Taseko's Florence Copper Preserves Hohokam Cultural Resources
August 22, 2022
Taseko is committed to the preservation and conservation of cultural, heritage and
archaeological resources at all its operating sites. This includes cultural resources
associated with the Native peoples who inhabited the region surrounding the
Florence Copper Project site in Arizona.
The lands surrounding the Town of Florence once supported an ancient
agricultural society known today as the Hohokam (Huhugam), who flourished
in central Arizona from approximately 450 to 1450 CE. Archaeological sites
associated with the Hohokam cultural tradition can be found throughout the
region, including on the Florence Copper Project site at sites known collectively to
archaeologists as the ‘Escalante Ruin Group,’ as well as at the nearby Casa Grande
Ruins National Monument in Coolidge.
In 2021, Florence Copper completed a land exchange with a neighboring property
owner for the purpose of acquiring and protecting lands which encompass
important cultural features related to the Escalante Ruin. Archaeologists have
confirmed that the 45-acre parcel secured in exchange for 82 acres of former
Florence Copper lands includes a village that once hosted Hohokam ceremonial
activities such as feasting, social events and trading.
In addition, there is evidence that the site includes the remains of what
archaeologists call a ‘ballcourt,’ where a Hohokam ball game was played roughly
1,000 years ago. These basin-shaped structures, with earthen embankments, were
common in larger Hohokam villages in ancient Arizona. Sporting participants
and spectators would come from surrounding villages to play ball games and
Florence Copper gained a greater appreciation of the value and significance of the
site through consultation with the Gila River Indian Community and completed
the land exchange last year in order to protect and preserve it. Now commonly
referred to as the ‘Poston Butte Ballcourt Site,’ the property will be secured with
fencing and other measures to protect it from disturbance. The Gila River Indian
Community and Florence Copper are working together to plan and implement the
protection measures for the ballcourt.
The land that Florence Copper provided in exchange for the ballcourt will be used
for farming by a local family who are lifelong farmers in Pinal County.
“We’re proud that we’ve been able to secure this important
site and to protect its unique archaeological characteristics.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration and
strengthening our relationship with the Native American
tribes that ascribe great cultural significance to these
General Manager of Florence Copper
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