I have always argued that the Sobaipuri village of Quiburi was in more than one location: Its position on the ground changed through time while the name was
retained. In 1990 I wrote that the 1780s location of this much-sought-after archaeological site was far to the north of its Kino-period position. I suggest that of all sites
I documented in the 1980s and 1990s AZ EE:4:38 is most likely this late Quiburi because this is one of the furthest north. It also has a rectangular structure that at
the time suggested a historic period occupation. The site is small, as expected for this period (or at least smaller than the occupation at the Kino-period Quiburi).
Moreover, the hill-top location is consistent with the expectation for defense in the 1780s and its placement relative to a known spring suggested it might be this site.
QUIBURI OF THE 1780S AS NOTED BY GERONIMO DE LA ROCHA
The presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate was officially occupied
between 1776 and 1780. In 1780 Geronimo de la Rocha prepared a
map to include with his journal for an expedition of the same year. The
portion of this map with Quiburi (V del Guiburi or Vado del Guiburi) and
the presidio (Sta Cruz) is shown to the left.
A spring to the immediate west is shown by the tadpole-looking
symbol. This is an important marker for the location of this site
because there are not many springs in this vicinity or they are on the
opposite side of the river. There are only five springs on this side of the
river in this general area and one is way too far south to be relevant.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS PAGE IS COPYRIGHTED AND SHOULD BE APPROPRIATELY CITED (C) 2008, Deni Seymour
The text of the Geronimo de la Rocha journal indicates that the settlement was 3 leagues north of the presidio. This is about 7 to 8 miles to the
north--consistent with this location. The question is how was the league measurement made, as a straight line or following all the curves and turns of the
river. The dotted line that represents the trail along the west side of the river indicates that the route was not straight but curved in and out along the
In the 1980s when I initially recorded and reported on this site the notion was widely held that adobe-walled structures of this period
were limited in distribution and that they were indicative of missionary contact. The Kino-period record notes that such structures
were specifically built for the visiting missionaries or that they had been prepared in advance and were waiting for them. Since then
it has become clear that these types of structures are more widespread and that they predate Kino and missionary activity in Arizona
which did not occur until the late 17th century. I have suggested that they are in fact very likely rain houses or ceremonial structures
that also housed Kino and Manje (as well as other visitors). These are the structures that later ethnographic documents indicate the
town crier stood on to speak to the village in the early morning. This activity is also mentioned in some of the earliest documentary
records for the Sonora Valley where people using similar structures are expected.
These features consist of a stone and adobe foundation, with an adobe superstructure. One such structure was excavated at Guevavi
and several others are visible on the surface of Sobaipuri sites along the San Pedro. The one shown below from AZ EE:4:38 shows a
rectangular outline of the room but is mostly buried suggesting that it is relatively intact. Its size is consistent with other known
features of this type throughout the Sobaipuri area.
Further reading relating specifically to these topics:
Seymour, Deni J.
1989 The Dynamics of Sobaipuri Settlement in the Eastern Pimeria Alta. Journal of the Southwest 31(2):205-222.
1990 Sobaipuri-Pima Settlement Along the Upper San Pedro River: A Thematic Survey Between Fairbank and Aravaipa Canyon. Report
for the Bureau of Land Management. On file at the Arizona State Museum.
2003 Sobaipuri-Pima Occupation in the Upper San Pedro Valley: San Pablo de Quiburi. New Mexico Historical Review 78(2):147-166.
2008 Father Kino’s 'Neat Little House and Church' at Guevavi. Journal of the Southwest. 50(4), (Winter).
Quiburi: The Sobaipuri-O'odham Ranchería of Kino's Conception. Under review New Mexico Historical Review.
The Sobaípuri Site of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz de Terrenate Presidio.
The Waning Days of Quiburi: Sobaipuri-O'odham Occupation on the San Pedro River in 1780. Under review at Ethnohistory.
Like most Sobaipuri sites, this one was placed over a prehistoric site so prehistoric artifacts are mixed in with those used by the Sobaipuri.
The Sobaipuri signature is, however, distinctive enough that the artifacts related to this later component can be distinguished.
The text also notes that this settlement had springs nearby that were independent from the river. This corresponds to the spring/marsh area shown on
the map and also to the spring identified in the field.
This Quiburi was also said to have retained or had a small population (pequena poblacion). Population size at AZ EE:4:38 is indicated by the number
of houses. Households consist of paired structures. It seems from comparisons of house counts and number of houses in the documentary record that
one household (or two houses) was occupied by 10 people. Based on the site map there are 14 houses visible, but some of those that are paired are
not visible. Thus, it is estimated that there are 16 to 20 houses at this site, which suggests that there were 100 to 150 people living here. This is a
relatively small population given the 500 people that occupied the Kino-period Quiburi but may be on par with the number that occupied Terrenate
presidio (150 to 200). This might have been large enough to withstand Apache attacks, which given the history of Terrenate, were seemingly prevalent
at the time.
Projectile points and retouched flakes are some of the most common tools
forms found. These small triangular forms are common through time.
Shell beads are common on Sobaipuri sites. Olivella beads, like the one on the right, are
most frequenlty found but usually they are not cut but drilled to form a simple bead.
These circular beads are also found on a number of Sobiapuri sites.
Various types of flaked stone material used by the Sobaipuri. The red
and yellow chert is probably from Teran Wash near the Taylor Site
while the other materials seem to have been more locally available
and are more widespread on all Sobaipuri sites.
Some of the structures look like scattered clusters of
cobbles, but closer inspection shows in situ alignments in
the typical eliptical layout. Sometimes it is necessary to
excavate these areas to reveal a clear house alignment.
Fields located nearby illustrate the continued fertility of the adjacent land, making this an ideal location for a
habitation site, with a protected setting overlooking an independent water source, the San Pedro, and fields.
Thermal features are common, but are also
commonly overlooked by archaeologists not
familar with their signature.
Most elongated "cobble areas" that have been
excavated at other sites have revealed structures.
It is reasonable to suggest that many of these
larger cobble areas are structures.
Two candidates for rectangular adobe-walled
structures are present at this site. If two different
social groups are represented each locus could
possess a rectangular adobe-walled structure, as
seems to be the case in at least one site further