The Tres Alamos Site on the San Pedro River, Southeastern Arizona
Author(s): Carr Tuthill
The ruins lie on the east bank of the San Pedro River some twelve miles by road north of the town of Benson. At this point the river has started to cut into an erosion terrace or bench on which the ruins are located. This bench rises about one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet above the bed of the river, and is eroded by relatively short but deep and steep-banked gullies or arroyos into several tongues of land fanning out toward the river. Evidences of prehistoric occupation are found on the terrace and its tongues of land.
The land on the west bank of the river lies considerably lower than that on the east bank, and is formed by the low-lying flood plain or river bottom land about twenty to thirty feet above the bed of the river, which has cut a deep and vertical-banked channel within the last fifty or sixty years. Historical records show that in the 1870’s and ’80’s the San Pedro River was a perennial live stream that had not yet cut its present deep channel.
The low-lying land making up the flood plain is very fertile as evidenced by modern farming carried on there, and was undoubtedly used in prehistoric times for agricultural purposes. Sherds were found on the flood plain immediately across from Tres Alamos but there were no evidences of dwellings. This is not too surprising in view of the fact that this land floods badly during the heavy summer rains.
No traces of prehistoric irrigation ditches were found, although a canal dug in the late 1800’s, that might have followed an earlier one, was discovered. It is known that this was sometimes the case in the Salt River Valley of Arizona. Lack of evidence of prehistoric canals does not necessarily imply that they were nonexistent. The principles of crop irrigation by canals was well known in the southwest at the time that Tres Alamos was inhabited, and the basis of the economy at that time was agriculture. Erosion has been quite severe in the San Pedro Valley and all traces of prehistoric water systems may have long since disappeared.
Cite this Record
The Tres Alamos Site on the San Pedro River, Southeastern Arizona. Carr Tuthill. No. ,4. Dragoon, Arizona: The Amerind Foundation, Inc. 1947 ( tDAR id: 448860) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8448860
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Bone Awl • Carved Bone • Carved Shell • Ceramic • Chipped Stone • Clay Figurine • Cremated Remains • Fauna • Fire Cracked Rock • Ground Stone • Horn Tools • Human Remains • Mineral • Shell • Stone Figurine • Stone Paddle • Stone Tools • Textile
Agricultural or Herding • Ball Court • Burial Pit • Canal or Canal Feature • Cremation Pit • Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex • Domestic Structures • Fire Pit • Funerary and Burial Structures or Features • Granary • Non-Domestic Structures • Pit • Pit House / Earth Lodge • Puddling Pit • Refuse Pit • Resource Extraction / Production / Transportation Structure or Features • Roasting Pit / Oven / Horno • Rock Alignment • Room Block / Compound / Pueblo • Stockade • Storage Pit
Data Recovery / Excavation • Systematic Survey
Ceramic Analysis • Stratigraphy Tests
Arizona (State / Territory) • Cochise (County) • Interstitial Zone D • San Pedro Valley
Cascabel Phase • Tanque Verde Phase • Tres Alamos Phase • Tucson Phase
min long: -110.429; min lat: 31.331 ; max long: -109.056; max lat: 32.246 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Contact(s): Amerind Museum
Contributor(s): W.S. Fulton; E.W. Haury; L.L. Hargrave; Hildegard Howard
Principal Investigator(s): Carr Tuthill
Repository(s): The Amerind Foundation, Inc.
Prepared By(s): The Amerind Foundation, Inc.
|Name||Size||Creation Date||Date Uploaded||Access|
|1947_Tuthill_TresAlamosSite_Redacted.pdf||54.32mb||Apr 20, 2021 8:58:39 AM||Public|
|This file is the redacted version of the resource.|
|1947_Tuthill_TresAlamosSite_OCR_PDFA.pdf||44.42mb||May 21, 2019 3:39:04 PM||Confidential|
|This file is the unredacted version of the resource.|