With National Science Foundation support, Dr. E. Charles Adams and his colleagues will conduct three field seasons of archaeological research at Chevelon Ruin. Chevelon is the third largest member, at 500 rooms, of a cluster of ancestral Hopi settlements in northeastern Arizona collectively called the Homol'ovi cluster. This cluster was occupied from A.D. 1250-1400, a period of enormous political and social change in ancient Pueblo communities throughout the northern Southwest. This change is most clearly evident in increased average village size, which tripled to more than 500 rooms during the cluster's occupation. Excavation has been conducted in five other members of the Homol'ovi cluster enabling Adams and his colleagues to establish the local chronology and study details of village reorganization associated with village growth. Because the cluster is situated along the Little Colorado River and villages were dependent on stream flow for growing crops and drinking water, they were dependent on one another economically and probably interacted politically. Chevelon is located upstream from all but one of the other villages along Chevelon Creek, one of two permanent streams flowing into the Little Colorado River that provide water to the cluster. Chevelon differs from the other villages at Homol'ovi in having five to ten times more ceramics traded from villages 100 km east of the cluster. Either Chevelon had a unique trade relationship with these eastern villages or immigrants from these pueblos lived at Chevelon. The focus of the research will be to locate plaza spaces, abutment and bonding of walls, the presence and location of spinal room blocks, and the location of ritual structures at Chevelon using a total station and wall tracing followed by excavations. An important concept identified in previous excavations in Homol'ovi villages is what we term "enriched deposits." Enriched deposits have high quantities of whole and unusual objects and highly formalized deposits that are associated with ritual activity. The testing program will also look for deposits that have concentrations of exchanged pottery or riparian resources unique to the Chevelon area. The relationship of these deposits to architectural units within Chevelon should inform on the distribution of wealth within the community and the nature of groups or households controlling this wealth. Heterarchal, hierarchical, corporate, and communal models of village organization will be tested. In addition, the connection of the villages through sharing Little Colorado River water suggests cluster-level organization. The location of Chevelon along a permanent stream with potentially unique fauna and flora and its distinctive ceramic assemblage identify objects that could be exchanged with other cluster members. Tracing these objects to previously excavated villages will allow the team to assess the flow of these items from Chevelon to other cluster members and whether these follow patterns associated with confederacy or hierarchical models of cluster organization. The results of this research will inform archaeologists working in the Southwest and elsewhere on the material correlates and associated behaviors to power and sociopolitical organization within non-state societies and how these are expressed beyond the level of the village.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
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John E. Yellen
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University of Arizona
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