Archaeological Investigations at the Fort Lowell-Adkins Steel Property Locus of Fort Lowell, AZ BB:9:40 (ASM), Tucson, Pima County, Arizona

Editor(s): J. Homer Thiel

Year: 2013


The City of Tucson (City) developed plans to remove contaminated soils at the Fort Lowell-Adkins Steel property. This action followed the City's acquisition of the last remaining major portion of historic Fort Lowell. The Master Plan for the park as a whole was completed in 2009 (Poster-Frost Associates 2009). Among its recommendations were that a number of post-fort buildings and structures be removed from the Fort Lowell-Adkins Steel property. The City's environmental consultant recommended removal of contaminated soils, based upon site investigation. The City has received an Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Cleanup Grant to remediate this site.

Desert Archaeology, Inc., participated in the Master Planning process through the preparation of two reports that documented the historical and archaeological resources of the park, as well as archaeological surveys of all City-owned parcels (Thiel 2009; Thiel and Theriot 2008). Desert Archaeology was also contracted to monitor stabilization work for Officers Quarters No. 2 and the adjoining kitchen, and to prepare a plan for demolition monitoring of non-contributing buildings and structures (Thiel 2010). Desert Archaeology also developed a plan for monitoring contaminated soils and data recovery of prehistoric and historic features uncovered during this work (Thiel 2011).

Contaminated soil removal was conducted in January through April 2012. During this work, 0.8 acres of soil was stripped away by a backhoe operator trained in archaeological fieldwork. In all, 74 features were located during fieldwork, including prehistoric pit structures, a trash mound, pits, potbreaks, and a ground stone cache. Fort Lowell-era (1873-1891) features included structural remains, a garden area, irrigation ditches, Cottonwood Row, tree planting pits, and a fenceline. An outhouse pit and a large trash pit dating to the 1920s-1950s were also located. Archaeological features were found in all areas of the property that were examined. Many additional features are likely located in the unexplored portions of the parcel.

The Fort Lowell-Adkins Steel property contains prehistoric cultural resources dating from the Hohokam Sedentary period to the beginning of the Tanque Verde phase of the Hohokam Classic period (A.D. 950 to shortly after 1150). Historical remains from the Fort Lowell era (1873-1891) American Statehood period (circa 1910-present) were also recovered. A sample of prehistoric and historic period features was excavated and the remaining features were mapped and described. The data recovered is used to address a set of research questions presented in the monitoring plan (Thiel 2011).

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at the Fort Lowell-Adkins Steel Property Locus of Fort Lowell, AZ BB:9:40 (ASM), Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, 12. J. Homer Thiel. 2013 ( tDAR id: 448352) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448352

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Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1000 to 1300 (From Middle Rincon (A.D. 1000-1100), to Tanque Verde Phase (A.D. 1150-1300))

Spatial Coverage

min long: -110.888; min lat: 32.253 ; max long: -110.859; max lat: 32.272 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Contributor(s): Katie Brower; Jeffery Charest; Michael W. Diehl; James M. Heidke; Christine H. Virden-Lange; Stephanie Reyes; Stacy L. Ryan; Tyler Theriot

Prepared By(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Submitted To(s): City of Tucson

Record Identifiers

Arizona State Museum Accession Number(s): 2010-487

Arizona Antiquities Act Project Specific Permit, Arizona State Museum(s): 2010-115

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
tr2012-12_final_OCR_PDFA_Redacted.pdf 128.24mb Nov 13, 2020 3:09:01 PM Public
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tr2012-12_final_OCR_PDFA.pdf 124.52mb Jan 1, 2013 Mar 29, 2019 11:33:28 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Desert Archaeology, Inc.

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