The Sky Harbor Project, Early Desert Farming and Irrigation Settlements, Archaeological Investigations in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center, Volume 3: Pueblo Salado


Investigations at Pueblo Salado were part of the data recovery phase for the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center Project, sponsored by the City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department. Pueblo Salado (AZ T: 12:47, ASM) lay within the southern half of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center. During the testing phase and previous work by SWCA and BRW (1989), archaeologists examined the available areas using systematic and judgmental trenching. Project investigators based their data recovery efforts on the results of the previous testing projects.

SWCA initiated excavations at Pueblo Salado in October 1990 and completed the work in January 1991. Project archaeologists conducted intensive investigations in Areas 8/9 and 14 and expended minimal efforts in Area 20. Area 8/9 was a compound associated with the Civano phase, with a later Polvoron phase occupation within its boundaries. Chronometric data supported an occupation range of a.d. 1300-1500 or later. Areas 14 and 20 were associated with the Soho phase and appeared to have functioned as irrigation hamlets. Investigators found evidence of earlier occupation only in a few pre-Classic period sherds; they assigned no features to any of the pre- Classic periods.

Given the results of the data recovery phase, the earlier testing phases, investigations in the Squaw Peak Parkway (Euler and Sires 1984), and the initial survey (Ahlstrom and Phillips 1983), SWCA’s investigators defined settlement patterns and land-use strategies for the portion of the geologic floodplain immediately north of the Salt River. Several Hohokam groups, probably extended family units, initially settled the area during the Soho phase. They eventually constructed a canal system and built hamlets along the alignments of Canal Salado and its northern branch, which extended from east to west across the floodplain (Midvale n.d.; Patrick 1903). During the Civano phase, the population aggregated into a compound that consisted of several (perhaps as many as nine) courtyard groups. The residents constructed an initial enclosure to which they added house clusters or courtyard units and enclosed the larger residential area within a set of double walls. In the Polvoron phase, a reduced population used existing adobe structures and built pithouses within the existing compound.

This volume describes each area investigated, presents analytical data relevant to Pueblo Salado, and discusses the site’s chronology and its relationship to Canal System 2. Volume 4 in this series, which presents special studies and the concluding reports from the project, should be consulted for additional information concerning the results and interpretations of the archaeological investigations at Pueblo Salado.

Cite this Record

The Sky Harbor Project, Early Desert Farming and Irrigation Settlements, Archaeological Investigations in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center, Volume 3: Pueblo Salado. David H. Greenwald, Mark L. Chenault, Dawn M. Greenwald. SWCA Anthropological Research Paper ,4. Tucson, AZ: SWCA Inc., Environmental Consultants. 1995 ( tDAR id: 399000) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8N29ZPS

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.049; min lat: 33.424 ; max long: -112.025; max lat: 33.444 ;


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.

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Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office