The 1986 Archaeological Investigations at Las Canopas, Phoenix, Arizona

Author(s): John S. Cable; David E. Doyel

Year: 1986


This report will describe the results of archaeological salvage investigations at the prehistoric Hohokam site of Las Canopas, AZ T:12:16 (PGM), conducted by Pueblo Grande Museum between January 23 and February 28, 1986. Work at the site was initiated in response to notification made by a City of Phoenix, Engineering Department Inspector, Charley Marican, that prehistoric remains had been exposed in sewer line trenches at a construction site. Inspection of the museum site files indicated that the construction site was situated in the vicinity of a large prehistoric site complex generally referred to as Las Canopas. Las Canopas was originally recorded during the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition of 1887-1888 (Haury 1945:184-185), but the site has received very little archaeological attention over the years.

Having reason to believe that important archaeological deposits were being impacted, contact with the principal contractor, Kitchell Development Corporation of Phoenix, was made to arrange a visit to the construction site to assess the extent of damage. The site visit of January 15, 1986 revealed that the construction project area contained a portion of a dense Hohokam village residential sector consisting of pit house floors, refuse areas, roasting ovens, burial clusters and canal segments. In addition to the approximately 230 linear meters of sewer trenching, the archaeological remains had been impacted by the construction of numerous building foundations and dry wells and extensive ground grading. The sewer trench side walls were also riddled with the burrowings of several construction workers who informed us that they had retrieved a number of artifacts from the impacted areas, including nearly complete ceramic vessels from exposed burials. Inspection of the trenches further indicated that the project area had been formerly included in the ASU field school investigations as numerous back hoe trenches and excavations attributable to this program were easily identified by the presence of visquine and plastic screen linings.

Through discussion with Kitchell personnel, permission was obtained to monitor further ground disturbing activities and to map exposed archaeological features. During the course of the project, 2 pit houses were excavated, a large site map of features was drafted and numerous sectional profiles of features in trench walls were drawn. The dimensions of features on the site map are approximations based on the distributional data from the trench profiles. The profiles and excavation plan maps are organized by trench number or other pertinent reference labels in Appendix A. Appendix B contains data on trench dimensions and Appendix C lists the various situations of feature superposition. Finally, Appendix D contains the sherd data from samples collected from selected features. The following report is organized into two major sections. The first section describes the various feature classes encountered during field work and the second section describes the two pit house excavations.

Cite this Record

The 1986 Archaeological Investigations at Las Canopas, Phoenix, Arizona, 28. John S. Cable, David E. Doyel. 1986 ( tDAR id: 446744) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8446744

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.043; min lat: 33.388 ; max long: -111.966; max lat: 33.415 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office

Prepared By(s): Pueblo Grande Museum

Submitted To(s): City of Phoenix, Engineering Deparment

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Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office

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