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Field Division of Education
Tuzigoot - The Excavation and Repair of a Ruin on the Verde River near Clarkdale, Arizona
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The excavation of Tuzigoot Ruin was the outgrowth of an effort to build up a small local museum and to utilize the resources of a single county in the collection and preservation of archaeological material. In June, 1932, under the guidance of Dr. Byron Cummings of the University of Arizona, the Archaeological Committee of the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce at Prescott, Arizona, began a program of field work which was designed to provide material for the exposition of the prehistory of the county in the Smoki Museum at Prescott. The first field project, carried out during the summer of 1932, consisted of the excavation of King's Ruin, a Prescott Black-on-grey site on Chino Creek. This work was made possible by the donation of funds on the part of Dr. Cummings and the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society. It was personlly directed by Dr. Cummings. In the following year, the field program was continued on funds provided by the Delphian Society of Prescott and by local individuals. The excavation in this year was under the absentee direction of Dr. Cummings and consisted of the partial uncovering of Fitzmaurice Ruin, another Prescott Black-on-grey site on Lynx Creek, a few miles east of Prescott.

With the close of the summer field season at Fitzmaurice Ruin, the Archaeological Committee delegated the authors to select a promising site for excavation in the Verde Valley. Several ruins were visited in the vicinity of Camp Verde and at the suggestion of Mr. Earl Jackson of Montezuma Castle a valley pueblo across the river from Clarkdale, Arizona, was inspected. The latter ruin, which was later given the name of Tuzigoot, was fixed on as the most promising site for excavation. It was felt that its excavation would provide archaeological information in regard to the Upper Verde drainage which has heretofore been entirely lacking, no systematic excavation ever having been carried out in the region.

Tuzigoot lies on the property of the United Verde Copper Company. Officials of the company granted permission for the representatives of the Archaeological Committee to excavate the ruin, and at the suggestion of Mr. Charles R. Kuzell, General Superintendent, a crew of eight men, paid out of Federal Emergency Relief funds, was placed under the direction of the authors. Approval of the project was given by Dr. Cummings, and work was begun on October 31st, 1933.

The excavation was, continued with Federal Emergency Relief labor until November 24, 1933. At that time the United States Civil Works Administration program for the state of Arizona was inaugurated and the excavation of Tuzigoot was organized as a C.W.A. project with a working force of forty-eight. The project, as organized under the new program, called for the complete excavation of the ruin, its partial restoration, the preservation of floors and walls and the repair and preparation for display of all artifacts recovered. This work was carried on until June 1, 1934 under the direction of the authors, Mr. Harry T. Getty, and Mr. Gordon C. Baldwin, the latter both assistants to Dr. Cummings in the State Museum at Tucson, Arizona. By June 1st the excavation and restoration of the ruin and the cleaning and repair of artifacts had been accomplished. In addition, display cases for the artifacts had been made and a large part of the work of the preservation of the walls of the ruin had been completed.

In a project of the nature of this one, in which so many institutions and so many individuals cooperated, it is almost impossible to name all those who have been responsible for its success.

The work could not have been carried through with out the constant cooperation of Dr. Cummings, who generously lent the aid of his assistants from the State Museum. Without the vision of Miss Grace M. Sparkes of the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce, who saw the possibilities of the excavation as a C.W.A. project, the work would never have attained the proportions that it reached. Mr. Paul Keefe, general director of C.W.A. projects at Clarkdale, gave every assistance that it was in his power to give and but for his constant efforts in behalf of the project it would have been foredoomed to failure. The careful and competent field supervision of Mr. Harry T. Getty and of Mr. Gordon C. Baldwin contributed much to the success of the enterprise. The officials of the United Verde Copper Company cooperated in every way possible, and Mr. Oliver C. Ralston, Director of Research, placed at our disposal all the facilities of the research laboratory, a contribution which can hardly be overestimated.

Of the many who carried out the details of the work, it is hard to speak too highly. Beginning with little or no experience both in the laboratory where the repair of artifacts was going on and in the field, many developed a surprising competency. In the laboratory, the repair of pottery was excellently handled by Miss Charlotte Martinez and the care of skeletal material by Miss Rosaline Svob. Mrs. Katherine Hopkins generously gave much of her time to the repair of articles of jewelry and the general care of artifacts as they came in from the field. At the ruin, Mr. George Meyer supervised the restoration. Mr. R.I. Phippeny surveyed the ruin and surrounding region and performed much valuable clerical service. Able workmen are too numerous to mention, but it should be said that the work of Mr. Fred Fogal in restoration and that of Mr. George Pyles and Mr. Solomon Ramirez in excavation was exceptional.

In connection with the writing of this report, invaluable aid has been received from Dr. Byron Cummings, Dr. Harold S. Colton, and Mr. L.L. Hargrave. To Mr. Clarence R. King we are indebted for all that we have set forth concerning the general archaeology of the Upper Verde: it was he who guided us to all the ruins that were visited and who described to us a few that were not visited. The identification of animal and bird bones was done by Drs. A. Wetmore and G.S. Miller of the U.S. National Museum and Dr. Alden H. Miller and Mr. Ward Russel of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley, California. The shells were identified by Dr. Stillman Berry of Redlands, California.

The field photographs are the work of Mr. H.P. Gerlach of the Gerlach Studio of Jerome, Arizona.

Most of the photographs of artifacts were done by Mr. L.R. Caywood. The reproductions of a pottery designs and other drawings are mainly the work of Mr. Ralph Telles and Miss Helen Mooney.

Mimeograph materials for the publication of this report were furnished by E.R.A. of Arizona under the recommendation of Miss Grace M. Sparkes, approved by Miss Florence Warner, Federal Administrator of Arizona and the Arizona State Board of Public Welfare. The typing and assembling was done gratuitously by Mrs. Louis H. Caywood. Had it not been for the financial assistance of our many interested friends over the state, the illustrations embodied in this report would not have been possible. We express our gratitude and appreciation in knowing when the need arises we have these many friends to turn to for assistance.


Plate I. Tuzigoot from the west with the Verde River in the foreground.

Plate II. Aerial view of Tuzigoot from the east. Note the steepness of the hill.


Mr. Morris G. Fowler, who was connected with the United Verde Copper Company of Clarkdale, Arizona (now the Phelps Dodge Corporation), became so interested in sherd analysis that various tests were made by him. His chief contribution was a spectroscopic study of pigments and clay, carried out in the research laboratories of the company. The results of these experiments are included in Appendix A. Although only a fraction of the tests are shown it will be readily seen what different elements are included in the clay of each sherd. Only the rarer elements were recorded. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Fowler for the results of his work and the help that he rendered us at various times.

Miss Helen Forsberg, a University of Arizona graduate, worked on the skeletal material from Tuzigoot. Her work was tedious and covered most of one school year. The results are valuable and are here recorded in Appendix B. Miss Forsberg did splendid work under the careful guidance of Dr. John H. Province of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Arizona.

Finally, we are greatly indebted to Dr. Ralph Beals and Mr. Ansel F. Hall of the National Park Service at Berkely, California, for binding the assembled pages of the report.

Louis R. Caywood.

National Park Service,
Coolidge, Arizona,
July, 1935.


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