Ceramic Dating Advances for Analyzing the Fourteenth-Century Migration to Perry Mesa, Arizona

David Abbott, Jennifer Burgdorf, Jesse Harrison, Veronica X. Judd, Justin D. Mortensen, Hannah Zanotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the early fourteenth century, perhaps thousands of migrants arrived atop the windswept landscape of Perry Mesa, in central Arizona. They built large massive room blocks strategically overlooking the access routes onto the mesa rim. A key to understanding the migration process is documenting the number of antecedent residents on the mesa and their settlement distribution. Different migration processes are implied if the mesa top was virtually vacant, moderately settled, or densely clustered immediately prior to the migrants’ arrival. Unfortunately, documenting the antecedent settlement pattern has been largely stymied by poor temporal control, which has left the antecedent remains largely invisible archaeologically. To fill the chronometric gap, Scott Wood (2014 Antecedents II: A Progress Report on the Origins of the Perry Mesa Settlement and Conflict Management System. Paper prepared for Fall 2012 Arizona Archaeological Council Conference; publication of proceedings pending) has recently described ceramic signatures for different time periods. In this paper, we test the validity and utility of Wood's Early Classic and Late Classic signatures. We then apply the dating refinements to better reconstruct the Perry Mesa migration process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-315
Number of pages24
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017


  • Ceramic Chronology
  • Migration
  • Perry Mesa
  • Verde Confederacy
  • Wingfield Plain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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