Salado Culture


The Salado culture is a term used by historians and archaeologists to describe a pre-Columbian Southwestern culture that flourished from c. 1200-1450 CE in the Tonto Basin of what is now the southern parts of the present-day US states of Arizona and New Mexico. Although scholarly debate continues as to the exact origins of the Salado culture, as well as how it disappeared, there is some consensus among scholars and archaeologists that the Salado culture had distinctive art, architectural traditions, and burial practices that distinguish them from their Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi), Mogollon, and Hohokam neighbors. Among the ancient cultures of the US Southwest, the Salado culture is especially noted for its stunning iconographic designs and pottery production. The US archaeologist Harold Gladwin (1883-1983 CE) was the first to analyze these cultural traits and a shared artistic style in the 1920s CE, and he referred to this indigenous culture as the "Salado." The name stems from the Salt River (Spanish: Río Salado), which flows through the valley of their cultural genesis.

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