AZ CC:5:75(ASM) A Significant Euro-American (A.D. 1860–1920) Site Near Wilcox, Arizona; An Example of what can be Accomplished by Including Ranchers in the Planning and Implementation of Cultural Resources Preservation on their Land

Presenter: Jordan Myers, PaleoWest Archaeology

During a recent archaeological inventory of rangeland near Fort Grant, Arizona PaleoWest archaeologists discovered a Euro-American (A.D. 1866–1920) site that featured a pair of U.S. Army-issued belt buckles known as “M1851 Regulation Federal Eagle Sword Belt Plates,’ a U.S. Army H Plate Cartridge Belt Buckle, a copper wedding band inscribed with “To Minnie,” six rifle cartridges that date to 1888, SCA glass, at least one H. Kennedy Barrowfield Pottery stoneware ginger beer bottle from Glasgow, Scotland (A.D. 1866–1929), and other ceramic and metal artifacts. This paper discusses the significance of these findings in Arizona’s history.  

This archaeological survey was conducted in advance of a grassland-restoration project that was funded through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. The Arizona Game and Fish Department provided local oversight of the project. This restoration project exemplifies cooperation between federal and state agencies, and a local rancher, to restore the local environment to its natural condition while preserving important traces of Arizona’s Territorial Period. This paper illustrates what can be accomplished by maintaining an open dialogue with ranchers and land owners about the importance of cultural resources preservation, and the ways in which they can help.

We found through this survey that by maintaining an open and honest dialogue with the rancher not only about the significant open discussions about the importance of preservation with the rancher and his family, they became not only excited to hear about what we found each day, they were developing a sense of pride regarding the cultural resources, and they began to actively try to develop ideas as to how they could personally help with preserving the sites on their land. They were no longer outsiders looking in, they became so eager to help protect and preserve the sites, that they told us they were going to put fences around them off to keep their cattle from doing any harm.