Life on the Floodplain: Further Investigations at Pueblo Salado, for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Volume 2, Data Recovery and Re-evaluation


This is the second volume of the report produced on archaeological investigations (data recovery excavations) conducted for the City of Phoenix Aviation Administration relating to future expansion of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration served as the lead agency, with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department as administrator of the project.

Results of excavations at Areas 6, 15, and 16 of Pueblo Salado (AZ T:12:47[ASM]) and additional investigations of the north branch of Canal Salado, its distribution and lateral canals, and other canal features are presented in this volume. Investigations at this National Register-eligible site have now included either intensive excavations or sample excavations at 6 of the 16 defined loci that are spread in an east- west pattern over an area measuring approximately 1.5 miles east-west by 0.5 mile north-south. Testing has been completed at four other loci relating to Arizona Department of Transportation corridors for within the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center.

The site of Pueblo Salado is principally affiliated with the Classic and post-Classic Hohokam occupation of the Phoenix Basin. The site was initially inhabited during either the late Sedentary period or the early Soho phase as a field house locus. Seasonal occupation gave way to permanent settlement during the later part of the Soho phase, and compounds were eventually established during the Civano phase. Excavations in Area 15 revealed that seasonal/ temporary habitation areas were used throughout the Classic period occupation of Pueblo Salado, extending into the post-Classic Polvoron phase.

The compounds at Area 8/9 (investigated during an earlier project) and Area 6 exhibited extensive use during the Polvoron phase, with the Area 8/9 occupation lasting well into the sixteenth century. Polvoron occupation in Area 6 appears to have been a shorter-lived phenomenon, extending perhaps into the second half of the fifteenth century. Area 6, however, also exhibited reuse by Protohistoric/Historic groups, and reuse of Canal Salado is also suggested by the stratigraphy of the canal and radiocarbon and archaeomagnetic dating results. An homo investigated by BRW (1989) in Area 7 produced a late date range, indicating either a late Polvoron occupation or use of the area by Protohistoric groups.

This volume contains descriptions of the investigations in Areas 6 and 15/16, with detailed feature descriptions, artifact analyses, and botanical, faunal, and shell studies; geomorphic investigations of Canal Salado and adjacent areas of the floodplain; chronometric studies; mortuary and human remains studies; and analyses of architectural implications and demographics. The Polvoron phenomenon, the presence of a Protohistoric/Historic occupation, and the Hohokam-to-Pima transition are examined and discussed. This volume represents a summary of the project and a re-evaluation of the interpretations from previous research conducted at Pueblo Salado. Throughout the history of investigations of Pueblo Salado, it has been apparent that the floodplain of the Salt River contains a wealth of information that has only begun to be tapped. Recommendations concerning future Hohokam studies are provided at the end of this volume, suggesting investigation of settings similar to that of Pueblo Salado and questions that may be addressed.

Cite this Record

Life on the Floodplain: Further Investigations at Pueblo Salado, for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Volume 2, Data Recovery and Re-evaluation. David H. Greenwald, Jean H. Ballagh, Douglas R. Mitchell, Richard Anduze. Pueblo Grande Museum Anthropological Papers ,4. Phoenix, AZ: City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. 1996 ( tDAR id: 398978) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8HD7XCC

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.048; min lat: 33.419 ; max long: -111.987; max lat: 33.448 ;


General Note: The curation of this report was supported by a Seed Grant from the Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University as part of the Digital Archive of Hohokam Archaeology (DAHA) Project.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
1996_GreenwaldBallaghMitchell_LifeonVol2Part1_OCR.pdf 266.04mb Aug 21, 2017 4:29:05 PM Confidential
this is the unredacted version of part 1.
Life-on-the-floodplain-vol.-2.-part1._Redacted.pdf 38.51mb Jul 28, 2015 4:28:18 PM Public
This is the redacted version of part 1.
1996_GreenwaldBallaghMitchell_LifeonVol2Part2_OCR_PDFA.pdf 139.22mb Aug 21, 2017 4:29:12 PM Confidential
This is the unredacted version of part 2.
Life-on-the-floodplain-vol-2.-p2-400-agg_Redacted.pdf 24.69mb Jul 28, 2015 4:38:00 PM Public
This is the redacted version of part 2.

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Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office