Small Sites on the Santa Cruz Flats: The Results of the Investigations Along the Santa Rosa Canal in the Distribution Division of the Central Arizona Project

Editor(s): William S. Marmaduke

Year: 1993


This report is about 58 archaeological sites located in and around an expansive desert basin known as the Santa Cruz Flats, located south of the Gila River. None of these sites are large. The biggest among them had only three, widely separated houses. Most of them had no houses, and the majority lacked material remains except for a mere scattering of artifacts now perched on the modern ground surface. Several of the sites included occupations dated to the modern, Historic, Euro-American era, while a few other sites produced chipped stone projectile points that likely date to the Archaic stage, the time of hunter-gatherers, before the advent of agriculture among the prehistoric peoples of the region. The most frequently represented material remains were those associated with the prehistoric Hohokam culture, the sedentary (at least semi-sedentary) agriculturalists who occupied the northern Sonoran Desert between A.D. 300 and 1450. The sites located within the construction corridor of the Santa Rosa Canal, a large water delivery system linked to the Central Arizona Project, are not quintessential Hohokam sites. The few Hohokam sites that contained preserved houses likely represent seasonal use only, and the vast majority of the sites include evidence of limited employment, probably for gathering wild crops; hunting; or tending, harvesting, and packing the yield away for storage and use elsewhere. Overall, these sites suggest rather heavy exploitation of resources formerly located on the Santa Cruz Flats, to a degree not previously appreciated, and at a time when it was supposed the Flats held less attraction. During the Hohokam pre-Classic period, there were few large communities outside the Tucson and Phoenix basins; the few settlements that were located in the intervening range were tightly restricted, by all outward appearances, to the bajadas of the surrounding mountains (Wilcox 1988a).

Cite this Record

Small Sites on the Santa Cruz Flats: The Results of the Investigations Along the Santa Rosa Canal in the Distribution Division of the Central Arizona Project. William S. Marmaduke. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Research, Inc. 1993 ( tDAR id: 378273) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8MS3TMF

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Archaic Euroamerican Historic Historic Native American Hohokam

Ceramic Chipped Stone Dating Sample Fauna Human Remains Macrobotanical Pollen

Site Name
AZ AA:1:52(ASM) AZ AA:1:53(ASM) AZ AA:1:54(ASM) AZ AA:1:55(ASM) AZ AA:1:56(ASM) AZ AA:1:57(ASM) AZ AA:1:58(ASM) AZ AA:1:60(ASM) AZ AA:1:67(ASM) AZ AA:1:69(ASM) AZ AA:1:71(ASM) AZ AA:1:72(ASM) AZ AA:2:68(ASM) AZ AA:2:69(ASM) AZ AA:2:70(ASM) AZ AA:2:71(ASM) AZ AA:2:72(ASM) AZ AA:2:73(ASM) AZ AA:2:74(ASM) AZ AA:2:75(ASM) AZ AA:2:76(ASM) AZ AA:2:77(ASM) AZ AA:2:78(ASM) AZ AA:2:79(ASM) AZ AA:2:80(ASM) Show More

Site Type
Archaeological Feature Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex Domestic Structures Encampment Hearth Midden Pit Pit House / Earth Lodge Refuse Pit Resource Extraction / Production / Transportation Structure or Features Settlements Sheet Midden

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.824; min lat: 32.472 ; max long: -111.399; max lat: 32.753 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Field Director(s): Brian Kenny; James D. Mayberry; Richard Martynec; James Copus; Vera Morgan

Principal Investigator(s): William S. Marmaduke

Sponsor(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office

Permitting Agency(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation

Prepared By(s): Northland Research, Inc.

Submitted To(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office

Record Identifiers

Central Arizona Project, Non-indian Distribution Division, Task No.(s): 6; 21; 23

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 3-PA-30-00740

File Information

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