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Does it take a hierarchy of managers overseeing a working class to mass-produce a product? One answer to that question may lie in the prehistoric ceramic pottery industry of an ancient, egalitarian people who lived in what today encompasses greater metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. The vessels were produced in mass quantities around 1000 A.D. by a people called the Hohokam, whose descendants are today’s O’odham tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.
Archaeologists Sunday Eiselt, from Southern Methodist University, and J. Andrew Darling, from the Cultural Resource Management Program of the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, have launched a unique research partnership to study the puzzling mechanics behind the pottery production.