Archaeological Survey in Arizona’s Upper Gila River Valley: 2014 - 2018

Author(s): Mary Whisenhunt; John Roney; Robert Hard

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Local Development and Cross-Cultural Interaction in Pre-Hispanic Southwestern New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Southeastern Arizona’s upper Gila River Valley is an understudied area that includes both large, aggregated prehistoric sites and small rock ring, pithouse, and pueblo sites from the Early Agricultural to Salado periods. University of Texas at San Antonio Field School surveys conducted from 2014 – 2018 have identified and recorded approximately 50 sites located in a variety of environmental settings, including terraces along the mainstem of the Gila River, floodplain, side drainages, and higher-elevation locations. While a geospatial information system site probability model underpins the survey’s judgmental aspect, local informant knowledge was critical in identifying many of the sites, particularly those occupied during the Ceramic period. Site location, density, size, and persistence over time will be analyzed in relation to environmental zones and the distribution of arable land along the Gila River. Spatial and temporal patterns are compared to those of the Upper Gila’s Red Rock Valley in New Mexico. Most of the sites in the research area remain vulnerable to pothunting and agricultural land modification, heightening the need for continued survey work and strong local partnerships to identify and preserve these important sites.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Survey in Arizona’s Upper Gila River Valley: 2014 - 2018. Mary Whisenhunt, John Roney, Robert Hard. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452218)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25528