Archaeological Site Mapping at Coal Mine Spring, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (AZSP), April 2010

Author(s): Jeremy Moss

Year: 2010


In April, 2010 a partnership between Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (SNA) and the National Park Service (Tumacacori National Historical Park) began when the manager of Sonoita Creek SNA, Jennifer Parks, approached me about conducting an archaeological survey of the new Coal Mine Spring addition north northwest of Lake Patagonia. The Coal Mine Spring area of Sonoita Creek State Natural Area had not been previously surveyed for archaeological sites. The total addition covers over 4,000 acres, so the idea of a complete I00% survey was out of the question since there was no budget or staff. It was decided that we would focus on the immediate area of the three major springs: Coal Mine, George Wise, and Mata Siete. The goal was to identify archaeological sites in the immediate vicinity of the springs. The springs arc located among rugged rocky topography, the erosion of volcanic rocks dominates the landscape, and there are few flat areas with topsoil. Therefore it made sense to first survey the flat areas near the springs. Large archaeological sites were found at two of the three springs; Coal Mine Spring and George Wise. Both sites are extremely difficult to access without a large vehicle or ATV.

The purpose of the project was to further identify and map three archaeological sites located during an initial visit to Coal Mine Spring and George Wise Spring, both within the addition lands of Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. The sites appear to span from the Late Archaic (2,000 B.D.) to the Hohokam Periods, respectively. Time and circumstances resulted in the mapping of the two sites located at Coal Mine Spring (CMS). The large habitation site at George Wise Spring was not mapped or given an ASM site number. In field artifact analyses were conducted at the two CMS sites to help determine if multiple components are present, the full range of occupation at the sites, and technological differences between the sites as outlined in the research domains below. The project consisted of four eight-hour days between April and June. Drive time generally averaged 1 hour each way over extremely rugged terrain.

The goals are to provide SCSNA with the location of sites, archaeological maps that delineate archaeological site boundaries, features, and general characteristics of the sites so that they can be preserved and managed accordingly; and to establish a cultural chronology of site use based on artifact analyses, and archaeological features. The focus is on known, but unrecorded, archaeological sites near major springs because it is expected that these sites will be the most informative about cultural chronology, time depth, and human occupation in the CMS area.

It is possible that in the future archaeological survey from the springs will document the full range of human use, but this report focused on the springs where more long term or repeated use is likely.

Professional archaeologist Jeremy Moss (PI-NPS), SCSNA Site Manager Jen Parks, and two volunteers (Mary Dahl and Bill Cox) from the Santa Cruz Valley chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society assisted with running tape measures, flagging areas, setting up transects, and site photography. Everyone was signed up as an AZSP volunteer.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Site Mapping at Coal Mine Spring, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (AZSP), April 2010. Jeremy Moss. Washington, DC: National Park Sevice. 2010 ( tDAR id: 399307) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CZ3909

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: -2000 to -300 (Dates of the Late Archaic and Intermediate Periods to which the Cortaro Point base dates.)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.89; min lat: 31.469 ; max long: -110.85; max lat: 31.496 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Arizona State Parks

Contributor(s): Jennifer Parks; Mary Dahl; Bill Cox; James Hiedke

Principal Investigator(s): Jeremy Moss

Prepared By(s): National Park Sevice

Record Identifiers

Blanket Antiquities Act Permit No.(s): 2010-073

File Information

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Arch-Site-mapping-at-Coal-Mine-Spring--Sonoita-Creek--1.pdf 4.12mb Sep 16, 2015 11:22:35 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Arizona State Parks