Archaeological Testing of Unit 13 at Pueblo Grande, AZ U:9:1(ASM), Arizona Federal Credit Union Property, 44th and Van Buren Streets, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona


The Arizona Federal Credit Union (AFCU) property was a 3.26-acre parcel undergoing commercial development at the northeast corner of 44th and Van Buren Streets in Phoenix, Arizona. The parcel is located immediately southwest of Unit 7 and immediately west of Unit 11 at Pueblo Grande (AZ U:9:1(ASM)), where archaeological features including burials had been encountered previously. Because of its proximity, there was a high probability that archaeological remains including burials would also be present on the AFCU parcel, herein defined as Unit 13 of Pueblo Grande. A map of Pueblo Grande, reconstructed from measurements taken in the 1880s, also indicated that surface architectural ruins still existed on or near the southern part of Unit 13 in the late 1800s.

Therefore, a program of archaeological test excavations was conducted between 22 April and 8 May 1997 by personnel from Soil Systems, Inc. (SSI) to comply with A.R.S. 41-865 (Arizona State Museum [ASM] Case No. 97-17). Testing revealed prehistoric cultural deposits in the southern portion of the property. The remains included structures,extramural features, midden deposits, and probable human inhumation pits. However, all of the possible inhumation pits originated at depths greater than .60 m from the present ground surface. Testing also confirmed that any prehistoric remains in the central and northern parts of the property were disturbed or destroyed by 20th-century earth-moving activities and by the construction of a now-demolished school. Building plans for the construction of an Arizona Federal Credit Union facility on the property showed that the location of the new building coincided with the previous location of the school foundation, while only shallow grading was planned for the southern part of the property in order to accommodate an asphalt parking lot and landscaping features. The results of archaeological testing indicated that if the existing building plans were strictly followed during construction, no intact prehistoric cultural features would be affected and further archaeological treatment would not be required.

Archaeological monitoring was conducted during the initial earth-moving phase of construction in 1997 and the building plans were strictly followed. No archaeological features were disturbed until late March 1998, when SSI personnel became aware that two utility lines were being installed in the south part of the parcel that had not been present on the original plans. As a result, construction activities were interrupted in the two utility line areas while the new excavations were inspected for archaeological features. Thereafter, aII further activities related to these two installations were monitored. The utility excavations exposed three prehistoric features in or adjacent to the property, including one burial.

Finally, in May 1998, SSI personnel monitored the excavation of seven holes for the installation of palm trees in the southwestern part of the parcel. These excavations exposed two additional, nonmortuary features. The five additional features were all adequately documented and mapped, and the burial was excavated for repatriation and reburial elsewhere.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Testing of Unit 13 at Pueblo Grande, AZ U:9:1(ASM), Arizona Federal Credit Union Property, 44th and Van Buren Streets, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Banks L. Leonard. Soil Systems Technical Report ,97-18. Phoenix, AZ: Soil Systems, Inc. 1998 ( tDAR id: 373085) ; doi:10.6067/XCV800014D

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.996; min lat: 33.442 ; max long: -111.969; max lat: 33.469 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Cory D. Breternitz

Project Director(s): Banks L. Leonard

Prepared By(s): Soil Systems, Inc.

Submitted To(s): Arizona Federal Credit Union

Record Identifiers

Soil Systems Project No.(s): 97-09

Arizona State Museum Case No.(s): 97-17

Soil Systems Technical Report No.(s): 97-18


General Note: Please note that SSI recorded the Pueblo Grande number as AZ U:9:7(ASM), which is the designation for a portion of Pueblo Grande. The correct number for the site as a whole is AZ U:9:1(ASM).

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