Ancestral O’Odham Platform Mounds of the Sonoran Desert

Edited by
Glen E. Rice
Arleyn W Simon
Chris Loendorf

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9781647691172 (hardback)
9781647691196 (ebook)

This volume 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 big-picture and tightly focused perspectives, detailed coverage for regional specialists of variation in the mounds, a broad synthesis useful for those working from other regional and topical foundations, and a rich corpus of perspectives and ideas for further research. Contributors grapple with questions about platform mounds, including the social, political, ideological, 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.