Tracks through Time: Urban Archaeology along the METRO Light Rail Corridor, Volume III: Bioarchaeology


This book presents the results of the archaeological investigations that were conducted along then Light Rail route before and during its construction. As with any project that receives federal funding, METRO was legally required to undertake archaeological investigations along the project corridor; but production of this volume reflects not only METRO's commitment to legal compliance with environmental laws, but also the commitment of the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa to preserve and protect the rich prehistoric and historic heritage upon which they are built— a heritage that is reflected in the very name of Phoenix.

As a result of our investigations, we encountered a wealth of archaeological materials, investigated 1,049 features, and recovered over a quarter of a million artifacts— not surprising given that the Light Rail route traverses numerous prehistoric villages that were occupied by the Hohokam about 1,000 years ago. While only a very few of these artifacts can be described in this volume, most of them are curated (stored under controlled conditions so they can be preserved for future generations of researchers) at three local museums— Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, the Tempe Historical Museum in Tempe, and the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa. Here we discuss some of the more interesting prehistoric and historic artifacts and features that we found, and relate how their analysis has advanced what we know about the prehistoric and early historic occupations of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Data recovery investigations and monitoring conducted for the CP/EV Light Rail project resulted in the discovery and excavation of 141 mortuary features and the recovery of skeletal remains from a minimum of 152 individuals. Of these, 31 mortuary features (33 individuals) were recovered from Pueblo Grande (AZ U:9:1[ASM]) and 110 mortuary features (119 individuals) were recovered from La Plaza (AZ U:9:165[ASM]). Although in comparison with earlier investigations the size of the samples is modest, the aim of this chapter is to explore what mortuary practices and skeletal remains reveal about the early inhabitants of the Phoenix Basin.

This is Volume III of the report which covers the bioarchaeological analysis of finds encountered during this project.

Cite this Record

Tracks through Time: Urban Archaeology along the METRO Light Rail Corridor, Volume III: Bioarchaeology. Allan J. Schilz, Margerie Green, Lourdes Aguila, Glennda Gene Luhnow. 2011 ( tDAR id: 440947) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8440947

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1150 to 1500 (Classic period)

Calendar Date: 775 to 950 (Colonial)

Calendar Date: 775 to 1500 (Colonial through the Classic periods)

Calendar Date: 950 to 1500 (Sedentary through Classic)

Calendar Date: 950 to 1150 (Sedentary)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.107; min lat: 33.384 ; max long: -111.771; max lat: 33.461 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office

Contributor(s): Lourdes Aguila; Sean Bergin; Jennifer L. Bower; Jaimie R. Boyd; Michael A. Droz; Deborah L. Ferguson; Andrea Gregory; Emily A. Higgins; Thomas E. Jones; Alex Miller; Walter R. Punzmann; E. Melanie Ryan; Allan J. Schilz; Scott Solliday; Quinlan Stefaniak; Glenn S. L. Stuart; Joanne C. Tactikos; Victoria D. Vargas; Jennifer L. Bower; Eric Dosh; Shawn Fackler; Paige B. Florie; J.C. Kliner; Alissa Letendre; Stanley Plum; Jonathan Spiandorello; Chrisopher Thompson; M. John Matriko; Linda M. Schilling

Prepared By(s): Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.

Submitted To(s): Valley Metro Rail, Inc.

Record Identifiers

Cultural Resources Report No.(s): 147

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Light_Rail_Volume_3_OCR_PDFA.pdf 205.46mb Nov 1, 2011 Mar 13, 2018 12:03:48 PM Confidential
This file is the unredacted version of the resource.
Light_Rail_Volume_3_OCR_Redacted.pdf 196.87mb Sep 4, 2020 1:11:19 PM Public
This file is the redacted version of the resource.

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office