Archaeological Survey in Southeastern Arizona: Partnering with Landowners and Local Informants


Southeastern Arizona’s upper Gila River Valley is an understudied area once heavily occupied by prehistoric people from the Early Agriculture to Salado periods. Over time, many important archaeological sites in the Duncan-York Valley, particularly those of large, aggregated communities, were extensively looted or destroyed due to agricultural and construction leveling. To document and, ideally, preserve the remains of these vulnerable sites, we have emphasized establishing relationships of trust with valley residents. In working with valley landowners and local informants, we have identified and recorded 43 sites over the past four years. In 2017, working with a single local informant, we identified 10 previously unrecorded sites in the Duncan-Virden Valley, including two from the Mimbres Classic period, five from the Salado period, and one with both Mimbres Classic and Salado components. An additional three large sites in New Mexico were found. Most of the aggregated sites include multiple components, attesting to the attractiveness of the upper Gila River Valley locale from a resource perspective, and its long-term resilience to environmental perturbation. The valley’s archaeology remains highly vulnerable to human disturbance, heightening the need for strong local partnerships to secure and preserve the sites that make up this remarkable occupational pattern.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Survey in Southeastern Arizona: Partnering with Landowners and Local Informants. Mary Whisenhunt, Kristin Corl, John Whisenhunt, Robert Hard, John Roney. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444787)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20896