The Digital Legacy of Public Archaeology in the Phoenix Basin, Arizona


Federal undertakings, particularly flood control and water transmission projects, have served as the impetus for some of the largest public archaeology projects in Arizona since the 1950s. The Central Arizona Project, a 336 mile diversion canal that distributes water from the Colorado River into central and southern Arizona, was the largest and most costly transmission system constructed in the United States. It took nearly 25 years to identify and mitigate the cultural resources within the project area, which in turn generated an enormous amount of archaeological and ethnographic data, only a fraction of which was readily accessible to scholars in regional libraries. Since 2011, the Bureau of Reclamation has been working with the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) to create an online digital library of Central Arizona Project (CAP) archaeological reports. Currently, Reclamation has made 130 records available through tDAR. The CAP records have received 27,000 views and 1,200 downloads, numbers which attest to the continued importance of this project within the archaeological community. By partnering with tDAR, Reclamation continues to ensure this project’s legacy and facilitate use of project data for current and future research projects.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

The Digital Legacy of Public Archaeology in the Phoenix Basin, Arizona. M. Scott Thompson, Jon Czaplicki, Lauren Jelinek. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396933) ; doi:10.6067/XCV82808R5

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.511; min lat: 31.915 ; max long: -109.951; max lat: 35.066 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Lauren Jelinek

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
SAAs-2015-tDAR-poster.pdf 2.40mb Apr 28, 2015 7:14:35 AM Public