M.A. Theses: Mary M. Quirolo, 1988

Culture History of Canyon Del Muerto, Arizona: Basketmaker II - Peublo I

A culture history of Canyon del Muerto, Arizona is presented, based on the thorough analysis of field notes made during the excavations of 10 multicomponent dry cave sites, and on artifacts recovered from 3 of these sites. Sherds collected from the surface of all 10 sites are also considered. The sites were excavated by the late Earl H. Morris between 1923 and 1932 for the American Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the University of Colorado Museum. The artifacts analyzed are those recovered for the University of Colorado Museum in 1924 and 1963.

The analysis of the field notes and artifacts indicates that the rockshelters of Canyon del Muerto were utilized or occupied continuously from the Basketmaker II period through the Pueblo II period. The developmental periods seen elsewhere in the Anasazi Southwest are present in local form, with the majority of external cultural influences derived from the Western Anasazi region. Local phases of the Basketmaker II and III cultural periods may have continued into later times than in other localities, perhaps as a result of the favorable agricultural environment and ready access to a variety of resources.