The Garden Canyon Project: Studies at Two Rockshelters at Fort Huachuca, Southeastern Arizona

Summary

This report presents the results of rock art recording and analysis, and archaeological test excavations in two small rockshelters on the Fort Huachuca military reservation in southeastern Arizona. The sites were investigated as part of the Legacy Resource Management Program Demonstration Project #21 under the auspices of the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District. The Garden Canyon Pictograph Site (AA EE:11:15, ASM) and Rappell Cliffs Rockshelter (AZ EE:11:30, ASM) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Part 1 discusses and provides illustrations of the rock art at the two sites. Part 2 describes the archaeological testing and provides a regional framework for interpreting the information on the rockshelters. Archaeological testing was limited in scope in order to preserve the cultural remains at the sites.

The Garden Canyon Pictograph Site was nominated to the NRHP because of abundant, well-preserved black, white, red, and polychrome pictographs on the walls and ceiling representing both the historic and prehistoric periods. The test excavations documented a substantial Formative period occupation during the 13th century. The site was occupied on repeated occasions, but not on a permanent basis. The function of the site was that of a temporary camp used while exploiting mammals and possibly wild plant foods in the Garden Canyon area. The occupants of the rockshelter were probably associated with the large village site (AZ EE:11:13, ASM) at the mouth of Garden Canyon and may have used the site as a logistical camp while hunting or traveling through the Huachuca Mountains. The test excavations failed to document a historic period occupation associated with the Apache use of the area.

The Rappell Cliffs Rockshelter (AZ EE:11:30, ASM) contains black, white and red pictographs of the historic and prehistoric periods. The test excavations indicate a sparse occupation sometime during the Formative period. The function of the occupation was probably similar to that at the Garden Canyon Pictograph Site, but a paucity of artifactual remains makes such a conclusion somewhat speculative. The project failed to document any association between the occupation and the creation of the rock art in the rockshelter.

Cite this Record

The Garden Canyon Project: Studies at Two Rockshelters at Fort Huachuca, Southeastern Arizona. Jeffrey H. Altschul, Marie Cottrell, Clement W. Meighan, Ronald H. Towner. Statistical Research Technical Series ,39. Tucson, AZ: SRI Press. 1993 ( tDAR id: 441965) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8441965

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.972; min lat: 31.234 ; max long: -109.291; max lat: 31.873 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): SRI Press

Contributor(s): The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District; Clement Meighan; Antoinette Padgett; Mary Ann Black; U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Huachuca

Principal Investigator(s): Jeffrey Altschul

Collaborator(s): The Nature Conservancy

Sponsor(s): U.S. Army Engineering and Housing Support Center

Prepared By(s): Statistical Research, Inc.

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