Shí Kéyaa: The Western Apache Homeland and Archaeology of the Mogollon Rim (TR2007-3) (PDF)
Western Apache history, as it relates to the State Route 260 (SR 260) Payson-to-Heber project implemented by Desert Archaeology, Inc., is summarized in this report. This project was conducted to mitigate the impact of highway realignment and improvement on cultural resources along a 74-km-(46-mile-) long stretch of right-of-way between Payson and Heber (Milepost 256 to Milepost 302) (Herr 1999).
Ethnohistoric research included preliminary fieldwork in 2000 (Ferguson and Anyon 2000), followed by more intensive work to identify Western Apache cultural sites and historic places in and near the right-of-way. Fieldwork involved consultants from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Yavapai-Apache Nation.
To complement the 2000 fieldwork, KenCairn conducted a literature review of Western Apache history and culture, as well as a series of interviews with consultants from the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Individuals were chosen for their specific knowledge of the study area. Three goals guided the research with
Apache cultural advisors: (1) documentation of the Apache cultural landscapes in and around the project area; (2) explanation of how the project area is part of the Western Apache homelands; and (3) inspection of archaeological sites, maps, and artifacts by Western Apache cultural advisors to determine how they are related to Apache use of the study area.
Data recovery at three archaeological sites exhibited recognizable Apache or Yavapai remains. These include a possible ramada at the McGoonie site, AZ O:12:25/AR-03-12-04-743 (ASM/TNF); an Apache occupation component at the Plymouth Landing site, AZ O:12:89/AR-03-12-04-1411 (ASM/ TNF); and a roasting pit at the Ponderosa Campground site, AZ O:12:19/AR-03-12-04-1159 (ASM/TNF). Ethnographic fieldwork also revealed important Apache cultural and historical sites, including an Apache camp near Milepost 259, an Apache trail up See Canyon near Christopher Creek, an Apache camp at Indian Garden/Kohl’s Ranch, and an Apache ceremonial ground near the present intersection of SR 260 and Forest Service (FS) 512, the road to Young, Arizona. In this study, ethnohistoric interpretations are blended with archaeological investigations to better understand the nature of Apache archaeology.