Thursday, October 25, 2007

Archaeologists uncover history's leftovers on Phoenix's CityScape site

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] -- The prehistoric pit houses, a century-old cosmetic-cream jar and antique bricks tell the story of the first merchants in downtown Phoenix. Archaeologists earlier this month found those artifacts deep beneath the downtown parking lot where on Monday crews will begin building a $900 million hub of shops, offices and restaurants. When it's complete, developers say, CityScape will pump vitality into a three-block parcel near Central Avenue and Washington Street, bringing the area full circle.

Long before it was dominated by a park and the parking lot, that intersection was the cradle of Phoenix commerce. During a four-week dig, scientists found wall fragments dating to the late 1800s - what's left of the first businesses built by Anglo and Mexican settlers. John Y.T. Smith's mill, the Hotel Luhrs and attorney Edward Irvine's adobe and brick buildings were the town's commercial heart during that period. "We are looking at the very beginnings of the city of Phoenix," city archaeologist Todd Bostwick said.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona Republic.]