Mogollon culture in Payson, AZ

In fact, within a few steps of our front door.

The son of one of our neighbours called us round last Thursday to show us the skeletal remains he recently found in their front garden together with a most beautiful pot.  Here are a few pictures.

Discovery site
Mogollon culture pot?
Ancient and modern!

On the website Desert USA there is a section dealing with the culture of the Prehistoric Desert Peoples including the peoples of The Mogollon.  Here’s an extract.

In addition to wild edible and utilitarian plants, the mountain flanks and desert basins harbored a thriving community of game, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, white-tail deer, antelope, beaver, badger, blacktail jackrabbits, desert cottontails, turkeys and various other species. Rock exposures served as quarries for the raw materials for making projectile points and tools. Clay exposures provided the raw material for making ceramic vessels and figurines.

Even as the Mogollon people gradually adopted village life and farming, they would continue to count on the ranges and basins to supplement their larder and provide essential material resources. They would never be able to rely on corn, beans, squash and other crops to the exclusion of wild plant foods because the Mogollon region held relatively few areas suitable for agriculture. Most of them occurred along lower mountain river valleys, along the few desert river basins and near a few desert playas. Even those areas which were suitable experienced erratic rainfall year in and year out.

The article includes the following photograph which shows how close the resemblance of the pot found next door to the one in the article.

All very fascinating. Indeed, when one reflects that European descendants have only been in the area for about 500 years and Payson considers it’s founding year as recent as 1882 it really isn’t that long ago, in historical terms, that the land around here will have borne the footprints of peoples very different to us today.

Maybe on still, dark nights, their memories are very close to us.

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