Rum, Rubble, and Rubbish: Data Recovery at the Historic Sites in the Light-Rail Corridor Project, Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County, Arizona

Author(s): Loy C. Neff

Year: 2008


Archeologists from the Western Archeological and Conservation Center (WACC), National Park Service (NPS), conducted an archeological data recovery project at Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) as part of the Light-Rail Corridor Project (LRCP). The LRCP is a proposed rapid transportation system intended to accommodate the increasing numbers of tourists visiting the South Rim. The project included data recovery

at 18 previously recorded historical sites, most of which are associated with the park’s original South Entrance Road. This road provided access to the South Rim between 1928 and 1954, and then was systematically destroyed and replaced by the currently used South Park Entrance Road. Much of the extent of the relict and modified portions of the original roadway forms the right-of-way for the LRCP.

The first phase of the project was focused on surface recording, including the redefinition of site boundaries and features, and artifact collection. Site maps were created that identified features, diagnostic artifacts, artifact concentrations, topographic features, and other pertinent information. Except for some systematically collected units, surface collection was limited to unique diagnostic artifacts and representative examples of other diagnostic artifacts. The remaining artifacts were left in place after being

recorded and tabulated.

During the second phase – subsurface data recovery – several types of sampling units were employed, including shovel test excavations, auger test excavations, and formal excavation units. Shovel test excavations were placed to sample the features present, including rock fire rings or hearths, rock alignments, and artifact concentrations. Formal excavation units were employed to recover artifact samples from larger features for laboratory analyses.

Archeologists from WACC analyzed all the recovered artifacts and reanalyzed an artifact collection from a 1973 survey. The project collection was cataloged and prepared to NPS standards for inclusion with the

permanent collections of the Grand Canyon Museum.

The project results are reported in this document, including the identification of the function, use, and chronological affiliations of the sites. Some interpretations of the roles these sites played in Grand Canyon

history are presented as well. Assessments of site condition and significance are included with evaluations of the sites’ eligibility for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). While most of the sites are in relatively good condition, their research potential has been exhausted. Only three are considered eligible for inclusion on the NRHP (AZ B:16:180, AZ B:16:271, and AZ B:16:557). Finally, some

recommendations are included to protect the significant resources from the primary and secondary impacts of construction.

Cite this Record

Rum, Rubble, and Rubbish: Data Recovery at the Historic Sites in the Light-Rail Corridor Project, Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County, Arizona. Loy C. Neff. Publications in Anthropology ,106. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 2008 ( tDAR id: 4375) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8F47MH1

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections



Glass Metal

Site Type
Archaeological Feature

Investigation Types
Data Recovery / Excavation

Geographic Keywords
Arizona Grand Canyon

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1850 to 1950

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.268; min lat: 35.777 ; max long: -111.969; max lat: 36.103 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Shirley L. Shirley; Keith P. Baird

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
pia-106-grca-1998-a.pdf 13.23mb Oct 16, 2010 10:43:14 AM Public