Archaeology of the Four Corners Power Projects

Author(s): James V. Sciscenti; Henry C. Greminger

Year: 1963


This report is the result of two archaeological salvage research programs. The first program, sponsored by the Arizona Public Service Company, covered an area leased for the construction of the Four Corners Power Plant. The second program was sponsored by Utah Construction & Mining Company in their dedicated coal lease lands.

The two areas adjoin one another just south of the San Juan River and east of Chaco Wash, and roughly parallel the Chaco Wash, six miles south of the San Juan River.

The area is within the north-east corner of the Navajo Reservation, and falls squarely into the pre-historic region known as the Northern San Juan Anasazi. Only two distinct periods of occupation were noted; prehistoric Pueblo Anasazi and Historic Navajo.

The survey was conducted by the authors. The areas were systematically checked by driving a four-wheel drive vehicle to the area to be covered for the day, and walking an arbitrary grid pattern. In some cases, in the coal lease area, it was advantageous to drive over an entire section rather than to walk the flat, visible terrain. Survey of the power lines, pipelines, and access roads was completed by walking the staked lines and covering the entire right- of-way, An area of approximately one hundred feet outside the right-of-way was also covered to forestall possible destruction by heavy equipment.

Sites were assigned a project number and a Laboratory of Anthropology number; the latter are used in this report. Recording technique of survey information is that standardized on the Navajo Project (Dittert, et al, 1961, p. 12). A long with the general site information, an estimate was given to the company upon whose land the site was situated. In all cases, the company involved gave rapid approval to the estimate costs.

Often, as in many salvage projects, the heavy equipment seemed to be right on the heels of the archaeologist. Due to the imminence of construction it was not always possible to complete the survey in one area before additional survey or excavation was required in another. The excavation section following discusses in detail the techniques used.

In both survey and excavation, salvage archaeology methods were used with emphasis on speed and economy of recovery.

Prior to this study, the only work which had been done in the immediate area was that on the El Paso Natural Gas Company’s pipeline, which extends north to south between the two major lease areas.

Cite this Record

Archaeology of the Four Corners Power Projects. James V. Sciscenti, Henry C. Greminger. 1963 ( tDAR id: 406116) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8406116

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.621; min lat: 35.102 ; max long: -106.128; max lat: 38.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Salt River Project Library Call No.(s): E78.F687S35 1993

Salt River Project Library Barcode No.(s): 00030397

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