A Cultural Inventory of the Proposed Granite Reef and Salt-Gila Aqueducts, Agua Fria River to Gila River, Arizona


One of several construction programs proposed for inclusion in the Central Arizona Project was a system of aqueducts to link Parker Dam on the Colorado River in western Arizona and the Charleston Damsite on the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona. Since the possibility existed that archaeological remains might be destroyed by necessary subjugation of lands for the aqueduct, the Southwest Archaeological Center of the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, made arrangements with several institutions to determine the extent of salvage archaeology requirements. The Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University was asked to conduct an archaeological survey of the Granite Reef and Salt-Gila Aqueducts from the Agua Fria River to the Gila River in central southern Arizona. A purchase order No. 931-18 was initiated by the Southwest Archaeological Center to assist Arizona State University in defraying expenses of the survey.

Fieldwork on the program was undertaken with a dual purpose. First, it was necessary to complete the purposes for which the funds were made available, that was, a detailed inventory of sites endangered by proposed construction. Second, this project offered an opportunity to train students in one aspect of salvage archaeology. Since the proposed aqueduct route traversed several landforms and biotic zones, it was possible to include observations on settlement patterns, utilization of the environment, distribution of distinctive cultural remains, and a number of new concepts in surveying techniques. The observations and data obtained added significant depth to the usual survey for salvage archaeology purposes. Only a summary has been included here; detailed notes, as well as the collections, are on file at the Anthropology Laboratory, Arizona State University.

Maps of the aqueduct routes were obtained from the Phoenix Office of the Bureau of Reclamation. No stakes were yet in place in the field and constant triangulation with instruments was necessary to be assured of map-field correspondence of location. Since changes in the line might occur when final designs are completed, every effort was made to extend the survey up to 100 meters or more on either side of the present right-of-way and proposed retarding dams. Effects of possible minor deviations were investigated; a major change would require examination of the new alignment.

Arizona State University students primarily concerned with the training-research program were Don E. Simonis and Paul R. Fish. Christopher R. Lintz assisted during a major part of the program. Suzanne Kitchen and Joy Stanton were members of the field party upon several occasions. Field, laboratory, and classroom work was under the direction of Dr. Alfred E. Dittert, Jr.; Dr. James Schoenwetter provided additional instruction related to vegetation zones, surface pollen sampling, and similar specialized problems as they were encountered in the field. The research occupied available units of time between 1 October 1968 and 31 April 1969.

Cite this Record

A Cultural Inventory of the Proposed Granite Reef and Salt-Gila Aqueducts, Agua Fria River to Gila River, Arizona. Alfred E. Dittert, Jr., Paul R. Fish, Don E. Simonis. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University, Department of Anthropology. 1969 ( tDAR id: 56952) ; doi:10.6067/XCV856952

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.342; min lat: 33.075 ; max long: -111.302; max lat: 33.818 ;

Record Identifiers

Salt River Project Library Call No.(s): 3A.006

Salt River Project Library Barcode No.(s): 00030413

NADB Citation ID No.(s): 000000012321, 000000166821

NADB Document ID No.(s): 1000327, 2202717

Purchase Order No.(s): 931-18


General Note: The copies of this document from which the NADB citations were made are located at the Bureau of Reclamation, Box 25007, Denver CO 80255, and NPS (WR-RR), 600 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94107.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
1969_DittertFishSimonis_CulturalInventory_Redacted.pdf 1.10mb Sep 23, 2021 11:04:10 AM Public
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1969_DittertFishSimonis_CulturalInventory.pdf 994.74kb Dec 1, 1969 Apr 27, 2016 12:44:27 PM Confidential
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Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager

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