Digging the Tucson–Ajo Highway: Eight Years of Transportation-Funded Archaeology along Arizona State Route 86 and New Perspectives on Eastern Papaguerían Prehistory
This is an abstract from the "Byways to the Past: An American Highway Archaeology Symposium" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The eastern Papaguería, a region of south-central Arizona, has historically not been the subject of intensive archaeological study due to its agricultural marginality, sparsity of large village sites, and lack of development that would prompt compliance-driven archaeology. Excavations sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration along Arizona State Route 86 between 2010 and 2018 have yielded some of the only available subsurface data pertaining to small sites in the area between the Tucson Basin and Western Papaguería. Portions of twenty-five sites were investigated; this paper presents a summary of the results. Late Archaic components were identified at some sites. The sites yielded evidence important to understanding mortuary practice in the period between A.D. 150 and 1450, including the first definitive evidence for cremation in the region and the existence of a cairn-burial complex that may have roots in the Archaic period. Previous interpretations of the region’s prehistoric occupation have suggested temporary or transient use for seasonal resource procurement by the Hohokam occupants of adjacent riverine valleys. This concept is reassessed using the new data to suggest long term and/or more permanent occupation is likely to have characterized human settlement of the region during prehistory.
Cite this Record
Digging the Tucson–Ajo Highway: Eight Years of Transportation-Funded Archaeology along Arizona State Route 86 and New Perspectives on Eastern Papaguerían Prehistory. Deil Lundin, John Langan. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452113)
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min long: -123.97; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -92.549; max lat: 37.996 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25828