THE POSTON-TERRITORY HOUSES ON THE ELLINOR PARCEL (AZ DD:8:252, ASM):
TUBAC PRESIDIO AND 19TH CENTURY HISTORY
WORKING TOGETHER TO PRESERVE TUBAC'S PAST
There is insufficient time and resources to
investigate the entire property so efforts will focus
on the area to the left of this photo. This is a raised
area with a foundation that shows evidence of
having been used from the presidio period onward.
(Photo by Kelley McGalliard)
The land owner (Linda Ellinor), the contractor (Lorin Jacobson), and Arizona Archaeological Society Chapter members (Mary Dahl, Alan
Sorkwitz, and Nancy Daunton) confir over the scale and timing of the operation, along with Chapter Advisor and archaeologist for this project
Included in this area are a piece of majolica that could be
contemporaneous with the presidio, a flint for a flintlock
musket, a lead ball, and lead waste, along with an abundance
of O'odham redwares and plainwares. There are few prehistoric
sherds and no evidence of prehistoric use of this specific area
or the lot as a whole. This limits the depth and time periods of
our investigations. (Photo by Kelley McGalliard)
The plan for the inn and spa is shown below. This includes several 4-foot-deep pools and one pool
that is 5 feet deep. The entire surface of the area will be modified so this is the only opportunity to
salvage information about this lot.
Project Background (Mary Dahl)
The project area is located on private property in the community of Tubac situated about 25 miles north of the United States/Republic of Mexico border at
Nogales, Santa Cruz County, Arizona. This area is just north of the northern boundary of the Luis Maria Baca Float No. 3 land grant (Figure 1). The land is
situated in Section 7, Township 21 South, Range 13 East, Gila & Salt River Base and Meridian (Tubac Quadrangle, Arizona-Santa Cruz Co., 7.5 minute
Series [Topographic], United States Geological Society, 1996).
Project Description (Linda Ellinor)
An engineering site plan (prepared by Psomas) has been submitted to Santa Cruz County by Linda Ellinor, the owner of 16 -18-20 Calle Iglesia for the
development of an Inn and Aqua Spa.
The present site consists of approximately 4,000 sq. ft. of residential space on a plot of approximately one acre. The grounds will be developed and
interior improvements made to support 4 to 5 hydro- therapy pools and one 40' lap pool, up to 8 casitas (guest lodging), one large suite in the historical
section of the building, a changing, locker and shower facility for the spa, a shared kitchen and recreational room, check-in desk, owner's unit and
care-taker's unit, and a facility on the patio for catered food service. On-site parking will be provided. At the northeast corner of the property a pond will
be developed that will provide holding capacity for water run-off and for landscape irrigation. The pond will also serve as a ground attraction for guests
with a covered sitting area by its side.
Local History (Barbara Ruppman)
Environmental Overview (Mary Dahl)
The Ellinor site is located within the Basin and Range Province of southern Arizona. This is a region·of wide alluvial valleys separated by high mountain
ranges (Wilson 1962). The study area is in the Mountain Region of this province. In this province, the base elevations tend to be greater, and the
mountains higher and broader, than in the Desert Region to the west. The site elevation is approximately 978 meters (3,208 feet) above mean sea level.
The study area lies within what may be hydrologically termed the upper Santa Cruz River Valley. This area, which begins at the headwaters of the Santa
Cruz in the San Rafael Valley, consists of a wide, high-elevation river valley with mountains on either side. Local vegetation is a semidesert grassland
(Brown 1994:123-131). To the west are the Tumacácori Mountains, the Atascosa Mountains, and the Pajarito Mountains further south, and on the east are
the Santa Rita Mountains, the San Cayetano Mountains, and the Patagonia Mountains to the southeast.
The upper Santa Cruz River Valley is distinguished from the middle Santa Cruz to the north in that the latter is a much wider river valley, with more
arable land. (Turner and Brown 1994).
Soil and Water Resources
The Ellinor site is located about 61 meters (200 feet) from the western side of the Santa Cruz River flood plain and about 488 meters (1,600 feet) west of the
river channel (Figure 2). In this location, the river valley is about 3.2 kilometers wide (2 miles) wide, and is bordered by gently-to-steeply sloping,
moderately-to-deeply dissected alluvial fan and terrace deposits of late Tertiary and Pleistocene ages. The fans are composed of material eroded out of
the mountains that flank the valley, most notably the Tumacácori Mountains to the west and the Santa Rita Mountains to the east. The Pleistocene
terraces and Holocene flood plain deposits contain a broader range of material, including both local outwash and alluvium from more distant upstream
A soil survey of Santa Cruz County (http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx) indicates that two predominant soil units occur in the
vicinity of the Ellinor site. About 90% of the site contains Comoro soils with 0 to 5 percent slopes. The balance contains Pinalino gravelly sandy loam with
0 to 10 percent slopes.
The mountain ranges that overlook the Santa Cruz River Valley offer a variety of rock types, summarized here from a recently-updated geologic map
(Richard et al. 2000 - http://www.azgs.az.gov/services_azgeomapg.shtml). The Tumacácori Mountains, west of Tubac, are composed largely of Middle
Miocene to Oligocene Volcanic rocks. The Santa Rita Mountains, east of the river in Tubac, are similar in the south but also contain Early Tertiary to Late
Cretaceous Granitic and Volcanic rocks in the north. The Santa Ritas are the largest and the highest of the mountain ranges in the river valley and rise to
2,882 meters (9,453 feet) above sea level. They are extensively faulted.
Flora and Fauna
The Ellinor site is located within the Semidesert Grassland biotic community, which occurs between the lower, hotter deserts and the higher chaparral,
woodland, or plains grassland communities (Brown 1994). Semidesert Grassland is typically characterized by a variety of perennial and annual, native
and introduced grasses, along with a mix of shrubs, cacti, and trees.
The site occurs in the vicinity of a mesquite (Prosopis sp.) association of the woody phase of the Semidesert Grassland biome presumed to be velvet
mesquites (P. Velutina Woot). Velvet mesquite associations are often referred to as "mesquite bosques," which are recognized as a type of climax
deciduous riparian forest by Szaro (1989). Further, Turner (1974) notes that deciduous riparian forests, including saltcedar, mesquite, cottonwood and
willow, were common along the Santa Cruz River flood plain in the general vicinity of the project area.
Velvet mesquite trees tend to spread rapidly on grazed grassland in southeastern Arizona as the seeds are easily disseminated by cattle and other
agents. The plant was a mainstay of existence to the early inhabitants of this area providing nourishment, fermented drink, medicines and materials for
making baskets and fabrics. (Glendening and Paulsen 1955; Hastings and Turner 1965:275-276; Kearney and Peebles 1960:402). A riparian community of
cottonwoods and willows is still present along the Santa Cruz River north and east of the site.
Wildlife present in the area today is similar to what would have been found prehistorically. Blacktailed jackrabbits, various small rodents (mice and
squirrels), songbirds, raptors, turtles, snakes, deer, and canids are all common. The riparian areas also provide habitat for waterfowl and for native fishes,
which existed prehistorically and are enjoying a resurgence due to recent upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant on which this effluent-fed river
The project area is located in a semidesert environment at an elevation of about 978 meters (3,208 feet) above mean sea level. Climatological data from
nearby Nogales, at a slightly higher elevation (1,161 meters [3,808 feet]), indicate a mild climate with an annual mean 15.49 inches of precipitation
(Sellers and Hill 1974:346). More than half of this yearly total comes in the form of brief but intense thunderstorms during the summer "monsoon" season
(July and August). Some rain also falls during longer, gentler winter storms, but spring and fall months are relatively dry. The growing season extends
from about the beginning of April to the middle of November.
Sellers, William D. and Richard H. Hill
1974 Arizona Climate, 1931-1972. 2d ed. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Kearney, Thomas H., and Robert H. Peebles
1960 Arizona Flora. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Hastings, James Rodney, and Raymond M. Turner
1965 The Changing Mile: An Ecological Study of Vegetation Change With Time in the Lower Mile of an Arid and Semiarid Region. University of Arizona
Glendening, George E., and Harold A. Paulsen, Jr.
1955 Reproduction and Establishment of Velvet Mesquite as Related to Invasion of Semidesert Grasslands. Technical Bulletin No. 1127. U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Turner, Raymond M.
1974 Map Showing Vegetation in the Tucson Area, Arizona. Folio of the Tucson Area, Arizona, map I- 844-H. U.S. Geological Survey, Denver.
Szaro, Robert C.
1989 Riparian Forest and Scrubland Community Types of Arizona and New Mexico. Desert Plants 9(3 4): 70-138.
Brown, David E.
1994 Semidesert Grassland. In Biotic Communities, Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, edited by David E. Brown, pp.123-131.
University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Turner, Raymond M., and David E. Brown
1994 154.1 Sonoran Desertscrub. In Biotic Communities: Southwestern Untied State and Northwestern Mexico, edited by David E. Brown, pp. 181-221,
University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Wilson, Eldred D.
1960 A Résumé of the Geology of Arizona. Bulletin No. 171. Arizona Bureau of Mines, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Historical Background/Archival Studies Studies (Alan Sorkowitz)
insert here (Methods and Results)
Work Plan and Research Design (Deni Seymour)
First and foremost this is a salvage excavation, designed to recover any information about this property before it is incorporated into an inn and spa.
Substantial land modification activities are planned and the deepest and largest area of disturbance will be in the southcentral portion of the
lot--where we will focus our efforts. There are no local, state, or national laws or ordinances that require that archaeological compliance work be
undertaken. The landowner is aware that if burials are encountered another dimension of complexity is added.
This work is being undertaken under the premise that we need to put more recognition and concern into what happens to archaeological information
when sites are built on or bulldozed without archaeologists even having any opportunity to examine them before they are destroyed. Archaeologists
have an ethical obligation to assist if and when they can under such circumstances. We are fortunate that in this case the landowner is willing to
allow these investigations to proceed before all evidence of this foundation and its fill are destroyed, especially since this is an incredibly rare and
inportant resource (one of very few houses related to the original Tubac Presidio occupation from 1752-1775). Most of the time, in Santa Cruz County,
such access is not granted and entire sites are destroyed without archaeological observation or investigation. Many of those sites contain burials that
are simply bulldozed or the contents collected without anyone noticing. Stories are common, suggesting this goes on despite burial laws. The
invitation to have an archaeologist conduct official studies before the heavy machinery begins its operations is one that should be acknowledged and
followed through upon. Too many important cultural resources are being lost in this county and there is nothing to stop the development or curtail its
effects through research. The archaeologist for this project and all its volunteers, including AAS members, are attempting to put their money and
actions where their ethical mouth is and step up to the plate. By doing so they are saying to local community members and developers that we
archaeologists and avocational archaeologists do give a real damn, rather than just objecting to development from our cushy and convenient office
chairs. No these conditions are not ideal, but this makes it more important that we act fast and not continue to receive interference from regulators
and bureaucrats that have no jurisdiction over this site. Anyone who wants to consult with me on this project is invited to come to the work site or to
call me and discuss this with me. There simply is not time for me to visit councils, offices, or committees because the bulldozers roll in three weeks.
Please, let's put the resources first this time.
Secondly this effort is designed as a learning/educational experience for chapter members. Archaeological excavation is a complex, involved,
costly, and time consuming process. The small amount of work we do will generate thousands of artifacts, pages of notes, and will initiate the need
for background research, analyses, report writing, artifact and record processing, and curation.
Research Question-Occupational Sequence
The primary research question for this project relates to what periods of occupation are represented on this lot. A dense concentration of artifacts,
gray fill, and cobble foundations suggest that there was a fairly intense occupation in this specific area. Cursory inspection of the surface assemblage
suggests that the lot was used from the presidio period forward.
While no evidence of a Hohokam or contact period occupation or use is in evidence, special effort will be made to ascertain if these additional
components are present on this lot.
Research Question-Presidio Related Features
Presuming a presidio-period occupation is in evidence, work will focus on exposing the structure and obtaining a representative sample of artifacts
with the purpose of ascertaining what this building was used for and who might have used it. It is thought that this feature may show up on the
Urrutia map of 1766 but there is no identifying information provided on that map. Excavations will focus on digging the interior of this feature so that
its use as a dwelling or some other feature type may be discerned. Artifacts collected should provide an idea of when this structure was constructed
Bruce Pheneger has provided copies of the National Register of Historic Places Multiple Properties Documentation Form and the Historic Building
Survey which include mention of the Poston property. This form suggests that the foundation we are digging is the ca. 1857 row house.
Research Question-Native-Made Pottery
Pottery made by the O'odham is found in widespread contexts during the historic period because it was commoditized and commercialized.
Organic-tempered pottery is the diagnostic type of this period but it changes from early to late in interesting ways that will be investigated.
Organic-tempered pottery with distinctive surface treatments and vessel forms replaces the traditional pottery types used in this area since the 1400s.
Its use began in the 1770s, increased in the 1800s, and continued through the turn of the next century. Native-made clay vessels provided an
alternative for expensive metal and ceramic vessels imported from the south and were easily replaced. Forms could also accommodate local needs.
Differences between Tubac and Santa Cruz de Terrenate presidios will be interesting to investigate because all indications are that
organic-tempered pottery was not introduced until 1776 in Arizona. Yet, because Tubac was established much earlier in 1752 there is an opportunity
to investigate whether this pottery emerges up to 20 years earlier than previously thought. Hints of it are seen at the native locus at Guevavi mission
but these are not yet organic tempered.
This type of pottery initially seems to represent a colono-like pottery that is indicative of the merging of cultures. Orser attributes pottery like this in
the Southeastern US to production by specific groups who were expressing resistance within a culturally diverse setting. In the American Southwest
such pottery that incorporates colonial vessel forms and marks a change from traditional technology is certainly found in culturally diverse settings,
but in the SW this colono-like pottery is inversely related to revolt and resistance. This pottery seems to represent a form of material syncretism that
reflects an emerging or attempted social syncretism or creolization and accommodation. Excavations at the native settlement of Guevavi indicates
that this technology does not emerge until late but the change seems underway and new pottery types seem to be present before its abandonment in
the mid 1770s (but without organic tempering). Tubac may provide additional information on this timing and early development.
Plan of Work
Owing to a short time line between our collective agreement to do this work and the planned day to break ground we will limit the level of effort to a
reasonable scale. Focusing on the southcentral portion of the area to be impacted, work will begin with a surface collection. This is the densest
artifact area and the area that shows the greatest time depth (1700s - present). Cultural deposits also seem to be deepest here and there is a
foundation that will be worth investigating. 2 x 2 m units will be collected completely in this area. If there is time, additional units will be collected,
focusing first on the other two foundations visible in the area of effect.
A road cut borders the east edge of this area. The bricks will be removed and the face of this cut will be cleaned and examined. If the cut shows
important stratigraphic or cultural information this will be profiled, in whole or in part. Any features visible will be considered for excavation.
A large rectangular cobble foundation is apparent in this southcentral area. There are a few artifacts that are indicative of the eighteenth century,
although most are nineteenth century and later. Tests will tell if these are visible because they have been disturbed from underlying deposits or if
they are related to the foundation itself. The foundation will be exposed so that it can be described and photo documented and mapped in.
All three foundations visible will be mapped relative to existing houses.
The southernmost foundation may be one of the structures shown on the Urrutia map. This will be exposed first by outlining the foundation and then
by excavating as much of the structure as there is time. If this structure appears to be presidio-related most effort will focus on it. If it seems to
post-date the presidio effort will be made to excavate under this foundation to see if the presidio-period foundation is visible.
We will not backfill because the area will be completely realtered using heavy earth-moving equipment.
Burial Agreement/Action to be Taken in the Event Human Remains are Encountered
It is not expected that human remains will be encountered because there is no or little hint of anything prehistoric or aboriginal historic and the
presidio had a designated cemetery. It is also unlikely that human remains will be inadvertently disturbed because we intend to stay within the
historic deposits. However, in the event that human remains are encountered, work will cease, the area will be avoided, and the appropriate officials
will be immediately notified. Under such circumstances excavations would not continue in that area and the location and remains will be treated
A report that is prepared by Chapter members will be provided to the client and to the curation facility within one year of initiation of the project. This
will be a multi-authored report with individual attribution provided for each section written. Sorkowitz will edit the volume. Seymour will provide the
final edit and finalize the document and assure quality control.
Seymour may prepare a publishable report on this project and may present the results in a public forum.
The landowner has agreed to curate the materials from this excavation. She has signed deed of gift to the Arizona State Museum. The Chapter and
community will be raising funds to pay for the curation fees. The chapter understands that it is not ethical for an archaeologist to dig a site and not
curate, to keep the artifacts in a private collection, or to give artifacts away to participants. Curation is a fundamental part of the archaeological
The project will be undertaken with local assistance. All help will be on a volunteer basis.
Deni Seymour, Lyle Stone, Betsy Stone, Jeremy Moss, Nicole Arendt, Nancy Daunton, Barbara Ruppman, Hugh Holub, Andy Herman, Mary Dahl, JJ
Golio, Mike Golio, Kelly McGalliard, Ken Veal, John Cloninger, Pat Hilpert, Tony Urias, Lynne Urias, Susan Buchanan, Brent Lee, Jacquie Brooks,
Dante Sandoval, Alan Richter, Marc Severnson, Dan Voci, Elizabeth Wescott, Gabriel Rodriguez, Adrianne Rodriguez, Nubia Rodriguez, Gwen Griffin,
Peter Van Cleve, Nancy Valentine, Jim Farley
Surface Collection -- Methods (Nancy Daunton)
Surface collection took place on 3/14/09, 3/16/09 and 3/18/09. Volunteers, overseen by the Project Director, performed the surface collection, with
collecting crew size varying from 2 – 5 on the 3 days. Forty-eight units were collected the first day (N 0 – 12 m), 24 units (N 12 – 18 m) the second day,
and 38 units (N 18 -- 32 m) the third day (See Fig ___.)
To provide a controlled collection of surface materials a collection grid of 2 X 2 m units was laid out from the UTM location NAD 27, Zone 12, E495746
m, N 3597282 m, which was at the SW corner of the area to be investigated. This location was situated at the SE corner of the masonry wall
surrounding the Poston House and patios. This masonry wall formed the western boundary of the area under investigation. The collection grid zero
point was defined as N7282, E5746, and extended to N7314, E5762. Thus, the area of surface collection was 32 m in length (north/south dimension). In
the east/west dimension the width was 15.2 m in the southern 65 percent of the site, and 6.3 m less than that in the northern 35 percent of the area.
A total of 110 units was collected. The units in the South quarter of the area were very grassy and brushy, as were the first several units immediately
to the East of the masonry wall. The surface sloped slightly downward toward the East. The East border was formed by a cut for a driveway that was
later faced and used as a profile. In general, a higher density of artifacts was found on the west side of the collection area than on the east side. A
wire fence with large posts, half of a gate, and a large wood and junk pile made much of the northern two east-west rows of units difficult to collect
(see Figure __). The northern boundary of the grid was approximately a quarter of the way down a slope to the much lower area of ground on the
northern portion of the property. The top of this slope was situated approximately where the fence began.
Each collection unit was identified by its grid coordinates based upon the UTM baseline. Collection units along the east boundary were 0.8 m smaller
in the east/west dimension due to the abrupt drop off as a result of the road cut. No collection was made beyond this cut even though the
eastern-most units were not a full 2 m wide because the road was gravel covered and was cut to below the cultural strata. Three units were only 0.5
m in north/south extent due to the encroachment of the wall at 18 m north (no material was found in these 3 very brushy small units.)
Within each unit intensive surface collection was systematically performed so that the surface of the whole unit was closely inspected. In grassy and
brushy areas loose vegetation was carefully pushed out of the way so that the ground surface could be viewed. Within each unit all artifacts collected
were separated into 3 categories (ceramics, metal, flaked stone), and bagged separately. Each bag was labeled with the date and unit coordinates.
At the end of each collection day each unit was re-inspected by the Project Director, and any additional artifacts encountered placed in the
appropriate bags. For the most part construction debris, fire-cracked rock, and charcoal was not collected, although a sample of each was included.
Surface Collection -- Results (Nancy Daunton)
A total of ___ artifacts was recovered during surface collection.
Small amount of fire-cracked rock encountered (dumped from fire place?)
A lot of fairly modern bricks and construction debris
Feature Plans (JJ and Mike Golio)
Laboratory Methods (Betsy Stone)
Laboratory Methods (Nancy Daunton)
Excavation Methods (Deni Seymour)
Foundations for the north and east walls were partially visible on the surface as cobble clusters and alignments. These focused excavations in this
area because they suggested the former presence of a structure. To expedite speedy excavation of the target feature these foundations were
exposed as were those along the north wall. The north foundation had been fully buried at the initiation of work. By focusing on the exposure of the
foundation outline we were able to quickly define feature size and to understand the nature and scale of the research problem we faced.
To facilitate rapid excavation unit size was enlarged beyond the normal 2 x 2 meter unit, and screen size was limited to 1/4 inch mesh (whereas
normally 1/8 inch would also be used for at least a portion of the fill). Units were established to fall in line with the grid that overlays the site and
which was used to make surface collections (see above). Because the Spanish-period occupation is the most important target of our operations, and
to comply with international standards of measurement, the metric system was used instead of English, although it is recognized that English
measurements are typically used by American archaeologists for historical archaeological sites.
Following the 2 x 2 meter collection grid, excavation units 2 meters wide (east-west) were established over the structure. These units stretched from
the south wall to the north wall, separating the structure into six discrete excavation units as demarcated by the black lines in the figure below.
All controlled excavations were conducted within the structure boundaries. Excavations proceeded by strata rather than arbitrary levels, using the
cultural stratigraphy to determine vertical divisions.
Intrusive pits cut both the north and south walls of the structure and many posts, post holes, and other disturbances were evident. The modern pits
(last 50 years) were excavated largely to define their limits so as to be able to understand the boundaries of the structure. The fill of these features
was not screened but grab samples were collected and a limited inventory was made to obtain an idea of what was in them. This material will not be
curated. The edges of these intrusive pits were cut and faced and were used to examine the nature of the foundations so the rest of the foundations
could be left intact in case the owner can preserve them. This allowed us to see how the foundations were constructed, how deeply the rock
extended below the ground surface, and how deep a trench was excavated for the foundation or if the foundation was built on the surface.
Modern and barely historic trash filled the structure, having been dumped here from throughout the community. Locals reported that this was a
common dumping area, presumably in the recent past. The lot was probably seen as an abandoned lot with a ruined adobe and was therefore an
appropriate location to discard trash. Some historic artifacts were also present but in relatively low frequencies. So much modern trash filled the
structure that it was difficult not to damage artifacts while digging. Because modern artifacts were both in the upper and lower fill and on the floor no
effort was made to distinguish between floor and fill artifacts.
The ground surface sloped up to the west where it abutted the existing Poston House. This area is higher than the surrounding terrain presenting the
potential that the walls were better preserved in this area than to the east. For this reason this area was excavated carefully so as to preserve any
potential adobe bricks overlying the foundation. This effort paid off in that adobe bricks were encountered in situ along both the north and south
walls. With respect to the south wall an excavation unit was placed to the south of the wall (as projected) so that the adobe bricks and foundation
could be approached from outside of the structure without disturbing them. The north wall trajectory was estimated and an excavation unit was
placed to the south of this wall and foundation so that the wall would be approached from inside the structure. In both instances a clear distinction
was visible between the adobe bricks and the surrounding fill allowing us to expose adobe bricks and mortar above the stone and mortar
All fill from excavations within the structure was screened. Volunteers sifted the dirt while every screen was checked by an archaeologist to ensure
that all cultural materials were recovered. Very little charcoal was collected because it seemed obvious that the area was a dump.
A test trench (TT 1) was excavated north from the north wall of the structure to see if there was another stone foundation present to the north (Figure
). None of the fill was screened and this was treated as an exploratory trench. This test resulted in a number of nondescript features being defined but
none that were suggestive of a structural foundation related to the historic period.
A second short trench (TT 2) was excavated north from the north wall (Figure ). This trench began where the foundation narrowed. This change in
foundation width suggested the possibility that the wider portion was perhaps built earlier and that a north-south wall might have curved off
perpendicular to the first. A wall was not encountered but a possible large post hole was.
A gravel-covered drive and parking area is present along the east side of our excavation area (Figure ). Construction of this flat access and parking
area resulted in a cut through the bank and its cultural strata. This north-south cut was stabilized by a border of railroad ties and bricks. These border
materials were easily removed and the profile was faced so as to provide a view of the cultural stratigraphy of this portion of the site. Jeremy Moss
and Nikki ????, both of the Tumacacori National Monument, National Park Service, prepared a profile drawing of this section cut and collected
artifacts that they provenienced on their drawing (Figfure ).
Concurrent with and following excavation JJ and Mike Golio prepared a plan drawing of the lot as a whole and of the foundation, which was the
focus of excavations (Figure ).
(Photo by Kelley McGalliard)
THE ROYAL FORT OF ST. IGNATIUS
This map has been reoriented so
that north is to the top of the image.
The structure underlined in white
may be the structure we are
digging. To the west or left is the
captain's quarters that is open to the
south. This U-shaped construction is
what now lies within the State Park.
The army engineer Joseph de Urrutia mapped the Royal Fort of St Ignatius de Tubac presidio in 1766 during the Marques de Rubi
inspection (or perhaps later during the Elizondo campaign of 1768-1771). Unlike Santa Cruz de Terrenate presidio that was
constructed after the 1772 regulations, Tubac did not have an enclosing wall, having been constructed much earlier in 1752. The
post consisted of a scattered settlement with a large U-shaped captain's quarters and military headquarters.
Some of the artifacts encountered during surface collection are shown below.
Historic European Ceramics (Jim Ayres)
Historic Native-Made Ceramics (William Deaver)
Prehistoric Ceramics (William Deaver)
Flaked Stone (Jeremy Moss)
Faunal (Nancy Daunton)
One of the most exciting prospects is that the structure foundation relates to the presido period. Tubac Presidio was
occupied between 1752 and 1776. Some of the artifacts present suggest that the structure foundation in the southcentral
portion of the project area is presidio period. A historic map of the area also suggests that this might be the case.
This image from Browne (1869:148) shows the southeast corner of what is probably the structure in our work area.
Many of the original adobe structures had fallen into disrepair. Vegetation growing on the top of this structure
suggests that it was probably abandoned when this image was made, or had recently been revived.
Nancy Daunton leads the surface collection effort, organizing
bags, filling out bag tags, and ensuring all the units are
Units along the south end of the property were collected first
using 2 x 2 m units.
Barbara Ruppman and Nancy Daunton finish up
the units for the day.
The corner of the state park building is shown in this photo,
with the beige buidling in the far left. From this it is possible
to see that the relationship is correct for this structure to be
the one shown in the drawing above and also on Urrutia's
This cobble foundation is to a large structure. Only part
of it is visible on the surface. We are thinking that this
might be the foundation for the presidio-period
structure shown on the Urrutia map above.
This page will be updated regularily as work proceeds and sections are written and revised.
This maker's mark suggests a 1878-1890 date. When the name "Thomas Furnival & Sons" appears either in the middle or above the
mark there was probably a royal arms in the center. http://www.thepotteries.org/mark/f/furnival_thom.html
Imagery provided by Hugh Holub. I have assigned numbers to
some of the buildings shown on the Urruita map on the right to
the approximate location where these structures would have
been in 1766. #1 is the property we are excavating. # 3 is the
Captain's quarters. # 7 is the church.
Barbara Ruppman and Hugh Holub show historic photos and
various publications to Deni that relate to the property we are
working on. (Photo by Kelley McGalliard)
San Elizario Polychrome Majolica from the Ellinor property in Tubac.
US coin dating to the late 1800s.
View of foundation from roof of adjacent Poston building, looking east. Adobe-covered walls are not visible in the foreground,
but the crosswall is visible. The probable Spanish/presidio-period foundation is the the left (north) in this photo. The wood base
for the large late historic wooden cross is in the floor of the room near the blower (Photo by Kelley McGalliard).
Metal bars on the floor are later trash deposited in and over the
structure. Many items are automobile-related suggesting a very late
date of deposition. This is consistent with local lore that states that this
area was used to deposit trash by members throughout the community.
A pit that cuts through the south wall is filled with many relatively
modern items including car parts, such as a window crank and
Ring found in room fill.
Cut along gravel
The excavation is completed, but now we need people to help with lab work, report writing, drafting and so on.
Excavation units inside the structure are demarcated by the black lines. These were 2 meters wide by the width of the structure
facilitating control and rate of excavation simultaneously.
Go to RESULTS AND FINDINGS PAGE for more