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A Survey of Archaeological Sites near Guaymas, Sonora Author(s): Thomas Bowen Source: Kiva, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Oct.

, 1965), pp. 14-36 Published by: Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 19/01/2011 19:05
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, MMiles








G of Gulf
California UASAVE

FIG. 1.

The Sonoran coastline. Dotted area indicates area of survey.




An archaeologicalsurveyof the Guaymas,Sonora revealed27 aboriginalhabitation sitesrepvicinity resentingat least three occupationpatterns.The remainsofmasonry sitesyieldedsurface structures, and chippedstone.A Gypsum stone, pottery, ground Cave point and a possible Borax Lake point were collected.This is substantially farthersouth than The either been reported. pointtypehas previously occusites and artifacts indicatea long continuous pationofthe area by peoplesnotin the mainstream influence. of Meso-American and Southwestern INTRODUCTION Northwestern Mexico has long been poorlyknown archaeologically.Situatedbetweenthe lucrativedomainsofthe American Southwest and Middle America, it has received only sporadic attentionwhile extensive reconnaissanceand excavation were being conductedboth to the south and to the north.The need to understand the archaeologyof the regionlyingbetweenthese two cultural provinces has become increasinglyacute. Lister (1960) presentsa summaryof the field work which has been undertakenin northwestern the details will Mexico, therefore not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the earliest serious reportsof the ruins in this area are by Bandelier (1892) and Lumholtz (1902). These reconnaissances were followedby nearly a thirty year gap, finallybrokenby the studies of such investigatorsas Amsden (1928) and Sauer and Brand (1931). The area of concern in this study centers on the central Sonoran coast (Fig. 1), a region which has received even less
attention than other portions of northwestern Mexico. To date, only a few small surveys and no excavations have been conducted

here,althougha few small-scaleoperationshave providedsome about adjacent northern Sonora. Of the latter,Ezell information (1954) has surveyed the northwestern portion of Papagueria northwest Gifford some Sonora, (1946) has notedbriefly including near PuentoPefiasco, and Haydenhas been carrying shell deposits on numerous studiesin the Pinacate (Ives 1964: 37). To the east, Trincherasremains have been surveyedby Hinton (1955) and excavated by Johnson (1963). 15

Along the central coast propermost of the material which has been describedis taken fromcollectionsmade by amateurs or by visitors (see DiPeso 1955; Holzkamper1956; Owen 1956). Perhaps the earliest surveysof the coast were those at Huatabampo (Ekholm 1940) and one northof Guaymas conductedby Hayden in 1941 (Hayden 1956). During the 1950'sextensivesurmuchof the coast were conducted veys covering by Fay but with theexception ofnumerous briefcommuniques(forexample1955a, has remainedunpublished. No exca1955b,1956) the information vation has been reportedon the coast. The aims of the presentsurveydiffer somewhatfromthose of previousinvestigations. Whereasthe surveyswhichhave been reported have been geared toward sampling sites in various localitiesalong the coast,it was thought that an intensivereconnaissance of a small area would yield a more complete,though localized, picture of the total patternof archaeologicalremains and aboriginalhabitation. The area aroundGuaymaswas chosen forthe surveywhichwas conductedduringthe summerof 1964. This area contains varied ecological zones which are readily accessible. The approachtakenin conducting the fieldworkwas dictated in part by the scope ofthe surveyas well as by the natureof the sites.The large quantitiesof unworkedflakesfrequently present on the surfaceof the sites were largelyignoredwhile a policy of total collection forflakes was employed showingsignsofretouchDue their to and bulk, ground stone implements weight ing. were not collected but were recordedin the and (manos metates) field.Sites are designatedhere in the termsof the archaeological of Colorado Museum. surveyrecordson filein the University ENVIRONMENT The coastal region of central Sonora is a strip of very dry desertwhich receives less than 10 inches of rain annually (for see Ives detailed treatment of the Sonoran Desert environment, 1964). This desert strip varies from15 or 20 miles to about 45 miles in width. Numeroussmall mountainranges and isolated dot the area, which otherwiseconsistsof old playas, upthrusts lagoon beds, beaches,and desertflats.Most of the area is highly eroded,cut by numerousarroyos (Fig. 2). What littlerain does occur falls mostlyin July and August. Temperaturesduring the winter monthsfrequentlydrop into
the 60xz'swhile in the summer they may soar above 1200 F. A humid westerly breeze emanates fromthe ocean and blows almost continuously. 16

FIG. 2. View of the Sonoran coastal plain. The Pacific Ocean appears at the upper left. White patches are shell deposits.

The vegetationaround Guaymas is typical of the Sonoran Desert. Along the coastal flatsmesquite trees, palo verde, and accompanied greasewoodcomprisemuch of the large vegetation, and cholla, ocotillo, occasionally prickly by saguaro, organ pipe, in bunches between and Various occur cacti. pear grasses sparsely the largerbushes. In the valleys betweenthe coastal mountains, and the cover as well as farther inland,the grassespredominate changes to largely open plain. In small specificareas, such as along the edges of protectedlagoons,mangrovetrees flourish. foundin the sea The fauna ofthe regionare moreplentifully than on land, thoughsmall rodents, rabbits,lizards, and a few deer,coyotes,and mountainsheep inhabitthe area. In, or associated with the sea, are numerousspecies of fish,sea turtles, occasionalwhales,abundantcrabs,and enormousnumdolphins, a wide varietyof birds. bers of clams. The sea also supports rocks of The soil is generallya lightcolored sand overlying and volcanic origin.A few miles inland from both sedimentary fertile and muchofthe inlandflatcounthe coastthesoil is fairly cattle fromlocal rancherias now under while is cultivation, try areas. the fertile less graze (rather,overgraze) SITES A total of 27 sites were located in the Guaymas area. They fall intofourbasic categories:coastal shell middens,open campsites,sheltersites,and village sites (see Figs. 3-6). 17

The coastal shell middens (Fig. 3) are so designatedbecause of theirfrequently great depthand/orextentof depositedshell, to the ocean. They are differenand because of theirproximity tiatedfrom open camp sitesforfourreasons.First,althoughshell is almostalways associatedwith open camp sites,these deposits

FIG. 3. A portion of a shell midden.

are sparse compared with the densityof the coastal middens. by fairlylarge quanSecondly,open camp sitesare characterized tities of flakesand/orsherds appearingon the surface,whereas these remainsare frequently sparse or even absent at the shell are associated with the midden sites. Thirdly,these differences No from ocean. sites in which artifacts the distance of the site dominatethe quantitiesof shell are foundon the coast, nor are of shell. by massiveaccumulations any inland sites characterized midshell with the mixed is charcoal usually thoroughly Lastly, dens while it does not appear as prevalent(or as well preserved) at the open camp sites (Fig. 4). moderate ofgenerally Sheltersitesconsistofsmall overhangs several others are while to the coast located close are Some depth. these contain shelters the distant. miles shell, deposits Although debristo a deep fillwhichconsists scattered primarily rangefrom are foundon the surfacein these few artifacts ofshell.Generally, evident(Fig. 5). ofcharcoalare often butgreatquantities shelters, 18

FIG. 4. A typical open campsite. White areas in foregroundare shell deposits.

FIG. 5. Shelter sites. This one is located in the lower center portion of the hill on the right.


The fourthcategoryof sites is that of villages. These are inlandsitesand are identified strucby the presenceof habitation tures.One of the sites recordedappears to have been littlemore than a series of masonry The remaining windbreaks. two,in contrast,appear to have been substantialvillages,the largest con40 rooms,and both possessinga low wall tainingapproximately the site (Fig. 6). All threevillages are located partiallyencircling on the tops of hills offering Virexcellentviews in all directions. no material found at of sites artifactual two the was (MEX: tually SON:16 and 18) thoughFay (1955a) collectedlarge numbersof bothsherdsand chippedstoneartifacts from site which theformer he designates 53:F-15. The remainingvillage (MEX: SON:17) stoneslab and a large,groovedupright producedonlya fewflakes Other Remains). bearing petroglyphs(see The distribution ofsitesand artifact groupsis givenin Table 1.

FIG. 6. A portion of a village site. The walls of several rooms appear in the background.


TABLE 1. Distribution of Site Types and Artifacts.



Stone X -

Sherds X X

Shell middens(8)
MEX:SON:1 14 20 25
27 23 24


Open campsites (11) MEX:SON:4 5





7 8 9 10 11 15
19 21

Shelters (5) MEX:SON:3 12 26 Villages (3) MEX:SON:16

17 13 22


X X -

X X X reported (Fay 1955a)


STRUCTURES The threevillage sites are characterized by the presence of These structuresare of two types,rooms masonrystructures. and extendedwalls. The roomsat sites MEX:SON:7 and 18 are presentlylittle more than rockpiles,but many of the rooms at MEX: SON: 16 stand one meterhigh. Here the rooms are mostly rectangular, averagingabout 2.5 m. long and about 2.0 m. wide. The walls are composedof unshaped stone blocks of moderate size, at least double coursed,and with no evidence of mortar remainingabove the present ground level. Some of the room walls show indicationsof inner and outer courses of stone with a rubble fill.Wall thicknesses average 0.5 m. Most of the rooms at MEX: SON:16 appear to be isolated individualunits althoughthere are three double rooms and one unit of at least four connectedrooms.One square room at the south end of the site abuts a round structure which appears to be partiallysubterranean. It is impossibleto ascertainfromthe surfaceindications whetherthese structures differ fromthe recin rooms other The orientation of the site tangular respects. followsthat of the hilltopon which it was built. Its axis lies in a north-south line. 21

The roomsat the two remainingvillage sites are similar to those at MEX:SON: 16, but at both sites the rooms are in such can be a state of disrepairthat no further surfaceinformation obtainedfromthem. Two of the village sites,MEX: SON: 16 and 17,have extended walls partiallysurrounding the rooms.The walls are similar in construction to the masonryof the rooms,being mostlydouble coursed,built of unshapedblocks,and lacking evidence of mortar. Wall thicknesses are comparable.At both sites the greatest curvexpanse ofwall occurson the west side of the roomcluster, ing to partiallyenclose the northand south ends. There is no trace of a wall on the easternboundaryof eithersite. The function of these walls is not known.Two similar wall systemswere noted in the Guaymas area, neitherof which are associatedwith otherculturalremains.One is obviouslya fence delineatingthe boundarybetween two rancherias,though the purposeof the otheris less clear. Both walls followthe ridgeline of the hills on which they stand. It is most likely that both are recent and merelyserve as fences.It is possible that the walls at the two sites also served as fences, perhapsto exclude people. Since thereis no evidence of their use in agricultural terracing and sincethelocationsofthe two sitescouldbe considered protective,it is possiblethatthewalls were builtfordefensive purposes. LITHIC MATERIAL Withfiveexceptions workedstoneis presentat each site and in many sites it comprisesthe bulk of the artifactual material. a few sites containedsizeable While chippedstonepredominates, are fashioned almost quantitiesof groundstonetools.The former exclusivelyfrombasalt and obsidian,althougha few flakes of along with a fragmentary pink quartz chopper quartz and chert, and a GypsumCave projectilepoint of chert,were found.The groundstone is made of basalt and rhyolite. a definiThe following analysis is not intendedto represent tive study of the materialsbut, more in line with the original it is intendedas a summary of the typesand aims of the survey, of the stone tools of the area. distribution

Projectile Points and Knives

The artifactswhich are normally classifiedas projectile points in the literature are often similar to the implements referred to as knives or blades. Frequently the major distinctionis based on size. The difficulties


with functionalclassificationsare obvious. Rather than wrestle with arbitrary distinctions,this analysis follows the scheme originated by Kidder (1932), where all artifactsresemblinga projectilepoint in formare lumped in a categoryof projectile points and knives,regardless of size. The together classification used here is based on Haury's typologicalscheme (1950: 261). The Guaymas area is not prolificin points and knives. Undoubtedly this is partially due to the high influxof touristsvisiting the area as well in recognizing"arrowas to the local inhabitantswho manifestno difficulty heads." Consequently, though points and knives were conscientiously were recovered of which only 16 were sufficiently sought,only 37 fragments complete to permit definiteclassification.These are given below: Type 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

No stem, leaf shaped, straight base

Number of Specimens

1 No stem, leaf shaped, concave base......................---------------..... 1 No stem, triangular,straightbase--------------~~..-...---..... 1 No stem, triangular,concave base...........------------------..... Stem narrowerthan blade, stem tapered and pointed . 1 1 Stem narrower than blade, stem tapered and and Stem narrower than blade, stem parallel-sided convex.. 2 convex Stem narrowerthan blade, stem expanding and convex 1 Stem narrowerthan blade, stem expanding and straight 4 Stem narrowerthan blade, stemexpandingand concave 2 Stem narrower than blade, stem parallel-sided and 1 concave

All the above stemmedpoints and knives have rounded tangs except type 11, which has sharp lateral tangs. A few of the specimens are worthyof furtherremarks. The artifact listed as type 5 (Fig. 7e) is an excellent example of a Gypsum Cave point. It is the only specimen of the entire collection of points which is made of a material other than obsidian or basalt, in this case chert. The projected lengthis 6.3 cm. It was recovered fromthe surface of a site containingboth pottery and two microlithicpoint specimens of undoubtedly late origin. The association, however, is presumably fortuitous. The two microlithic points are both basalt. One is leaf shaped and has a highly concave base (Fig. 7b). Of the points which lack a stem only one is large. Its projected length is 5.6 cm. (Fig. 7a). One of the type 10 specimens is serrated (Fig. 7j). It is very small and neatly fashioned of obsidian. The artifactlabelled type 6 (Fig. 7f) is a well-made point which had apparentlypossessed a longer stem which had probably broken off,leaving a very small stub which was then retouched. Anotherpoint,not typed above because it lacks the stem, nonetheless should be noted due to its fine resemblance to the Borax Lake type point. It closely parallels the point described as "an excellent example" in the report of the Borax Lake site (Harrington 1948: 36). On the whole these artifactsare highlyvariable in formand are often crudelyflaked.In some cases only the edges of a face show retouching,the majority of the surface retains the original flake scar. Many are difficult to classify because each edge could satisfy the requirements of two different categories. Others, however, display a great amount of care and precision in their manufacture. The points and knives are evenly divided between obsidian and basalt, excepting the deviant Gypsum Cave point of chert. Lengths range from









k FIG. 7. Projective point and knife types. Specimens a-e, types 1-5; f-i, types 6-9; j-k, types 10 and 11, possible Borax Lake point:1. Length of j is 2.3 cm. Drawings made by Stan Rhine.

2.0 cm. (this specimen with a width of 0.7 cm.) to projected lengthsexceeding 7.5 cm.

Two artifactswere found which may be classed as choppers. One is a roughlycircular,wedge shaped piece of basalt having a maximum diameter of 12.7 cm. The other specimen,which is too fragmentary to determineits original dimensions, is made of pink quartz. Both are percussion flaked and both were found at MEX: SON: 14, an open campsite.


Rounded Scrapers
Twenty-five chipped artifacts are approximately circular in form. They may be divided into two general groups, those often referredto as discoidals, ovoids, or turtle-back scrapers, and a rounded but irregular class. Of the 13 discoidals, four have been flaked on both faces. Most have been shaped around the entire perimeterthough in most cases the flaking is well executed on only about one-half of the circumference, indicating that only a semi-circular edge was sought. Three specimens of this type are basalt, the remainder obsidian. The average diameter is about 2.5 cm. Four of the 10 irregular rounded scrapers are basalt. In general, these artifacts are quite variable both in overall quality of manufacture and in the extent to which the edge has been retouched.

Side Scrapers
The most numerous of the scrapers are side scrapers which display retouchingalong a single longitudinaledge or, in four cases, along opposite edges. There are 39 such artifactsof which 16 are basalt and the remainder obsidian. They are subdivided into four classes: double edged of variable shape, and single edged triangular,rectangular,or irregular. Two of the double-edged scrapers are roughly triangular,one 4.6 cm. and the other 7.2 cm. in length.The other two double-edged scrapers are of intermediate length.One of these has curved edges, while the other is rectangular.Their lengths are 6.2 cm. and 6.3 cm. respectively. The remainingside scrapers are single-edged and one group possesses a roughly triangular form. These range in length from 2.3 cm. to 4.6 cm. The workmanship on these obsidian scrapers is poor and retouching is only sporadic. Five of the 11 rectangular single-edged scrapers are obsidian and bare basalt. In this group there is a substantial amount of variation in both quality and size, which ranges from 2.5 cm. to 8.1 cm. in length. The sixteen irregularspecimens are highly asymmetrical.They share in common only a definiteretouched longitudinal edge. Nine are obsidian. Lengths vary from 1.8 cm. to 8.2 cm.

End Scrapers
Fourteen artifactsare classified as end scrapers and all but four are obsidian. Althoughvariation is again great they all possess a readily identifiable end which is finelyretouched. Seven of the specimens have a thinly tapered end which resembles a chisel while the ends on the rest are purposely blunt and thick.One memberof this group is retouchedon both ends.

Side-end Scrapers
This class is so named because retouching is prominenton at least one side and one end. They are either triangular or rectangular and of 18 specimens 11 are obsidian. They may be furtherclassified as indicated: Number of Specimens Shape 6 Triangular,one side retouched 7 Parallel-sided, one side retouched----...................-------------.. 5 Parallel-sided, both sides retouched..........--------......---....---....---..


Specialized Scrapers
Four obsidian scraper-like artifacts possess rather specialized and finely chipped concave edges. These implements are sometimes referred to as arrow straightenersor spokeshaves. The concavity is in all cases excellently flaked. It occurs on the end of two of the specimens and on the side of the other two. One of the latter has two such concavities while the other in addition possesses a point, renderingit a graver as well.

Five obsidian gravers were recovered. They are all small, ranging from 1.5 cm. to 4.1 cm. in length. Excepting one specimen, neither the whole artifact nor the point itself had been carefully worked. The one well-made graver had been reworked from the broken basal portion of a projectile point. The broken point apparently had rounded tangs, an expanding stem wider than the blade, and a concave base. The sharpened point which was added to convert the tool into a graver is short and not carefully made.

Eleven chipped basalt artifacts which have a sharpened edge are classified separately as blades. They are not included among the scrapers because only scanty retouching,if any, is evident along the edges. Instead of retouching,these implementsutilize naturally sharp percussion-flaked in the form of these edges for cutting surfaces. There is no uniformity tools. The only common feature is evidence of use. Lengths vary from 2.8 cm. to 5.8 cm. It is perhaps noteworthythat all of the blades were found at an open campsite (MEX: SON: 14) with the exception of two which occurred at MEX: SON: 23, a shell midden.

of chipped stone artifactsis tabulated in The distribution Table 2. It mustbe emphasizedthat in some cases a particularly of a giventype. ofthe artifacts richsite yieldeda largeproportion

2. Percent of Total Number of Artifactsof Each Type Occurring at Each Type of Site.
Shell Middens Open Campsites 45% 40% 37%

Shelters 5% 4%

Villages -


pointsand knives Projectile


55% 55% 59%


Roundedscrapers Side scrapers Side-endscrapers Specializedscrapers TOTALSCRAPERS

Gravers Blades End scrapers

69% 25% 61%

19% 75% 34%

12% 5%
33% -

67% 100%


therefore to speak in termsof averages.For instance, It is difficult MEX: SON:14 supplied the following proportionsof artifacts recovered:end scrapers, 56%; while 62%; and side-endscrapers, MEX: SON:23 provided53% of the side scrapers.Furthermore, whichundoubtedly bothof thesesitesare shell middens, explains the consistently total of these typesof artifacts higher frequency among the shell middensthan among the open campsites.Conto presentthe artifact sequently Table 3 has been constructed in such a way as to avoid possiblemisinterpretations frequencies fromthis small sample problem.

3. ChippedStone Artifacts as a Percentof All ChippedArtifacts at thatType of Site.

Shell Middens Open Campsites 31.1% -19.1% 28.7% 7.1% 7.1% 7.1% 69.1% 100.0% Shelters -20.0% 20.0% 40.0% 80.0% 20.0% 100.0% -Villages

Projectile points and knives Choppers Rounded scrapers Side scrapers End scrapers Side-end scrapers Specialized scrapers TOTAL SCRAPERS Gravers Blades TOTAL

21.4% 2.4% 13.1% 22.6% 10.7% 13.1% 1.2% 60.7% 2.4% 13.1% 100.0%

Table 4 expressesthe artifact groupsas percentsof the total numberof chipped stone artifacts recoveredfromall the sites.
It is evident fromthis table that projectile points and knives were frequent implements from both the shell middens and the open campsites, constituting23.7,:/of all chipped tools recovered. Nonetheless they can hardly rival the tremendous number of scrapers present, which comprises 63.9". of all the chipped artifacts.
TABLE 4. Artifact Types as Percent cf Total Chipped Stcno Recovered: N --131.
Shell Middens Projectile points and knives Choppers Scrapers Gravers Blades 13.8% 1.5% 38.6% 1.5% 8.4% Open Campsites 9.9% 22.2% Shelters 3.1% 0.7% Villages -

Table 3 combinesall the chippedstoneartifacts foundat each as a percent typeof site and then expresseseach type of artifact

of this total. This eliminatesthe bias caused by the occurrence of a disproportionate numberof artifacts of one type at a particularsiteand allows the percent to compared. figures be directly A numberof minordifferences in artifact can be seen, frequency but mostof these are of such slightmagnitude that theymay be forthe are the spurious.Of possible significance, figures though, blades and the projectilepoints.The absence of the formerat of almost50%' as is the occurrence open campsitesis noteworthy, morepointsin open campsites The difference thanin themiddens. in total frequencyof all the scrapers is small, thoughthere is some slight indicationthat specifictypes tend to occur more at specifictypes of sites. Thus the occupantsof the frequently for open campsitesseemed to have displayeda slightpreference rounded scrapers and side scrapers over the other kinds, and made moreofthesethandid the inhabitants ofthe shell middens. The data for shelterand village sites is too incompletefor assessment.


Manos and/ormetatesoccur at nine sites includingone shell several In addition, six open campsites, and two shelters. midden, cultural were foundwhich lacked further grindingimplements association. Manos occur at all nine sites. They are all one-handedand made of basalt or rhyolite, averaging12 cm. long, 10 cm. wide, in both shape and and 3 cm. thick.They are quite homogenous dimensions. Most of the manosare unifacial.Bifacialmanos occurat only threesites,all of whichare open campsitesyieldingpottery, and, in two cases, unifacial manos as well. It is possible that these in later times. bifacial manos occur primarily Metatesare foundat onlyfoursites.Two oftheseare shelters are open campsiteslackingceramicremains. while the remainder They are all shallow basin types and, exceptingone specimen froma campsite, theyare unifacial.The two metateswhich lack otherassociationare similar;however,one of these is bifacial. Like the manos the metatesforma fairlyhomogenous group. 30 cm. in length, 20 cm. Their dimensions average approximately
in width, and 2.5 to 5.0 cm. in thickness. They are made of the same materials as the manos. The distribution of ground stone is summarized in Table 5. 28

TABLE 5. Numberof Sites YieldingGroundStone Artifacts.

Manos Site type
Shell middens Shelters Villages

Metates (basin) Bifacial 3


Unifacial 4

Unifacial 1

Bifacial 1

Open campsites

1 1

CERAMIC MATERIAL The potsherdscollected from 15 sites sometimesexceeded the numberof stone tools found at these sites. However, at no As with the stone, site could sherdsbe said to occur abundantly. the objecthere is to briefly outlinethe pottery foundand indicate its distribution. The pottery of the Sonoran coast has neverbeen given more than cursory and superficialtreatment.It has mainly been describedas a crude utilitarian brown type,probablyrelated to the variousbrownand buff plain wares foundin the surrounding areas. The most obvious classification can be made on the basis of thickness.Some of the potteryis extremelythin and is sometimes referredto as "eggshell" pottery.This potterycomprises a characteristic here varietywhichaverages2.5 thickness, designatedas Type A. variety.It utilizes a temperType A is a highlyhomogenous of sand ing agent very fine-grained consisting mainlyof quartz. This temperis used in very large quantities.The color of this
type varies from red-brown to light tan with some sherds displaying gray fire clouds. Both the exterior and the interior may be either rough and grainy or polished. Interiors frequently show smoothing marks probably produced by stroking with grass or leaves. Cores are either dark gray or tan. Type A sherds are fairly hard and the curvatures indicate that very large vessels were fabricated of this thin pottery. The other potterytypes are considerably thicker than Type A.

4 to 12 mm.Its temperis a very from Type B rangesin thickness coarse,mainlyquartz,sand whichis also used in greatquantities. The colorrangeis similarto thatofType A. Almostall the sherds of this typeare roughon boththe exteriorand the interior even are a and few sherds from one marks frequent thoughsmoothing of the shelters (MEX: SON: 3) show vague signs of polishing.In utilitarian. general this type is durable,but definitely of Type B but difType C sharesmostof the characteristics fers on two counts.First, it utilizes a fine-grained sand for its

temperingagent. Secondly, sherds are frequently polished. In thicknessit is roughlysimilar to Type B but does not exceed 8 mm.The coresofbothTypesB and C maybe tan,gray,or black. the preceding from different Types D and E are substantially types.Both typestend toward extremethickness, rangingfrom 5 to 10 mm. but averaging about 9 mm. The temperingagent of coarse sand,organicmaterial,and posappears to be a mixture sherds. The coresvaryfrom siblyground lightgrayto black. Both E are differs from types polished.Type Type D by the use of a thinred slip. Three decoratedsherdswere found.They are badly weathand are probably ered specimens of TrincherasPurple-on-red intrusive. A fewrimsherdswere recovered. Type A vessels utilizeplain roundedrims which are slightlythinnedon the exterior.Three varieties of rims are associated with Type C, one of which is identicalto the Type A rim. A second varietypossesses a more The thirdformhas a blunt or squared edge and lacks thinning. and a outward with rounded flange edge and no thinning, large occurson the vessel notedbelow. One rimstyleis associatedwith extended Type D sherds.This is a squared edge havinga slightly There exterior whichcreatesa verysmall exterior flange. portion from the exterior side. No rimsherdswere found is somethinning forpottery Types B or E. The Type C rim sherdswiththe large flangedeserve special of the rimof a vessel. attention as theyrepresent about one-third This vessel is apparently an olla. The diameterof the rim is estimated to have been 11.9cm. while the maximumdiameterof the body musthave exceeded 30 cm. It is likelythat the vessel was more or less globularin shape. It was foundat MEX: SON:3. SUMMARY OF CERAMIC MATERIAL To summarize, fivemainvarietiesofpottery have been differentiated.Due to the small sherdsample and poor state ofpreservation of many of the sherds,this classification is offered solely means of describing whichwas found, as a temporary the pottery a detailedanalysisof a large collectionis underuntil,hopefully, taken. variety. Type C maybe thought Type A is themostdistinctive of as similarto Type A except in thickness. Type B is essentially
a poorer grade of Type C. Types D and E differfrom the others most notably in temper, and differbetween each other by the presence of a slip on Type E. 30

Table 6 gives the sherd countsfor each site. Though sherds in fartoo fewnumbers occurred forreliablequantitative analysis, a few qualitativeremarksmighttentatively be made. Type C is mostnumerousin grossquantity but is apparently restricted prito is where it the most marily open campsites, frequenttype. morebroadlydistributed, Type B seemsto be somewhat occurring both at open campsitesand at shell middens.Type A is found only at sites which also containboth Types B and C. Although this includes only four sites, it may be significant that all four sites are quite large,perhapsindicating a lengthy occupation.


6. Distributionof Pottery Types.


Sites Shell middens


Type C

Historical indicated byX

14 20 23 24 25 27

19 -

29 1 3 -

8 --

1 6* -

Open campsites MEX:SON:4

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 15 19 21


2 2 5 1 -

1 1 17* -



21 10* -

5 -

2 8*

MEX:SON:3 12 13 22 26 -


X -

MEX:SON:16 17 18

TOTALS 39 50 68 45 10 Asterisks thatmostof these sherdscomprised indicate a singlevessel.


OTHER REMAINS At the easternedge of MEX: SON: 17, a large uprightstone slab was foundwhich bears obvious indicationsof having been 1.0 m. high, 0.7 m. worked (Fig. 8). The slab is approximately wide at its greatest width,and 15 cm. thick.It has a broad groove aroundtheupperportion whichprobablywas initiated by natural lower On the and portionof one agencies augmented by pecking. number of the a face of the slab, below pecked petrogroove, glyphsare visible. They consistof several straightand curved but theydo not resembleanything lines,some connected, readily identifiable. The slab presentlystands uprightin sharp contrastto the and at the site. Since it is poorlysupported rest of the structures not verystable,it may have been rightedonlyrecently.

FIG. 8. Upright slab at MEX: SON: 17.


CONCLUSIONS It is a difficult task to convertartifacts and ruins intohuman beings and cultures.To do so froman archaeologicalsurvey in an area where no temporalsequence has been formulated, the obstacles are substantiallymore formidable.Nonetheless it is to make such comments and draw such conclusions appropriate as are warrantedby the extentof the fieldwork,tentativeand generalas theymay be. Firstofall, the Guaymascoast has been visitedby large numbersofaboriginal peoplesovera longperiodoftime.The evidence forthisrestson two factors:the greatdepthand extentof many of the shell middensand the presenceof artifacts which are of types thoughtto be both late and early. This last refersspecificallyto the GypsumCave point and the possible Borax Lake point recoveredduringthe course of the survey.The presence of these artifacts may also indicate the early huntingof larger animals than exist in the area at present,a way of life which obviouslydid not persist. On the basis of both the natureof the sites and the distribution of the artifacts, to make some conjecit may be permissible The tures concerning the subsistenceof the former inhabitants. diminish of sites the extent of the sites and as one frequency proceedsinland fromthe coast. This change does not seem to be correlated with a pronounced change from one site type to but it should be noted that all of the village sites are another, situatedat substantialdistancesfromthe coast. Certain artifact with distance fromthe sea. A changes are, however,consistent of projectilepointsat markeddifference exists in the frequency the different types of sites, the artifactcollectionsfrom open of pointsthan thosefrom campsites yieldinga greaterproportion the shell middens.A slight difference occurs in the frequency of scraper varietiesbetween these two types of sites. Rounded over the scrapersand side scrapersseem to have been preferred othertypesby the inhabitants of the inland campsites.It is also that isolated projectile points are more frequently noteworthy foundat some distancefromthe coast. Manos and basin metatesare almosttotallyabsent fromthe at several of shell middens,while they occur quite numerously the open campsites.Potteryis foundin somewhatgreaterquanwhere Type C seems to have been the tityat the open campsites,
favored variety. This evidence suggests at least three habitation patterns for the area. One, characterized by the shell middens, is quite logi33

and perhaps cally concernedprimarilywith obtainingshellfish otherkindsofseafood.A secondpattern, inland, prevalentfarther carries the earmarks of a small game huntingand gathering existence. The presenceofvillage sitespresents of an enigma. something is evidence Nowhere of prehistoricagricultureseen, yet it is difficult to imaginethat a fairlylarge sedentary populationcould have been supportedby the quantitiesof small game and seed plants which exist in the area today. Nor is there evidence at these sites of any sortof large-scaledependenceupon the sea for food. Since these sites have been strippedclean of surfaceartican be providedby this survey. facts,little information are no more than Sheltersites,as far as can be determined, shell middens sheltered or Since, again,little campsites. protected artifactualmaterial remains on the surface of these sheltered to speculate widely on their signifideposits,it is not profitable it to say that shelteroccupationin othercultures cance. Suffice in the open.Withrespect often precededthebuildingofstructures to the village sites, this may also have been the case in the Guaymas area. The problemof chronology is at presentunresolvable.The since the time of area has probablybeen occupied continuously occupationis documented by the Early Man. Even contemporary at several sites. of historical debris considerable presence A substantial amountofvariationexistsbothamongthe sites which are taken as archaeologicalunits and among the artifacts it is naturalto ask whether associatedwiththesesites.Therefore, the occupationof the varioustypesof sites was by a singlegroup of people at different pointsin time,whetherthe types of occugroups at the same time,or whether pation representdifferent both possibilities mightbe correct.It is also worth considering whetheror not the shell middenscould simplybe the accumulainland but lived further tions of a people who characteristically venturedto the coast for occasional clambakes,as many of the local Mexicans do today. of the A further questionmark centersaround the identity and what connections inhabitants theymaintainedwith cultural The Guaymasregion groupsto the south,the east, and the north. fromthe Gila removed a was inhabited culturally by groupquite River Hohokamand the Guasave traditions. to the Desert Hohokamand the trinBut can a relationship cheras buildersto the northbe asserted?When Meso-American
culture elements were diffusingnorthward toward the American Southwest, some of these traits became incorporated into the way 34

of life of these coastal peoples. But were many elementsfrankly rejected or were the adopted elements the only ones which reached the coast,via a route of diffusion bypassingthis area? These questionscannotyet be answered, but it is hoped that excavationswill eventuallyhelp clarify some of these problems.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The writer is indebted to several individuals without whose help the and far less pleasurproject would have been considerablymore difficult able. Permits for the work were granted by Sr. Roman Pina Chan of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Leslie J. Kulhanek and Janet K. Lind assisted the field work, while Dr. David A. Breternitz and J. Richard Ambler donated special assistance throughoutthe duration cf the project.

REFERENCES Amsden, Monroe 1928 Archaeological Reconnaissance in Sonora. Southwest Museum Papers, No. 1 .Los Angeles. Bandelier, A. F. 1892 Final Report of InvestigationsAmong the Indians cf the United States, Part II. Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America, American Series IV. Cambridge. DiPeso, Charles C. 1955 Two Cerro Guamas Clovis Fluted Points from Sonora, Mexico. The Kiva, Vol. 21, Nos. 1-2, pp. 13-15. Tucson. Ekholm, Gordon F. 194.0 The Archaeology of Northernand Western Mexico. In "The Maya and Their Neighbors," G. Vaillant, editor. D. Appleton-Century Company. New York. Ezell, Paul H. 1954 An Archaeological Survey of Northwestern Papagueria. The Kiva, Vol. 19, Nos. 2-4, pp. 1-26. Tucson. Fay, George E. 1955a A Preliminary Report of an Archaeological Survey in Southern Sonora, Mexico; 1953. Transactions of the Kansas Academy cf Science, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 566-87. 1955b Prepottery,Lithic Complex from Sonora, Mexico. Science, Vol. 121, No. 3152, pp. 777-8. Washington. 1956 AnotherCruciform ArtifactfromSonora. American Antiquity,Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 410-1. Salt Lake City. E. W. Gifford, 1946 Archaeology of the Puento Pefiasco Region, Sonora. Anmerican Antiquity,Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 215-21. Salt Lake City. Harrington,Mark R. 1948 An Ancient Site at Borax Lake, California. Southwest Museum Papers, No. 16. Los Angeles. Emil W. Haury, 1950 The Stratigraphyand Archaeology of Ventana Cave, Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, and University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.


Hayden, Julian D. 1956 Notes on the Archaeology of the Central Coast of Sonora, Mexico. The Kiva, Vol. 21, Nos. 3-4, pp. 19-22. Tucson. Hinton, Thomas B. 1955 A Survey of Archaeological Sites in the Altar Valley, Sonora. The Kiva, Vol. 21, Nos. 1-2, pp. 1-12. Tucson. Holzkamper, Frank M. 1956 ArtifactsfromEstero Tastiota, Sonora, Mexico. The Kiva, Vol. 21, Nos. 3-4, pp. 12-9. Tucson. Ives, Ronald L. 1964 The Pinacate Region, Sonora, Mexico. Occasional Papers of the California of Sciences, No. 47. San Francisco. Johnson,Alfred E. 1963 The Trincheras Culture of NorthernSonora. American Antiquity, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 174-86. Salt Lake City. Kidder, A. V. 1932 The Artifactsof Pecos. Yale UniversityPress, New Haven. Lister, Robert H. 1960 History of Archaeological Fieldwork in NorthwesternMexico. El Palacio, Vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 118-24. Sante Fe. Lumholtz, Carl 1902 Unknown Mexico. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York. Owen, Roger C. 1956 Some Clay Figurines and Seri Dolls from Coastal Sonora. The Kiva, Vol. 21, Nos. 3-4, pp. 1-11. Tucson. Sauer, Carl and Donald D. Brand 1931 PrehistoricSettlementsof Sonora with SpecificReferenceto Cerros de Trincheras. Universityof California Publications in Geography, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 67-148. Berkeley.