Friday, March 10, 2006

Hohokam clues preserved at site of future Tucson homes

[Source: Dale Quinn, Arizona Daily Star] -- Single-family homes will emerge on the banks of the Tanque Verde Wash on a site that supported a significant Hohokam Indian population more than 800 years ago. For the past seven weeks, a crew from Desert Archaeology Inc. -- a business that specializes in cultural resources research -- has worked painstakingly to collect information and artifacts from the site. Over the next two years, archaeologists will compile the information and write an extensive report detailing their findings.

It's part of striking a balance between preserving the area's archaeological history and allowing for growth, said a Tucson historic-preservation officer, Marty McCune. "We know the archaeology (site) is going to be destroyed," McCune said. "But we're spending time and money to try and preserve some of that."

The developer of the property, Jim Campbell, the president of OasisTucson Inc., said he would like to integrate the new homes with open space that retains the historic significance of the site. "I'm sure some developers view is it as a hassle, but I believe it's part of the process," he said. "It's part of our history." The remains of about 40 prehistoric homes lie in the mesquite bosque on the southern bank of the Tanque Verde Wash just north of Speedway between Harrison and Houghton roads.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source of archaeologists Robert Ciaccio and Chris Merriman working on a Hohokam Indian site along the Tanque Verde Wash that will soon hold houses: Benjie Sanders, Arizona Daily Star.]