Uncovering Tucson's Past: Test Excavations in Search of the Presidio Wall

Author(s): J. Homer Thiel

Year: 2004


In March and April of 1998 and 1999, volunteers and archaeologists from the Center for Desert Archaeology searched for traces of Tucson's Presidio fortress. The project had several goals: (1) to determine if archaeological deposits survived in several areas around the perimeter of the Presidio; it was not certain if archaeological deposits survived years of construction, demolition, utility installation, and other ground-disturbing activities; (2) to locate portions of the Presidio Wall — the adobe wall that surrounded Tucson from the 1780s to the 1850s; and (3) to expose members of the Tucson public to archaeology. Volunteers from the community excavated under the guidance of professional archaeologists. Tucson residents visited the project in person, or learned of the dig through television coverage, newspaper and newsletter articles, or through stories posted on the Internet.

During the two field seasons, six trenches around the perimeter of the Presidio were excavated, uncovering adobe walls, postholes, and hundreds of artifacts. This report presents a summary of the work conducted. This first chapter presents background data on the physical environment of Tucson. A cultural and historical overview of Tucson during the prehistoric and Spanish/Mexican periods is presented next, including summaries of the archaeological projects that have been conducted within the boundaries of the Tucson Presidio.

Cite this Record

Uncovering Tucson's Past: Test Excavations in Search of the Presidio Wall, 05. J. Homer Thiel. 2004 ( tDAR id: 448090) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448090

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Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1850 to 1870 (Early American Territorial period)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.987; min lat: 32.209 ; max long: -110.954; max lat: 32.234 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Contributor(s): Jenny L. Adams; Michael W. Diehl; James M. Heidke; Jennifer A. Waters

Prepared By(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Submitted To(s): City of Tucson

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tr2002-05_final_OCR_Redacted.pdf 129.33mb Nov 3, 2020 11:55:11 AM Public
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tr2002-05_final_OCR_PDFA.pdf 81.02mb Sep 1, 2004 Feb 21, 2019 10:02:41 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

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