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Field Division of Education
Tuzigoot - The Excavation and Repair of a Ruin on the Verde River near Clarkdale, Arizona
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CORN. It is clear from the choice of location for the from the sedentary character of the life that implements and tools indicate, from the abundance of meal grinding tools, from the relative scarcity of hunting implements, as well as from what we know of similar Southwestern peoples that vegetable, and mainly cultivated products were the chief source of life for the people of Tuzigoot. The concentration, of people in an area excellently adapted to agriculture and the great abundance of metates, or corn-mills, bespeak a great dependence on that great American staple -- corn. But very little direct evidence of this fact was preserved. A small handful of charred corn kernels was found in one room on the west slope which had burned and been completely abandoned some time before the pueblo as a whole was abandoned. Other than this no corn was found.

However, fifty or more corn cobs were found in the refuse areas in charred condition. In addition, several of the clay olla covers show very definite imprints of both corn cobs and of corn on the cob. The latter indicate that one of the great uses of the large ollas was for storage of corn and that the mouths of the ollas, after the corn was placed in them were carefully stopped up with wet mud. Perhaps the corn cobs, the impressions of which are preserved on some of the olla covers, formed a protective layer between the originally wet clay cover and shelled corn stored in the ollas.

BEANS. Next perhaps in importance to corn as an article of diet at Tuzigoot were beans. Great quantities of beans were found charred in one of the storage rooms that had burned down. These had been stored in ollas as large as 20 inches in diameter and in large coarse coiled baskets. Almost a bushel of charred beans was recovered. A few handfuls of charred beans were recovered elsewhere in the excavation. All seem to be of the same variety and all are small, a little smaller and of about the same shape as ordinary white navy beans after drying. No large flat-lima-like beans, such as those found in neighboring cave ruins, came to light. The great number of beans and the careful measures taken for their storage indicate that they were an important item of diet at Tuzigoot.

GRASS SEEDS. A mass, comprising about a double handful, of large grass seeds, as yet unidentified, were also found charred in the storage room which contained the great number of beans. They indicate that wild products were not left out of account in the bill of fare at Tuzigoot.

MEAT. Although there was a great emphasis on agriculture, meat was not excluded from the diet. As has been brought out in the section on bone work, a large number of deer and antelope bones was found in the refuse of the pueblo. Undoubtedly these large animals played an important part in Tuzigoot diet. In addition, cottontail rabbits, bear, muskrat, and smaller game, as well as game birds like Mallard and Canada Goose were eaten. Strangely enough not a single bone of a turkey came to light in the excavation. Therefore, unlike the Pueblo people to the north and east, the people of Tuzigoot did not domesticate the turkey and apparently, moreover, they did not hunt it either.


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