Local

March 22, 2012

Archeologists unearth artifacts at Luke AFB

Tags:

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sandra Welch

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Luke Air Force Base plans to build a large solar array on the south side of the base to help offset energy costs. First, however, site preparation must be done, including mitigation of surface archaeology and testing for subsurface archaeology.

Unbeknownst to anyone, significant findings lay just a foot beneath the surface.

“This site could be of importance to Arizona and the Phoenix valley,” said John Hall, senior project director with Statistical Research doing the excavation. “We had some of the artifacts dated and this site is almost 1,000 years older than any other site in the Phoenix valley.”

The excavation team has found thousands of artifacts around the area to help them get an idea of how the people here lived.

“We believe the people to be nomadic,” Hall said. “We found storage holes filled with stone tools and other things. The stone used clearly comes from a river, very different from the stone around Luke.”

One of the things about the site archeologists found interesting was that it dated to the poorly understood Middle and Late Archaic periods of the Phoenix Basin and south-central Arizona between 3,000 and 1,000 B.C.

“The things we have found here will allow a very detailed examination of these ancient life ways,” Hall said. “This is an unprecedented opportunity not included in the more than 100 years of documented archaeological work in and around the Phoenix Basin.”

Archeologists have long studied the Hohokam of the Phoenix valley – one of three major prehistoric archaeological traditions of the American Southwest – including they way they lived, the farming they did and the plants they grew. The Hohokam occupied the valley and much of southern Arizona from A.D. 1-ca. 1450. The Hohokam grew corn, beans, squash and agave. They also built hundreds of miles of canals throughout the valley to irrigate their agricultural fields. This site has offered a new perspective into the lives of people thousands of years before that.

“This site is 2,000 years older than the Hohokam. These people could be their ancestors,” Hall said. “They were from a time before agriculture, before maze was brought up from Mexico. This will help us understand lots of things. We can get a better idea of how people got food before farming. We can narrow down the time frame when maize was brought from the south. We have 5,000 years of history right here to help us understand things. This could change our understanding of the prehistoric people of the valley.”

The location of Luke attracted the Native Americans who lived here 5,000 years ago, as well as the Air Force in the 1940s.

“The land here is in a great location,” Hall said. “You have the White Tank Mountains and the Aqua Fria River both right here close by. There was food and water at hand, and we think they may have moved between the foothills and the river over their course through the valley.”

The land being excavated is located by the south end of the runway and was not being used for anything before the solar array was planned.

“We have land here that was not being utilized because of the noise from the end of the runway,” said 1st Lt Chris Warshaw, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron. “We have a perfect spot for a solar array that could generate almost 50 percent of the electricity the base consumes.”

The solar array is still planned to be built, but it will take longer than initially planned due to the mitigation phase.

“We need to thank Luke,” Hall said “Because if the base had not been here, the land probably would have been dug up years ago to make room for houses or farms.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Severe weather brings AWACS to D-M

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 357th Fighter Squadron turns after completing a strafing run at the Barry M. Goldwater Range, April 22. During the training, the pilots practiced providing close air support for joint terminal attack controllers as well as refining their flying maneuvers in preparation for real world situations.
 
 

A-10s practice CAS

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 357th Fighter Squadron turns after completing a strafing run at the Barry M. Goldwater Range, April 22. During the training, the pilots practiced providing close air support for joint terminal attack controllers as well as refining their flying maneuvers in preparation for real world situations.
 
 

Local Briefs May 21, 2015

Family Fun Night at the Pool May 28, 5:30 p.m. Come have some family fun at the pool. $10 per family, Club members FREE. Food and beverages available for purchase. Hula dance contest! Hula hoop contest! Movie at sunset: Penguins of Madagascar. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Summer Swing Weekly Bowling Mondays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.,...
 

 

Local Briefs May 15, 2015

Society of Military Widows to meet May 16, noon – Mirage Club The ladies of the Society of Military Widows will have their monthly meeting and luncheon at noon, Saturday, May16 at the Mirage club at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. For reservations and information, please call Kay Spargur (520)574-6628. NARFE Chapter 1874 to meet...
 
 
DT_pict7

48th RQS trains for the real deal

While many Airmen from D-M were finishing up their day, some Pararescuemen were beginning theirs, on the evening of April 14. The 48th Rescue Squadron conducted a pre-deployment training exercise to teach, train and test Airmen...
 
 
AngelThunder_pict

ANGEL THUNDER to bring increased flying in Arizona

The 8th annual ANGEL THUNDER Personnel Recovery exercise will take place May 30 – June 13, here and throughout the southwest. ANGEL THUNDER is the world’s largest Personnel Recovery exercise, integrating sister services and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin