Archaeological Excavations at Pueblo Blanco: The MCDOT Alma School Road Project, Volume 1


At the request of the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), archaeological investigations were undertaken prior to a road widening project that involved segments of Alma School, McDowell, and McKellips Roads on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Archaeological survey was initiated in 1989. Extensive ground disturbance was present due to agricultural and other activities conducted over the past 100 years. A large Classic period Hohokam village, known as Pueblo Blanco, was located near the project area. Subsurface testing consisting of extensive backhoe trenching and surface collections was undertaken in 1991. Based on the testing program, a data recovery phase was undertaken at five sites between July 26 and October 15, 1993. The fieldwork was concentrated at South Pueblo Blanco (AZ U:9:95(ASM)), but excavations were also conducted at AZ U:9:92, U:9:97, U:9:98, and U:9:128(ASM). In total, 204 features were excavated. Little evidence of Historic period activities was observed.

The project provided new information about the prehistoric Hohokam occupation of the area. Research revealed that villages associated with extensive irrigation agriculture, referred to as the Sawik Community, were established along the north side of the Salt River by the Gila Butte phase (ca. A.D. 850). A second occupation dated to the Late Classic period, generally known as the Polvoron phase (ca. A.D. 1375-1500). Houses, pits, burials, and canals were excavated. What remains of the platform mound at Pueblo Blanco was recorded through survey.

Subsistence studies included pollen, macrobotanical, and faunal analyses. Environmental studies consisted of geomorphology and analysis of ostracode specimens recovered from canal sediments. Artifact investigations included ceramic and ceramic sourcing studies; ground, chipped stone, and lithic sourcing studies; and marine and freshwater shell studies. Architectural, land use, and community pattern studies are also reported.

To ensure that all human remains in the project area were recovered, MCDOT requested ACS to monitor the construction excavations, primarily located below the paved roads where archaeological investigations had not taken place. The monitoring covered the excavation of trenches for the mainline storm drain, irrigation pipes, and 20 percent of the storm drain connector pipes and catchment basins. No burials were uncovered by the construction; four canal profiles were found in AZ U:9:92(ASM), and a possible thermal feature was identified in AZ U:9:95(ASM).

Cite this Record

Archaeological Excavations at Pueblo Blanco: The MCDOT Alma School Road Project, Volume 1. David E. Doyel, Andrew T. Black, Barbara S. Macnider. 1995 ( tDAR id: 427794) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8427794

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.874; min lat: 33.451 ; max long: -111.839; max lat: 33.48 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

Contributor(s): Jean Baker; Lisa Champagne; Cindy L. Cooperider; Joseph Crary; Holly S. DeMaagd; Jeffrey L. Eighmy; Suzanne K. Fish; Gary Huckleberry; Dennis Hurlbut; Sharon Hurlbut; Johna Hutira; Jason M. Labelle; Elinor Large; Mac McDonnell; Elizabeth Miksa; Manuel Palacios-Fest; Gregory A. Pope; Ruth Rubenstein; M. Steven Shackley; Arthur W. Vokes

Field Director(s): Walter Punzmann

Principal Investigator(s): Margerie Green

Project Director(s): David E. Doyel

Submitted To(s): Maricopa County Department of Transportation

Record Identifiers

Cultural Resource Report No.(s): 90

Project No.(s): 68434-1992-5

SRP Library Barcode No.(s): 00090610

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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

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