added by archaeologs An ancient North American Indian culture that existed 9,000-2,000 years ago, in Arizona and western New Mexico. The culture was named for the ancient Lake Cochise (now Willcox Playa, Arizona), near which important finds were made. The Cochise, a local variant of the Desert Culture, contrasted with the Big-Game Hunting cultures to the east (Clovis, Folsom), and was based on the gathering and collecting wild plant foods. In later stages, there is evidence of the development of agriculture. The Cochise culture has been divided into three developmental periods. The earliest stage, Sulphur Spring, dates from 6000 or 7000 BC to about 4000 BC and is characterized by milling stones for grinding wild seeds and by various scrapers, but no knives, blades, or projectile points. Its type site has been associated with mammoth and extinct horse remains and there are some indications that hunting was done. During the second stage, Chiricahua, lasting from 4000 to perhaps 500 BC, the appearance of projectile points seems to indicate an increased interest in hunting, and the remains of a primitive form of maize in Bat Cave (NM) suggest the beginnings of farming. In the final or San Pedro stage, from 500 BC to the beginning of the Christian era, milling stones were replaced by mortars and pestles (mano and metate), and pit houses (houses of poles and earth built over pits) appeared. During the San Pedro stage, pottery appeared in the area of the Mogollon Indians. The poorly understood Cazador phase may bridge the long hiatus between Sulphur Springs and Chiricahua, but the evidence so far in inconclusive.