The Salado Phenomenon in the Phoenix Basin: Current Research on Ceramic Composition and Vessel Shapes

Archaeologists working in the US Southwest have been interested in the “Salado phenomenon” for nearly a century. Though early research sought broad, overarching explanations for the pattern, more recent work has highlighted the importance of local dynamics to building a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. Caitlin’s research investigates manifestations of the Salado phenomenon in the Phoenix basin of Arizona by examining how Salado polychrome (Roosevelt Red Ware) ceramics were incorporated into late Classic period Hohokam ceramic assemblages and practices. This presentation explores portions of my current research on the production and distribution of Salado polychrome ceramics and morphometric analyses of whole vessel profile shapes. The results of these analyses are brought together to inform new perspectives on what it meant, practically and socially, for Phoenix basin residents to engage with Salado materials and practices.