Archaeological Testing at the Proposed Arena, Historic Block 221, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona

Author(s): J. Homer Thiel

Year: 2008


Archaeological testing was conducted at the proposed location of a new arena, located in Pima County, Arizona. The project area was historically known as Lot 2 of Block 221. Desert Archaeology, Inc., personnel conducted the testing at the request of the property owner, the City of Tucson, to determine if any significant cultural resources were located within the remaining unexamined portions of the Catalina Lot, a modern paved parking lot.

Cultural resources compliance for City of Tucson projects is mandated from several sources. On October 3, 1983, Tucson's Mayor and Council passed Resolution No. 12443 that first defined procedures for protecting Tucson's rich, multicultural heritage. In 1999, these procedures were formalized in an Administrative Directive titled Protection of Archaeological and Historical Resources in City Projects, issued by the City Manager. Updated in 2005, the Administrative Directive includes policies and procedures that apply to City employees, rights-of-way, and projects. It also specifies coordination with other environmental laws and regulations where applicable. This Administrative Directive, as well as the State of Arizona statute related to human burials (ARS 41-844), are the primary cultural resources compliance mandates addressed in the present project.

The testing was conducted under Arizona State Museum Permit 2007-164ps and ASM Accession Number 2007 0759. All project materials, including field forms and artifacts, will be curated at the Arizona State Museum. William Doelle, Ph.D., was principal investigator and Homer Thiel was the project director. Fieldwork was conducted between 29 November 2007 and 9 January 2008. A total of 15 person-days was spent on the project. Testing revealed a few features and a very low scatter of prehistoric and historic artifacts associated with the site. The project is summarized in this report and recommendations are offered.

A total of 626 m of trench was excavated for the arena testing project. Four archaeological features were discovered: a cat burial, a concrete foundation, a septic tank, and a pit. None of the features contained many artifacts, and all appear to date to the American Territorial or American Statehood periods. Two of the three parcels tested had been subject to soil mining and subsequently refilled. Several areas were excavated by Desert Archaeology to below the 5-ft level to determine if deeply buried cultural materials were present, with negative results. No significant cultural resources were located during testing; therefore, no further archaeological work is recommended.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Testing at the Proposed Arena, Historic Block 221, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, 05. J. Homer Thiel. 2008 ( tDAR id: 448250) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448250

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.99; min lat: 32.214 ; max long: -110.96; max lat: 32.235 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Prepared By(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Submitted To(s): City of Tucson

Record Identifiers

Technical Report No. (s): 2008-05

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
tr2008-05_final_OCR_PDFA_Redacted.pdf 18.96mb Oct 21, 2020 3:50:48 PM Public
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tr2008-05_final_OCR_PDFA.pdf 20.79mb Jun 4, 2008 Mar 20, 2019 2:24:21 PM Confidential
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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

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