Excavations at Sunset Mesa Ruin

Author(s): Michael W. Lindeman

Year: 2000


This report details the results of excavations at the Sunset Mesa Ruin, AZ AA:12:10 (ASM). The predominant occupation of Sunset Mesa Ruin was during the Middle Rincon phase (A.D. 1000-1100). However, limited use of the area was identified during the Early Agricultural period (800 B.C.-A.D. 100) and the later Tucson phase (A.D. 1300-1450). Evidence of Historic period use, first as a turn-of-the-century homestead and later as a dairy, has also been documented (Ciolek-Torrello, Huber, and Neily 1999; Swartz and Adams 1998; Wallace 1996). The site is located in present-day Tucson, Arizona. It sits on a finger of the second alluvial terrace, surrounded by the floodplains of the Santa Cruz and Rillito rivers. The confluence of these rivers is located approximately 500 m to the west.

The excavations which are the focus of the current study concentrated on the Middle Rincon phase occupation and in particular two loci, Loci A and B, of the four loci of habitation that have been identified at the site (Figure 1.2) (Ciolek Torrello, Huber, and Neily 1999; Swartz and Adams 1998). Only limited excavations of mortuary features were undertaken at Loci C and S. Locus S was investigated by Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI) and provides a complementary data set to that described here (Ciolek-Torrello, Huber, and Neily 1999).

Excavations at Sunset Mesa Ruin provided a unique opportunity to examine the remains of a Middle Rincon phase hamlet, the remains of which had undergone few impacts from subsequent prehistoric or historic use of the area. Excavations revealed that each of the loci consisted of dense concentrations of pithouses, extramural pits, and cremation burials. Analysis suggests that each of the loci represent the remains left behind by a single household during the 100 years of occupation. This perspective of the prehistoric remains opened up various avenues for examining individual household units through time and allows for a comparison of the different household units that occupied Sunset Mesa Ruin. The following chapters build on this perspective.

Cite this Record

Excavations at Sunset Mesa Ruin, 02. Michael W. Lindeman. 2000 ( tDAR id: 448046) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448046

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.054; min lat: 32.3 ; max long: -111.035; max lat: 32.315 ;

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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Contributor(s): Jenny L. Adams; Lane Anderson Beck; Michael W. Diehl; Suzzanne K. Fish; James M. Heidke; Elizabeth J. Miksa; M. Steven Shackley; R. Jane Sliva; J. Homer Thiel; Arthur W. Vokes; Jennifer A. Waters

Prepared By(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Submitted To(s): Tucson Ready Mix, Inc.

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