2000 Years of Settlement in the Tonto Basin: Overview and Synthesis of the Tonto Creek Archaeological Project

Editor(s): Jeffery J. Clark; James M. Vint

Year: 2004


The Tonto Creek Archaeological Project (TCAP) was conducted in the Tonto Basin of east-central Arizona on Tonto National Forest land. The project was funded by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and conducted from 1992 through 1996, in advance of the realignment of Arizona State Route 188. The investigated area was a 61-m (200-ft) corridor that followed a 13.3-km (8-mi) stretch of the western terrace overlooking Tonto Creek. The project was divided into three sections based on the construction schedule, from south-to north: Sycamore Creek, Punkin Center, and Slate Creek. A 5-km gap separated the Sycamore Creek and Punkin Center sections, and the latter was contiguous with the Slate Creek section. Over 80 percent of the 21.3 person years of field effort was expended in the Punkin Center section.

Portions of 27 sites were investigated, ranging from the Middle Archaic period to the late Historic period. Many of these sites contained multiple components. The majority dated to the Colonial, Sedentary, and early Classic periods, circa AD. 750-1325. The sample included portions of 1 Middle Archaic and 1 Agricultural period limited-activity area, 3 ephemeral Early Ceramic period homesteads, 11 Colonial and Sedentary period farmsteads, 8 early Classic settlements, and 4 late Classic reoccupations of early Classic sites. In total, over 100 structures and more than 300 burials were excavated. Structures were relatively evenly divided between the Colonial, Sedentary, and early Classic periods. The vast majority of burials dated to the early Classic period.

Anthropological Papers No. 25 is the synthetic volume for the project. Chapters summarize the results of various analyses and discuss subsistence, exchange, social organization, organization of production, technological change, and cultural affiliation of the inhabitants of the project area. Project results are compared with those from other recent large cultural resource management projects in the Tonto Basin conducted by Desert Archaeology, Inc., Arizona State University, and Statistical Research, Inc.

Cite this Record

2000 Years of Settlement in the Tonto Basin: Overview and Synthesis of the Tonto Creek Archaeological Project. Jeffery J. Clark, James M. Vint. 2004 ( tDAR id: 427879) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8427879

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Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 750 to 1325 (Dating for majority of the sites within the Tonto Creek Archaeological Project)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.654; min lat: 33.532 ; max long: -110.907; max lat: 34.325 ;

Record Identifiers

ADOT Project No.(s): PLH-038-1(015)

Anthropological Papers No.(s): 25

TRACS No.(s): 188 GI 257 H2027 01C

SRP Library Barcode No.(s): 00090909

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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

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