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Artifacts unearthed at PACC construction site

Posted at 10:31 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 08:17:00-04
Before construction begins on the new Pima Animal Care Center, a team of archeologists are unearthing artifacts at the site.
 
The excavation project is required by the county, and so far they have discovered jewelry, ceramics, tools and the evidence of a Hohokam village.
 
Mike Lindeman with Desert Archeology, Inc. says some objects date back to around 500 A.D. The site likely was home to about 60 structures, including pit homes, where a handful of families lived, Lindeman said. 
 
"When you think about sustainability and living in the desert, the Hohokam had it down," he said. "They lived her for 1000 years."
 
Based on prior investigations and the proximity of the Santa Cruz River, archeologists had an idea what they would find. However, Lindeman says little is known about what happened between 500 A.D. and 700 A.D.The artifacts help show us how the Hohokam lived, according to Lindeman.
 
"You don't have sprawl," Lindeman said. "You have people living in villages by the river, the river would have been flowing back then."
 
"We can take lessons about the way they exploited resources and lived off the land," Lindeman said. 
 
The team is finding more each day. Chris Lange, also with Desert Archeology, Inc., says she found a structure that appears to have been some kind of shop where pottery was made. She was surprised by the number of tools she found. 
 
"It's been a very interesting structure in that we had a lot of ground stone in it," Lange said. "For example there's one here, that's just coming out of the ground."
 
"They would use it as tool for grinding something, making something smooth," Lange said. "And this is like number 10 that I have found in this house which is a lot."
 
The crew knows how old the objects are based on radiocarbon dating, Lindeman said.
 
The excavation work will continue until July, then there will be public tours of the area. While some of the artifacts will go to state museums, an exhibit will be built at PACC.