• Source: archaeologysouthwest.org, Traditional Hohokam Sporting Event.
    Source: archaeologysouthwest.org, Traditional Hohokam Sporting Event.
Company Updates

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 exchange goods.

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 important sites.”
Brent Berg
General Manager of Florence Copper

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