The Middle Gila Basin: An Archaeological and Historical Overview

Author(s): Claudia F. Berry; William S. Marmaduke

Year: 1982


The Central Arizona Project (CAP) , Indian Distribution Division (IDD) is designed to deliver allocated CAP water to Indian users. The Middle Gila Basin Overview is the initial cultural resources planning study for the system. It summarizes and evaluates the extant data in an area 3,570 square miles (9,139 sq km) large, centered on the Gila River.

The data suggests that archaeological sites in this area are numerous and varied, but most of all poorly-studied despite 100 years of research. A defensible culture history and chronology exists for only 35 percent of the 12,000 years of human history in the Basin. Given this, an assumption that basic interpretive frameworks are available to support sophisticated processural arguments is inaccurate. Further data analysis shows that site distributions correspond to physical and biotic zones in only the most general sense. Sites tend to be large and densely-clustered on the second terraces of major rivers; large sites, less-closely spaced are also in higher interior valleys. Sites on upper bajadas slopes appear to be specialized activity areas, while valley bottom sites contain material suggestive of encampments and villages. Most important, the patterns of previous field investigdtions more than anything else are responsible for apparent clusterings of sites. Large areas of the Middle Gila Basin remain unexplored. CAP-IDD systems are likely to encounter substantial archaeological remains along almost any intended, gravity- flow canal alignment, and in many field areas proposed for agricultural development. Of these remains, the majority can qualify, probably, for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Place because, in reality, we know so little about them.

See the appendices for a full site list.

Cite this Record

The Middle Gila Basin: An Archaeological and Historical Overview. Claudia F. Berry, William S. Marmaduke. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Research, Inc. 1982 ( tDAR id: 56713) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FN183H


Anglo Archaic Chiricahua Cochise Cochise Euroamerican Historic Historic Native American Hohokam Mexican-American PaleoIndian Pima San Pedro Cochise Yuman

Adobe Building Materials Ceramic Chipped Stone Ground Stone Jacal Masonry Stone

Site Name
Adams School Adamsville Site Andre Building Arizona State Capitol Building Butte-Cochrane Charcoal Ovens C. H. Cook Memorial Church Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Casa Grande Stone Church Casa Grande Women's Club Cashion Site Dr. Roland Rossen House Evans House Farmer-Goodwin House First Florence Courthouse Grace Court School Ha-ak Va-ak Intaglio Library Park Mesa Grande Monroe School Neils Peterson House Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Park of the Four Waters Phoenix Carnegie Library Phoenix Townsite Pinal County Courthouse Pueblo Grande Pueblo Grande Ruins Rossen House Roy Hackett House Second Pinal County Courthouse Snaketown St. Mary's Church T:12:32 Show More

Site Type
Administrative Site Adobe Structure Adobe Wall Agricultural or Herding Ancient Structure Archaeological Feature Artifact Scatter Bakery Ball Court Battleground Bedrock Grinding Feature Bedrock Mortar Boarding House Brick Courthouse Burial Business Building Camp Canal Canal or Canal Feature Capitol Building Catholic Church Cave Cemetery Ceremonial Cave Check Dam Church Church / Religious Structure Cistern Commercial or Industrial Structures Communal / Public Structure Community Center Compound Construction Camp Courthouse Cremation Defense Wall Depression Domestic Structure or Architectural Complex Domestic Structures Elementary School Encampment Farm Facility Field Foundation Fruit Harvesting Camp Funerary and Burial Structures or Features Governmental Structure Habitation Unit Hamlet / Village Hearth Historic Church / Religious Structure Historic Communal / Public Structure Historic Governmental Structure Historic Structure House Intaglio Intaglio / Geoglyph Isolated Artifact Isolated Burial Jacal Structure Kiln Library Linear Rock Alignment Lithic Scatter Lookout Masonry Pueblo Masonry Structure Mescal Pit Midden Milling Feature Mine Miner's Homesite Mound Mound / Earthwork Non-Domestic Structures Parade Ground Park Petroglyph Pit Pot Bust Presbyterian Church Public School Pueblo Quarry Rancheria Resource Extraction / Production / Transportation Structure or Features Road, Trail, and Related Structures or Features Roasting Pit Roasting Pit / Oven / Horno Rock Alignment Rock Art Rock Pile Rock Ring Rock Scatter Rock Shelter Room Block / Compound / Pueblo Rubble Mound Sacred Hill School Scraped Area Settlements Sherd Scatter Shrine Sleeping Circle Smelter Stage Station Statehouse Stone Church Stone Kiln Structure Telegraph Office Terrace Trading Post Trail Trash Midden Trash Mound Village Waffle Garden Wall Water Control Feature Well Show More

Investigation Types
Archaeological Overview

A. L. Schroeder Adolf Bandelier Ak-Chin Farm Project Archaeological Institute of America Arizona State University Cap Central Arizona Project Conoco Flor Project Cosmos Mindeleff E. E. Snyder E. F. Schmidt Early Queen Anne Style Emil Haury Frank H. Cushing Gila River Farm Project Harold Gladden Heal Lakeshore Project Hemenway Expedition I. Hayden IDD Indian Distribution Division Jackrabbit Mine Project Jesse Fewkes Julian Hayden Kaka-Stoa Pitk Water Project O. Halseth Phillips Academy Pot R. Hastings Roosevelt Floodway Project Santa Rosa Wash Project Smithsonian Institution Territorial Architecture Thompson Expedition Van Bergen-Los Angeles Museum Expedition Vekol Copper Mining Project Victorian Architecture Show More

Geographic Keywords
04999 (Fips Code) Ak Chin Indian Reservation Arizona (State / Territory) Basin and Range Geological Province Casa Grande, AZ Chandler, AZ Coolidge, AZ Eloy, AZ Florence, AZ Fort McDowell Indian Reservation Gila River Gila River Indian Reservation Maricopa, AZ Maricopa (County) Mesa, AZ Mexican Highland Middle Gila Basin Papago Indian Reservation Papagueria Phoenix, AZ Pinal (County) Queen Creek Sacaton Mountains Salt River Salt River Indian Reservation Sand Tank Mountains Santa Cruz River Santan Mountains Santa Rosa Wash Sierra Estrella Silver Reef Mountains Sonoran Desert Biological Area South Mountain Table Top Mountains Tempe, AZ Tolleson, AZ Vekol Wash Show More

Temporal Keywords
1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 19th Century 20th Century Civano Phase Classic Period Colonial Period Gila Butte Phase Historic Pioneer Period Prehistoric Santa Cruz Phase Sedentary Period Soho Phase

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.687; min lat: 32.473 ; max long: -110.325; max lat: 34.298 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office

Sponsor(s): Bureau of Reclamation

Prepared By(s): Northland Research

Record Identifiers

NADB Citation ID No.(s): 000000166328

NADB Document ID No.(s): 2202224


General Note: The copy of this document from which the NADB citation was made is located at the Bureau of Reclamation, Box 25007, Denver CO 80255.

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Note that although pages 325-342 are not present, the document content is complete; and has been approved for upload by USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office (PXAO) on 20 April 2016.

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