Las Capas Data Recovery

Prior to the expansion of Pima County’s Tres Rios Wastewater Reclamation Facility, Desert Archaeology investigated an Early Agricultural period irrigation community, where farmers lived and grew maize for several centuries from 1200 B.C. to 800 B.C. The project documented a sequential network of canals and hundreds of small bordered fields that they watered, along with associated field houses and living areas. The oldest deposits were found nearly 3 meters below the modern ground surface, buried along with their younger counterparts by sediments left by countless floods over the past three millennia. In 2009, Archaeology Magazine chose the Las Capas project as one of the ten most important discoveries world-wide. In 2015, Desert Archaeology was recognized by the Shanghai Archaeology Forum for over a decade of research on the Early Agricultural period that culminated in the Las Capas project.


  • Completion Date: June 2015
  • Location: Marana, Pima County, Arizona
  • Type: Data Recovery
  • Compliance Level: Local
  • Lead Agency: N/A
  • Client: Pima County
  • Report Citations: Anthropological Papers Nos. 50 and 51; Technical Report Nos. 2012-016, 2014-01, 2014-02, 2014-08, 2014-09, 2014-10