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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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Several hundred unmodified bones were found in the debris and rubbish mounds on the sides of the hill below the ruin. Many of these were broken and burned showing that they had been cooked and stripped of flesh and even broken open for the marrow.

A large number of species were identified by Dr. Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. and Dr. Alexander Wetmore of the United States National Museum and also Mr. Ward Russell and Dr. Alden H. Miller of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley, California.

The following species were found:

Badger (Taxidea Taxus)
Bear (Ursus sp.)
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
Bob cat (Lynx sp.)
Cotton tail (Sylvilagus sp.)
Deer (Odecoileus hemionus)
Dog or wolf (Canis)
Jack rabbit (Lepus sp.)
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethica)
Racoon (Procyon lotor)
American coot (Fulica americana)
Canada goose (Branta canadensis)
Duck (Anatidae, species not certain)
Duck hawk (Falco peregrinus)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Raven (Corvus corax)
Red-breasted merganser (Mergus Serrator)
Red-tailed hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Red, Blue and yellow macaw (Ara Macao)
Swainson hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Western Grebe (Aechmopborus)
Wood ibis (Mycteria americana)


Bone objects were uncommonly numerous at Tuzigoot. The pueblo being a hunting as well as an agricultural center a great number of animals and birds must have been used for food. Lying in the narrow Verde Valley with the pine covered Jerome Mountains to the west, the juniper studded mesas on the east and the pine covered rim of the Red Rock Country to the north and east Tuzigoot must have been the center of a vertible paradise for the hunter.

Bone, being a by product of their hunting, was used freely in the manufacture of implements for everyday use at the pueblo. The greatest number of these artifacts were found in the rooms, however, broken specimens as well as a few good specimens were found in the rubbish mound.


I. Implements335

A. Awls327

1. Mammal leg-bone327

a. Head intact or slightly modified122

(1). Ulnae type82

(2). Cannon bone type-(metatarsus)35

(3). Unclassified type2

(4). Radius type1

(5). Fibula type2

b. Head removed or much modified101

c. Splinter type and tips104

B. Bone discs (drilled)1

C. Flat worked pieces of bone7
II. Musical instuments2

A. Whistles2
III. Tubular bone beads and tubes9

A. Beads2

B. Tubes7



In the classification no attempt has been made to distinguish between awls, flakers or weaving tools. It has been thought best to classify all identifiable pointed bone implements according to the type of bone used in their manufacture. Where no features are evident to classify the type of bone, two other divisions are made which take care of all remaining awl-like implements. This makes for an easier field and museum separation and divisions can be made under each type for the use to which the bone implement was put.

1. Mammal Leg-Bone. This group contains almost all of the bone implements made. Of those awls which retain enough of the original bone to be recognized, the greatest number are of the deer.

a. Head Intact or Slightly Modified. Under this class comes all bone awls which are recognizable and fall into types according to their anatomical nomenclature.

(1). Ulnae Type (Plate XVI, D). These easily manufactured awls were found in great abundance. They measure from 3-3/4" to 8-1/2" with the average length 7". The head in some cases was unworked while in others it was worked down very smoothly.

(2). Metatarsus type (Plate XVI, B and C). Although not as numerous as the ulnae type, these awls are plentiful but harder to make. They are made either from the whole bone without splitting or by splitting the bone and using each half. On the posterior of each metatarsus is a concave section which was sawed through, (Plate XVI, A), by the use of a flint until it could be split into two parts. One specimen showed evidence of having been drilled as well as sawed before splitting. Awls from metatarsus bones range in length from 2-3/8" to 9-1/2".

(3). Unclassified type.

(4). Radius type.

(5). Fibula type.

Plate XVI. A (top left). (a) Immature metatarsus with detached epiphysis showing the natural bone before working. (b) The bone sawed partially through the center preparatory to splitting. B (top right). Metatarsus bones of deer worked into awls without splitting. C (bottom left). Metatarsus awls made from split bones. D (bottom right). Ulnae (deer) type of awls.

b. Head removed or much modified. Some of the finest awls found were of this class. The points are sharp and fine except for a few which are blunt. The surfaces are finely polished showing much usage. Some of the specimens were made of the metatarsus of young deer in which the epiphysis had yet fused. There were two which were decorated by carving figures on the handle. One, represents a bird with folded wings.

c. Splinter type and tips. This group includes a great number of awls made from bone splinters and also tips broken from awls. Into this group were placed those which did not fit into any of the other groups.

B. Bone discs (drilled). Only one disc was found. It was made from a section of a scapula of a large animal, probably a deer.

C. Flat worked pieces of bone. Very few of this class were found and their use is unknown. Two look as though they might have been intended for knives. One of those with a broken tip was painted green.

II. Musical Instruments. Two hollow bone tubes each having a hole drilled about a third of the way from one end might have been used as whistles.

III. Tubular Bone Beads and Tubes. A number of hollow bone tubes of varying length might have been intended as beads.


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