture
14. Basketmaker II to Early Puebloan Chipped Stone Traditions: A View from the Jackson Flat Reservoir Project by Joel C. Janetski
15. Ground Stone and the Transition to Farming by Stewart Deats
16. Ceramics and the Far Western Pottery Typology by Janet Hagopian
17. Patterns of Ceramic Production and Distribution by Karen G. Harry and Sachiko Sakai
18. Changes in Wild and Domestic Plant Use by Amanda J. Landon
19. Faunal Remains: Prehistoric Hunting and Processing Strategies by Robert B. Nash
20. Ornaments and Nonutilitarian Artifacts by Arthur W. Vokes

Part IV: Synthesis
21. The Transition to Farming by Heidi Roberts
22. The Far Western Basketmaker Emergence by Heidi Roberts and Jerry D. Spangler
23. Subsistence Systems and Settlement Strategies by Robert B. Nash and Heidi Roberts
24. Temporal Patterns in Architecture and Site Reuse by Heidi Roberts and Richard V. N. Ahlstrom
25. Household and Community Organization by Heidi Roberts
26. Far Western-Kayenta Cultural Relationships Revisited by Richard V. N. Ahlstrom
27. Final Thoughts and Observations by Heidi Roberts, James R. Allison, and Jerry D. Spangler

List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:“Adds considerably to the archaeological facts for an area that is too often neglected by southwestern prehistorians. More than that, the authors have used this new knowledge to address several research topics that are central to explanatory accounts on a local level and also at regional and panregional scales. Several thought-provoking and challenging interpretations are put forth that are sure to spur on new research. This work will doubtless serve as a standard reference for southwestern archaeologists working in the Virgin or Far Western Pueblo region.”
—Phil R. Geib, assistant professor of anthropology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln