Glyphs and Quarries of the Lower Colorado River Valley: The Results of Five Cultural Resources Surveys

Author(s): Joseph A. Ezzo; Jeffrey Altschul

Year: 1993


The focus of this volume is the lower Colorado River valley, one of the least understood regions of the American Southwest. After over 50 years of archaeological research, the lower Colorado River remains a mystery. No major prehistoric habitation site has been located, presumably because they have all been destroyed by the river. Consequently, even the rudiments of culture history remain to be worked out. When did people arrive in the area? What did they live on? How did culture evolve in this harsh environment? Yet, even though our knowledge of the culture is poor, archaeologists have recognized the spectacular and unique nature of the region's cultural resources. Intaglios and geoglyphs of the lower Colorado River are unlike any other cultural resource in the world. How these features were used and what they mean were in large part the focus of our investigations. Like all large projects, the five surveys evolved over time. The five surveys contained within this volume were conducted between December 1991 and October 1992. All of the projects were Class III noncollection surveys. Fieldwork for the Antelope Hill and Ripley Intaglio surveys was performed intermittently, whereas Senator Wash, Pilot Knob, and Palo Verde Point were finished without interruption. Each of the surveys provided Reclamation with detailed documentation on the cultural resources.

Originally, the intent was to inventory areas of known feature concentration. Antelope Hill on the Gila River near Wellton, Arizona and the Ripley Intaglio Complex on the Colorado River about 15 km east of Palo Verde, California were chosen as the points of departure. The two areas are quite different. Antelope Hill is a collection of diverse features representing milling-implement quarrying, rock art, and historic activities. The Ripley Intaglio Complex has long been renowned for its earth figures, but prior to the survey no one had an understanding of the number or types of associated features. What the two areas shared in common was a general belief by archaeologists that they contained many more features than had been documented, that these features were being impacted by humans and nature to an unknown degree, and that Reclamation and other agencies could not manage these resources adequately with their current knowledge.

Cite this Record

Glyphs and Quarries of the Lower Colorado River Valley: The Results of Five Cultural Resources Surveys. Joseph A. Ezzo, Jeffrey Altschul. Technical Series ,44. Tucson, AZ: SRI Press. 1993 ( tDAR id: 425944) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8425944

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.035; min lat: 32.468 ; max long: -114.118; max lat: 32.986 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): SRI Press

Contributor(s): James P. Holmlund; William G. White

Principal Investigator(s): Jeffrey Altschul

Project Director(s): Joseph A. Ezzo; Joan S. Schneider

Sponsor(s): U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Prepared By(s): Statistical Research, Inc.

Submitted To(s): U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Record Identifiers

Delivery Order No.(s): 20

Contract No.(s): O-CS-30-06140

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