Redtail Site

From 1984 to 1987, William Holmann, AAHS President, directed AAHS excavations at the Redtail Site (AA:12:149[ASM]) in the Northern Tucson Basin.  The excavations focused on the central portion of the surface artifact scatter at the site. Four pithouses, several secondary cremations and one primary cremation as well as a variety other cultural features were excavated. This initial fieldwork demonstrated that a valuable Hohokam Colonial period occupation existed at the site. Subsequently, The Institute for American Research conducted additional work at Redtail. (Archaeological Investigations at the Redtail Site, AA:12:149 (ASM), in the Northern Tucson Basin, Mary Bernard-Shaw, Center for Desert Archaeology, Technical Report No. 89-8, 1989.)

A unique aspect of Redtail is the amount of turquoise recovered during excavations. It appears that the site has the earliest concentration of turquoise yet found in the southwest.

The artifacts from the AAHS excavations at Redtail were turned over to The Arizona State Museum (ASM) where, with the exception of the turquoise and human remains, they remained in their original field bags. In 2010 a group of AAHS volunteers rebagged and reboxed all of the artifacts and entered them into the ASM database. The original field notes, obtained from Holmann, were scanned. The results of this voluntary effort resulted in 106 boxes of artifacts and 6 boxes of catalog material that are now available for research.

Analysis of these artifacts is now on-going under the leadership of Mike Lindemann and Eric Klucas.


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