Archaeological Investigations at Blocks 139 and 159 in Barrio Libre, Tucson, Arizona


When the City of Tucson announced its plan to replace the aging Connie Chambers housing facility in Barrio Libre with new, affordable single family homes, a cultural resources assessment was conducted to determine if the project had the potential to disturb historically significant archaeological deposits. Archival records revealed that homes dating as early as the late nineteenth century once stood on three of the city blocks occupied by the housing project. Most of the homes were owned or rented by Mexican-American working class families. Additionally, a Chinese-owned grocery store stood on the corner of one block.

When the 1960s-era Connie Chambers buildings were demolished, archaeologists from Desert Archaeology, Inc., conducted testing to determine if any intact historical deposits remained. Although few remnants of above ground structures were found, numerous privy holes and trash pits were uncovered on historic blocks 139 and 159. The features were plotted on historical maps of the blocks, and most were at least partly excavated to determine their age and contents. Further excavations revealed a rich, physical record of the many previous residents, some of whom could be identified by name through census records, city directories, and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. The site yielded thousands of historical artifacts-including animal bone, metal, glass, historical ceramics, personal items, and floral remains. The materials paint a picture of socioeconomic status, ethnic identity, diet, and land use in turn-of-the-century Barrio Libre.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at Blocks 139 and 159 in Barrio Libre, Tucson, Arizona, 12. Allison Cohen Diehl, Judi L. Cameron, Michael W. Diehl, James Heidke, J. Homer Thiel. 2003 ( tDAR id: 448093) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448093

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1860 to 1930 (Period 2 Papago)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.994; min lat: 32.2 ; max long: -110.951; max lat: 32.225 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Contributor(s): Linda Scott Cummings; Elizabeth J. Miksa; Thomas E. Moutoux; Arthur W. Vokes

Prepared By(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Submitted To(s): City of Tucson

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tr2002-12_final_OCR_Redacted.pdf 138.12mb Nov 4, 2020 1:34:18 PM Public
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tr2002-12_final_OCR_PDFA.pdf 121.30mb Mar 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019 10:03:16 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.