Ancestral O'Odham Platform Mounds of the Sonoran Desert

Vapaki presents a far-ranging conversation on the topic of Hohokam platform mounds in the history of the southern Arizona desert, exploring why they were built, how they were used, and what they meant in the lives of the farming communities who built them. Vapaki brings together diverse theoretical approaches, a mix of perspectives, detailed coverage for regional specialists of variation in the mounds, a broad synthesis useful for those working from other regional and topical founda - tions, and a rich corpus of perspectives and ideas for further research. Contributors grapple with questions about platform mounds, including the social, political, ideo - logical, symbolic, and adaptive factors that contributed to their development, spread, and eventual cessation. The differing perspectives presented here about what motivated Ancestral O’Odham populations of the Hohokam Period to build these monuments, whether as displays of status, identity, political ability, membership in regional networks, or architectural models of the cosmological order, offer insights to researchers studying monumental architecture in other contexts. O’Odham knowledge of the history and uses of mounds is combined with archaeological data to understand the place of platform mounds in the lives of the Ancestors and their continued presence among modern descendants.


Editor and Author: Arleyn W. Simon is associate research professor emeritus in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, where she directed the
Archaeological Research Institute from 1995-2018 (currently named Center for Archaeology and Society Repository).

Editor and Author: Glen E. Rice is professor emeritus in the School of Human Evolution and Social
Change at Arizona State University. He is the author of Sending the Spirits Home:
The Archaeology of Hohokam Mortuary Practices, and co-editor of Deadly Land-
scapes: Case Studies in Prehistoric Southwestern Warfare.

Editor and Author: Chris Loendorf is ASU affiliated Faculty, and the senior project manager for the Gila River Indian Community Cultural Resource Management Program. He has directed large-scale excavations at
Salado, Hohokam, and O’Odham sites for over three decades

Image of Ancestral O'Odham Platform Mounds of the Sonoran Desert
Date published
University of Utah Press

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