Theodore Roosevelt Dam: Roosevelt Platform Mound Study

Part of: Theodore Roosevelt Dam Studies

The Roosevelt Platform Mound Study (RPMS) was one of three mitigative data recovery studies that the Bureau of Reclamation funded to investigate the prehistory of the Tonto Basin in the vicinity of Theodore Roosevelt Dam. The series of investigations constituted Reclamation's program for complying with historic preservation legislation as it applied to the raising and modification of Theodore Roosevelt Dam. Reclamation contracted with the Arizona State University Office of Cultural Resource Management (OCRM) to complete the research for this investigation.

The RPMS was an eight year archaeological research project that began in April 1989. It focused on sites of the Salado period, especially on platform mounds and the residential compounds clustered around the mounds. At its inception in the spring of 1989, the research was to be conducted at 77 sites grouped in three clusters in the basin. Shortly afterward, Reclamation also funded a separate sampling survey of locations on the upper bajadas that surround the basin. The Roosevelt Bajada Survey, performed by SWCA Environmental Consultants, Inc. of Flagstaff (Ahlstrom et aI. 1991), identified dense clusters of residential sites in these upland locations.

In 1992, Reclamation asked ASU OCRM to investigate four clusters of sites identified by the Roosevelt Bajada Survey and one additional site in the Pinto Creek Complex. The agency effectively expanded the scope of the RPMS to 130 sites. The scheduled level of field effort at some of the original 77 sites was reduced and transferred to the investigation of sites in the upland locations.

The results of the RPMS are presented in the ASU OCRM Roosevelt Monograph Series, which consists of 12 report volumes.