Exchanging Goods and Ideas
The ancient Sonoran Desert people exchanged goods and ideas, made long-distance expeditions to procure exotic raw materials, and produced prestige items such as carved shell, for exchange. These activities occurred within the Sonoran Desert culture and with other cultural areas. Interaction with other groups is indicated by the presence of macaws, copper bells, and pottery from sometimes very distant regions.
When different types of temper were added, a vessel became more porous and acted as an
This olla was found near the Great House and is 3-ft. tall.
The ancient Sonoran Desert people had to have something to exchange, so they produced and traded large storage jars, pottery with intricate designs, and even jewelry made from seashells. The exchange systems they established reached their maximum extent between AD 800 and 1000, and items they created have been found hundreds of miles from their homeland.
Did You Know?
The ancient Sonoran Desert people made shell jewelry bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants. Some of the jewelry was inlaid with turquoise, others had designs etched into the surface. The shells were acquired from as far away as the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.