cultural resource management archaeological consultation

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Laughlin Ranch, Mohave County, Arizona

CLIENT: Laughlin Ranch LLC

The Laughlin Ranch Survey included an inventory of 9400 acres of an 11,000-acre proposed private development near Bullhead City, Arizona. The project area included the northern portion of the Big Bend Quarry, an area from which ground-stone tools, specifically metate preforms, were produced through the reduction of boulders by removing extremely large flakes (macro flakes) to produce a rough form. The survey recorded 155 sites, including approximately 5600 acres of the Big Bend Quarry, in which 1521 ground stone manufacturing loci were documented. The reduction process was documented through the debitage pattern, abandoned hammerstones, and bracing stones used to reposition the preform during the reduction process. Several examples of abandoned metate preforms were found. Other sites include Silver Creek Road, the Beale Wagon Road, the Prescott-Mohave Toll Road, Oatman Road, Silver Creek Telephone Line, a shrine with associated petroglyphs and pottery scatter, other petroglyph sites, and historic artifact scatters.

Responsibilities included the need to redefine site boundaries, using the current Arizona State Museum site definitions to delineate the boundaries of individual sites within the larger quarry boundary. Those efforts resulted in a clearer picture of reduction loci as they were found across the dissected landscape and resulted in patterned behavior being defined. The project was conducted under the Clean Water Act (Section 404), with the Corps of Engineers serving as the lead agency. Comments received from the Arizona SHPO regarding the draft report included, "a pleasure to read...the background research was excellent, as were the site descriptions and discussions." The draft report was accepted without changes. Following the completion of the survey, Four Corners Research prepared an MOA and Data Recovery Plan for the project, which await implementation.

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