Archaeological Investigations Along Reach 1 of the Granite Reef Aqueduct, Central Arizona Project


Under contract with the Bureau of Reclamation, the Office of Cultural Resource Management (OCRM), Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, completed archaeological survey of Reach 1 and several adjacent roads that would be added or modified for its construction. Reach 1 of the Granite Reef Aqueduct extends about 18 miles from the Buckskin Mountain Tunnel, east to the Bouse Hills Pumping Plant.

OCRM archaeologists identified and documented 16 field loci, 31 isolated artifacts, and 7 instances of fossilized tortoise remains within the project area. Six of the field loci were combined into one site, AZ S:1:8 (ASU) and another field locus was designated AZ M:13:2 (ASU). Two other field loci were believed to be within the boundaries of previously recorded sites AZ S:1:6 (NAU) and AZ S:1:4 (NAU).

Initial mitigation was completed along the Reach 1 corridor in January 1980. AZ M:13:2 (ASU) consisted of approximately 100 rocks clustered in a 2.5 x 3 m area located at the western base of a sand dune on the Cactus Plain. Mitigation activities consisted of dividing the feature into 4 units of approximately equal dimensions, preparing a detailed map to scale, and excavating to a depth of 5-10 cm by trowel and whisk broom. No artifactual or subsurface indications were found. AZ S:1:8 (ASU) consisted of 6 field loci dispersed over a 396 m x 914 m area along the northern bajada of the Bouse Hills. Mitigation activities were performed at 5 of the 6 field loci. At FL 4, a large rock ring, excavations were conducted in a manner similar to that employed at AZ M:13:2 (ASU). Again, no artifactual or subsurface indications were found although a soil sample was collected from within the feature. Two sherd scatters, FL 3 and 4, and two lithic scatters, FL 5 and 8, were also collected. A second phase of the mitigation program conducted at this site consisted of a more intensive surface examination along the ridge tops in the area. One "swept sleeping circle" and two rock rings were noted outside of the survey area. Additional surface collection at FL 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 adjacent to Swansea Road was completed in April 1980.

The investigations identified a pattern of secondary resource zone exploitation in the desert areas between the river valleys. Researchers defined and described a secondary resource zone as an area which did not support a permanent population, but was utilized intermittently, probably on a seasonal basis, in the exploitation of wild plant and animal food resources by people whose primary subsistence was derived from a different zone.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations Along Reach 1 of the Granite Reef Aqueduct, Central Arizona Project. Edward A. Dobbins. 1980 ( tDAR id: 406979) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8VM4F5F

Spatial Coverage

min long: -114.156; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: -113.442; max lat: 34.211 ;

Record Identifiers

Granite Reef Aqueduct Task No.(s): 35

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 8-07-32-V0039

File Information

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Contact(s): USDI Bureau Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office