Plausible ethnographic analogies for the social organization of Hohokam canal irrigation

Robert C. Hunt, David Guillet, David Abbott, James Bayman, Paul Fish, Suzanne Fish, Keith Kintigh, James A. Neely

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of a juxtaposition of archaeological findings on Hohokam irrigation and ethnographic research on the social organization of irrigation. There are no ethnographic or historic records pertaining to the Hohokam, so the comparative ethnographic approach is perhaps more productive than in other situations. Several forms of canal irrigation organization are considered, including politically centralized, acephalous, private, and several forms of communal. We find that politically centralized, acephalous, and private forms are implausible in the Hohokam context. Several of the communal forms are plausible. We find no ethnographic basis for positing a valley-wide management system. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-456
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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