The Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project was a complicated project. In the original planning, it was thought that the best results could be obtained by involving a number of young scholars with specialized backgrounds and knowledge in particular phases of the research. During the first and second field seasons, several individuals were recruited with unique expertise to work on specific aspects of the research: ecology, survey, human remains, botanical remains, faunal remains, etc. The intention was for each of these researchers to follow his or her part of the project from fieldwork to analysis and to produce a published report. This kind of continuity would allow all of the staff to become familiar with the evolution of the research design, concentrate on an area of specialization, and build expertise over the life of the project, and could – as a member of an ongoing team – stay conversant with the results of the other subprojects. The objective was to produce a series of publications in which the authors would contribute to the project through detailed presentations of their data and have the freedom to build on these presentations in their own directions and add important new ideas to the development of Southwestern archaeology.
The project’s preliminary results were published in three field reports (Schwartz 1971, 1972; Schwartz and Lang 1973). After nearly a decade of fieldwork, laboratory preparation, and analysis, writing of the formal publications on the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project began. Nine volumes were released over the next 26 years.
- The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo - 1980
- Prehistoric Settlement Patterns: The Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico Site Survey - 1979
- Pueblo Population and Society: The Arroyo Hondo Skeletal and Mortuary Remains - 1980
- The Past Climate of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, Reconstructed From Tree Rings - 1981
- The Faunal Remains from Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico - 1984
- Food, Diet, and Population at Prehistoric Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, New Mexico - 1986
- The Architecture of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, New Mexico - 1993
- The Pottery From Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, New Mexico- 1993
- A Space Syntax Analysis of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, New Mexico - 2005
The multivolume Arroyo Hondo Pueblo publication series received major support from the National Science Foundation (grant BNS 76-83501) as well as from other individuals and a corporation.
As the work progressed and the potential contribution of various topics could be better assessed, the original components of the series changed. Some studies that were originally planned as full volumes, such as pollen analysis and the description of lithic artifacts, evolved into special reports or appendices. Some work meant to produce a shorter report was ultimately seen to be of such importance that it was published as a major monograph, as was the case with the dendroclimatology.
Completing a publication series of this sort involves a number of challenges. These include the amount of time a researcher-author can spend on the work, the individual’s persistence and motivation, the degree to which the project competes with the author’s other life goals and responsibilities, differences in the time taken to complete various volumes and thus differences in the availability of results to the other authors, differences in research and writing ability, and the continual need to obtain new funding to support ongoing analysis and publication. No project of this kind can avoid these and similar problems, and, unfortunately it is not possible to predict or control them in the initial stages of work or as the work progresses.
The plan of moving from fieldwork to manuscripts succeeded exceptionally well for the first six volumes in the series, all of which were written by scholars who had joined the project early in the fieldwork stage. Some advanced graduate students were invited to use Arroyo Hondo material for a thesis (Kelly  examined the pueblo’s ecology) or for dissertations (Dickson  wrote up the regional site survey; Palkovich  analyzed the skeletal and mortuary remains; Wetterstrom  discussed archeobotany). Others were members of the SAR archeological staff, often working with outside experts (Lang and Harris  performed the faunal analysis), or they were consultants asked to analyze some aspect of the data (Rose, Dean, and Robinson  explored the dendroclimatology).
Soon after excavations at Arroyo Hondo were completed, two key members of the field project were asked to initiate the seventh and eighth monographs in the series, covering ceramics and architecture. Richard W. Lang undertook a comprehensive description and seriation of the ceramics, and John D. Beal wrote an initial manuscript on architecture. However, both Lang and Beal moved on from SAR after tremendous contributions to fieldwork and analysis for other positions before the final manuscripts were completed.
Judith A. Habicht-Mauche was asked to rework and build on the Lang volume on ceramics. She not only did so, but she moved beyond it to look at, among other topics, the development of the regional social system of which Arroyo Hondo Pueblo was a part. Winifred Creamer was asked to further develop Beal’s architecture manuscript, and to use the data to examine the growth, organization, and decline of the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo community. Tony Thibodeau, the School’s archaeological laboratory coordinator, who worked meticulously to make the collections and field records easily available, assisted Creamer. In addition, Catherine M. Cameron worked closely with Creamer to polish the final draft of the manuscript, check data, and select illustrations – often contributing her own valuable ideas in the process.
The final volume in the series was the first that did not grow directly out of the field project. In the Space Syntax Monograph, Jason Shapiro examined the Arroyo Hondo excavation records and collections and asked new questions from a new perspective. He applied for the first time the technique of space syntax to architectural changes at Arroyo Hondo pueblo and other sites in the northern Rio Grande.
In addition to the monographs, special reports have been published on regional metric comparisons of the skeletal collection (Mackey 1980); pollen studies (Bohrer 1986); artifacts of wood (Lang 1986); ceramic artifacts (Thibodeau); bone artifacts (Beach and Causey (1984); shell artifacts (Venn 1984); hide, fur and feathers (Lang 1984); lithics (Phagan 1993); and stratigraphic ceramic samples (Lang 1993).
As this publication record indicates, the use of numerous skilled individuals as analysts and authors was advantageous in spite of delays, the addition of new authors, and the additional expense of restarting uncompleted writing projects. The Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project was a large undertaking that out of necessity resulted in a longer schedule of publication than might have been desired. Research efforts focusing on small sites may yield faster returns but the amount of data and the depth of the interpretation that can emerge from work at a large site justify the extended effort. The volumes that have been published have all added significantly to our understanding of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and have gone beyond that to make important contributions to the study of Southwestern prehistory.