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Allen Dart discusses changes in the pottery styles of the Hohokam civilization.

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Decorated pots hold clues to vital mystery

Archaeologists delight Payson audience with visually enchanting clues to the rise and fall of civilizations

A world of triumph, tragedy and surprising complexity can be assembled from the puzzle of shattered pots bearing images of lighting bolts, demons, dancers and mysterious symbols, Allen Dart told the rapt members of the Rim Country Archaeology Society on Saturday. He offered a glimpse of 2,000 years of innovation, economic evolution, invasion, religious turmoil, triumph and disaster through the brilliantly crafted, creatively unique pottery styles developed by the Hohokam civilization. The Hohokam built a complex network of cities along hundreds of miles of irrigation canals in the Valley and built some of the most densely populated cities in North America before their collapse and abandonment in the mid-1450s, just ahead of the arrival of the Spanish in the Southwest.

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