Paleoenvironments and Archaeology of the Trigo Mountains: Data Recovery in the Hart Mine and Cibola Quarry Areas, Yuma County, Arizona

Author(s): Steven D. Shelley; Jeffrey H. Altschul

Year: 1989


The results of data recovery conducted for the Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region at six prehistoric sites in the Hart Mine and Cibola Quarry areas are presented in this report. The Bureau of Reclamation plans to use the Hart Mine and Cibola Quarry areas to mine rip-rap for use along the Colorado River. The project area is located at the base of the Trigo mountains about 20 miles south of Ehrenberg, Arizona. Three of the sites are composed primarily of lithic debitage and cores. These sites are associated with an alluvial terrace upon which, among other raw materials, a substantial amount of rhyolite was deposited. This terrace has been visited by people who have specifically focused on testing and extracting quality pieces of rhyolite at least since the Archaic Period. Little change over time is noted in the lithic technology.

The three remaining sites are all located in concealed caves in the mountains. These sites are interpreted caches that were used during the Ceramic or Protohistoric periods. The caches appear to consist of one or a few ollas that were filIed with corn meal. In two caches the ollas had been placed behind rock walls in small, unobtrusive alcoves. Hypotheses are presented about the possible role of the caches. A review of the evidence suggests that the most likely hypotheses are that the caches were used by small groups of hunters for emergency food, or as safe food or seed storage by familial groups insuring against the deprivations of raids.

The most surprising finds of the project are three packrat middens found on top and at the base of one of the rock walls hiding an olla cache. The middens date to between 11,000 and 7,000 B.P. Although not related to cultural behavior, paleobotanical analysis of the middens reveals that this section of the Colorado River Valley supported a large, dense mesquite bosque during this period. These data are the first of this age to be obtained from a low elevation site along the lower portion of the Colorado River.

Individual chapters include an introduction, background information, theoretical organization, site descriptions and field methods, lithic analysis, rhyolite artifact sourcing feasibility along the lower Colorado River Valley (authored by Jeffrey H. Altschul and Paul Bouey), ceramic analysis (authored by Bruce Jones), paleobotanical analysis (authored by Linda Cummings), and project synthesis. An appendix contains data from the lithics analysis.

Cite this Record

Paleoenvironments and Archaeology of the Trigo Mountains: Data Recovery in the Hart Mine and Cibola Quarry Areas, Yuma County, Arizona. Steven D. Shelley, Jeffrey H. Altschul. Statistical Research Technical Series ,15. Tucson, AZ: SRI Press. 1989 ( tDAR id: 400838) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8J968X5

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Coverage

Radiocarbon Date: 380 to 140 (YBP. Date of a Palomas Red-on Buff olla resin ring, AZ R:10:87(BLM).)

Radiocarbon Date: 420 to 300 (YBP. Date of resin from the rim of an olla, AZ R:10:30, (ASM).)

Radiocarbon Date: 330 to 230 (YBP. Date of a Palomas Buff olla resin ring, AZ R:10:87(BLM).)

Radiocarbon Date: 750 to 410 (YBP. Date of a Tumco Buff olla resin ring, AZ R:10:87(BLM).)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -114.769; min lat: 32.981 ; max long: -114.401; max lat: 33.404 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): SRI Press

Contributor(s): Paul Bouey; Linda Cummings; Bruce Jones; Palynological Analysts; Linda Cummings; Kate Aasen; Kae McDonald; Michael Waters; Jeffrey H. Altschul; Kathe Kubish; Rebecca Craig; William Dolle

Lab Director(s): Bruce Jones

Project Director(s): Steven D. Shelley

Collaborator(s): Arizona State Museum

Permitting Agency(s): Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Office

Submitted To(s): Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region

Record Identifiers

Contract No.(s): 7-SQ-30-12550


Redaction Note: Information in this report has been redacted. The redacted figure in this file is Figure 1.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
15_Hart_Mine_Trigo_Mtns_OCR.pdf 16.81mb Nov 15, 2015 Nov 20, 2015 1:10:52 PM Confidential
This document is unredacted. Seven blank pages have been removed.
15_Hart_Mine_Trigo_Mtns_OCR_Redacted.pdf 16.79mb Nov 20, 2015 Nov 20, 2015 1:10:53 PM Public
Figure 1 of this document has been redacted. Seven blank pages have been removed.

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

Contact(s): SRI Press