Local archaeology society offering free lecture about Hohokam ballcourt site discovered

CAVE CREEK – Todd W. Bostwick, PhD, RPA presents “Life and Death at Ironwood Village: An Early Ballcourt Site in Southern Arizona” at the Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter (AAS-DFC) meeting on October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Cave Creek.

Excavations in 2014 for a new shopping center uncovered a Hohokam village in Marana, north of Tucson, on the east side of the Santa Cruz River. This site contained a previously unknown ballcourt, one of the earliest ever constructed by the Hohokam.

Surrounding the ballcourt were nearly 100 pit houses and more than 250 burials, which dated to the late Pioneer and Colonial periods, circa AD 650 to 850.

Located on a sloping piedmont that supported a dense stand of ironwood trees, archaeologists found artifacts and plant remains at the site indicating the inhabitants grew corn without irrigation canals, processed Agave plants with tabular knives and polished wooden objects with specialized polishing stones.

Ironwood Village was abandoned soon after the leader of the village died and was buried with a rich array of grave offerings in the middle of the ballcourt. Doctor Bostwick discusses the results of these excavations and shows numerous photos of the artifacts recovered from the site.

Bostwick has conducted archaeological research in the Southwest for 36 years. He was the Phoenix City Archaeologist for 21 years at Pueblo Grande Museum and is currently the Director of Archaeology at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. He has an MA in Anthropology and a PhD in History from Arizona State University (ASU).

He taught classes at both ASU and Northern Arizona University for seven years and was a Senior Research Archaeologist for PaleoWest Archaeology. He published numerous books and articles on Southwest archaeology and history, receiving awards from the National Park Service, the Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission, the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Archaeological Society.

Moreover, Dr. Bostwick’s lifelong expertise and experience far exceed the confinements of the American Southwest with his personal activities and interests.

The public may attend an AAS-DFC meeting at no charge, except for the holiday party in December. The AAS-DFC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May. There are refreshments available at 7 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. usually ending prior to 9 p.m.

The meetings are held in the community room (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepard of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek (near the Dairy Queen). For more information visit azarchsoc.wildapricot.org/desertfoothills.