An Archaeological Survey of the Santa Cruz River Valley from the Headwaters to the Town of Tubac in Arizona
Author(s): Edward Bridge Danson
The Santa Cruz River is located in south-central Arizona in the Santa Cruz and Pima Counties. A short stretch of the rivers lies in northern Sonora and forms a big horseshoe bend as the river cuts across the foot of the Patagonia Mountains from the San Rafael Valley into the Santa Cruz Valley proper.
In the San Rafael Valley, where the headwaters of the river are found, the Santa Cruz passes few towns or villages. The first one is Lochiel, a small cluster of houses on the International border, then Zorillo, which is a Mexican village. The Pueblo of Santa Cruz, approximately eight miles due south of the border, is the largest town in the San Rafael Valley, and the only town of any size that is on the river in Mexico. Then, in turn, the river passes Cienega, El Cajon, San Lazaro, Martinez, Puerta, Santa Barbara, and Marcarenas, all of which are ranches, except for the small collection of houses at El Cajon. After crossing the border the river flows through ranch land, passing no towns until it reaches the ruined village of Calabasas. The next town is Tubac, and from there it goes north by the villages of Amado and Continental and then by the present city of Tucson. From there the Valley turns northwest and eventually joins the Gila River.
Today the Santa Cruz Valley supports a large number of ranches, both cattle and agricultural. Many ranches have been acquired in the past twenty years by eastern visitors, who come west each winter to enjoy the equitable climate. Today the main business of the Santa Cruz Valley is catering to winter visitors, and there is a growing number of "dude ranches" in the valley. Due to its higher elevation and more unaccessible location, the Upper Santa Cruz River, in the San Rafael Valley, is primarily a cattle raising area. The average growing season in the San Rafael is 185 days, in comparison with 221 days in the Santa Cruz Valley itself.
The river is divided into two definite areas, on in the San Rafael Valley and the other in the Santa Cruz. In making the survey and in analyzing the collections, the writer has been interested in noting any local variations. For many years archaeologists have wondered at the apparent diversity of culture on either side of what is now the international border. The lack of Trincheras sites north of the border is a good example.
The survey was started in early summer, at the headwaters of the river, and continued down stream until reaching the town of Tubac, which lies approximately 30 miles east of the headwaters of the Santa Cruz. It was completed in October, 1941, when the author left to join the Navy. The survey was made on both sides of the river, on foot, on horseback, and by car, and the land surveyed, although for the most part lying directly on either side of the river, ran back in some places into the mountains, and followed a few tributary streams for some distance.
The two types of sites were omitted from the survey: Trincheras sites, which have been reported in the area by Sauer and Brand, and Early Man sites.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Cite this Record
An Archaeological Survey of the Santa Cruz River Valley from the Headwaters to the Town of Tubac in Arizona. Edward Bridge Danson. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 1941 ( tDAR id: 399309) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81N82Z4
Acoma Black-on-Whiteware • Adobe • Altar Polychrome Ware • Black-on-Whiteware • Brick • Brown-on-Yellowware • Brownware • Buffware • Building Materials • Canelo Brown-on-Yellowware • Cement • Ceramic • China • English Staffordshire Ware • Field Stone • Fire Cracked Rock • Firepit? • Gila Butte Red-on-Buffware • Glass • Iron • Majolica • Pewter • Plainware • Polychrome Ware • Purple-on-Redware • Red-on-Brownware • Red-on-Buffware • Redware • Rillito-Rincon Red-on-Brownware • San Cayetano Mountains • Santa Cruz Polychrome Ware • Sells Redware • Stone • Tanque Verde Red-on-Brownware • Tin • Trincheras Polychrome Ware • Trincheras Purple-on-Redware • Wattle • Whiteware • Yellowware
Ariz. DD:8:1 • Ariz. DD:8:11 • Ariz. DD:8:15 • Ariz. DD:8:2 • Ariz. DD:8:25 • Ariz. DD:8:27 • Ariz. DD:8:28 • Ariz. DD:8:3 • Ariz. DD:8:31 • Ariz. DD:8:34 • Ariz. DD:8:35 • Ariz. DD:8:36 • Ariz. DD:8:37 • Ariz. DD:8:38 • Ariz. DD:8:39 • Ariz. DD:8:40 • Ariz. DD:8:41 • Ariz. DD:8:42 • Ariz. DD:8:43 • Ariz. EE:10:12 • Ariz. EE:10:13 • Ariz. EE:10:14 • Ariz. EE:10:15 • Ariz. EE:10:22 • Ariz. EE:10:23 • Ariz. EE:10:27 • Ariz. EE:10:29 • Ariz. EE:10:31 • Ariz. EE:10:34 • Ariz. EE:10:36 • Ariz. EE:10:6 • Ariz. EE:10:8 • Ariz. EE:12:5 • Ariz. EE:13:2 • Ariz. EE:14:11 • Ariz. EE:14:12 • Ariz. EE:14:14 • Ariz. EE:14:8 • Ariz. EE:14:9 • Ariz. EE:8:10 • Ariz. EE:8:19 • Ariz. EE:8:23 • Ariz. EE:8:34 • Ariz. EE:9:1 • Ariz. EE:9:12 • Ariz. EE:9:2 • Ariz. EE:9:24 • Ariz. EE:9:28 • Ariz. EE:9:3 • Ariz. EE:9:31 • Ariz. EE:9:33 • Ariz. EE:9:34 • Ariz. EE:9:36 • Ariz. EE:9:37 • Ariz. EE:9:4 • Ariz. EE:9:44 • Ariz. EE:9:46 • Ariz. EE:9:47 • Ariz. EE:9:48 • Ariz. EE:9:49 • Ariz. EE:9:5 • Ariz. EE:9:6 • Ariz. EE:9:8 • Ariz. EE 10:25 • Calabasas • El Toreon • Presidio of Tubac • Quevavi • San Lazaro • Tumacacori
Adobe Ruin • Adobe Structure • Agricultural or Herding • Archaeological Feature • Artifact Scatter • Bedrock Grinding Feature • Bedrock Mortar • Boulder Mortar • Burial • Burnt Rock Mound • Cave • Church • Church / Religious Structure • Communal / Public Structure • Compound • Depression • Ditch • Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex • Domestic Structures • Encampment • Foundation • Funerary and Burial Structures or Features • Garrison? • Hearth • Historic Church / Religious Structure • Historic Communal / Public Structure • Historic Structure • House • House Outline • House Ring • Midden • Military Structure • Milling Feature • Mission • Mound • Non-Domestic Structures • Petroglyph • Pictograph • Pit • Pit House • Pit House / Earth Lodge • Post Office • Presidio • Ranch • Resource Extraction / Production / Transportation Structure or Features • Rock Art • Rock Shelter • Rock Wall • Room Block / Compound / Pueblo • Ruin • School • Settlements • Sherd Scatter • Stone Foundation • Stone House Outline • Stone Ruin • Structure • Terrace • Town • Town / City • Trash Midden • Visita • Wall • Wattle & Daub (Jacal) Structure • Wattle House
Reconnaissance / Survey
Axe • Basin Metate • Bowl • Calabasas Mission • Cartridge Jacket • Ceramic Jar • Core • Dish • Drill • Flake • Green Glazed Pottery • Hammerstone • Hearthstone • Jar • Mano • Metate • Mexican Ceramic • Mexican Revolution • Milling Stone • Mission of Calabasas • Mission of Quevavi • Mission of San Lazaro • Mortar • Padre Kino • Pebble Mortar • Pewter Dish • Pima Revolt • Point • Pottery • Presidio of Tubac • Rectangular Mano • Round Mano • Santa Rita Mining Company • Scraper • Serrated Point • Slab Metate • Slag • Stone Bowl • Tile • Trough Metate • Tumacacori Mission • Tumacocori Mountains
Arizona (State / Territory) • Carmen, AZ • Pima (County) • Round Mountain • San Rafael Valley • Santa Cruz (County) • Santa Cruz River • Santa Cruz River Valley • Santa Cruz Valley • Sonoita Creek • Tubac, AZ
min long: -111.112; min lat: 31.58 ; max long: -110.993; max lat: 31.672 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Contact(s): Arizona State Parks
Contributor(s): Louis R. Caywood ; Brigham Arnold
Prepared By(s): University of Arizona
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