The Main Stream

Oct 16, 2012 8:45 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Archaeologists find plenty along Santa Cruz River

PIMA COUNTY - Archaeologists began digging along the Santa Cruz River banks last week in preparation for a Pima County construction project.

The Paseo De Las Iglesias is a bank protection project that will feature a parkway and ecosystem restoration. But before construction on the project can begin in 2013 the county must first have the site evaluated by archaeologists. So far Desert Archeology has found evidence of prehistoric occupation in what's being described as a Hohokam village. Mike Lindeman from Desert Archaeology said, "what we did at this site and all the other sites is walk along and count numbers of artifacts on the surface. And we found an awful lot."

Dale Slechta, a private citizen, says he found pottery in the area more than a year ago, "there is a history of people living along the bank of this river." Slechta contacted the Tohono O'odham Nation and received a letter expressing thanks for his "locating and returning the prehistoric cremation ceramic vessel that contains the remains of an individual that was laid to rest many centuries ago."

Lindeman said any findings would have to be excavated or depending on the site in question the project may have to be built around the particular area. He expects his team to survey the area for the next two months.

The project is bond funded and is expected to begin in 2013.

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