Phoenix Edison-Eastlake Housing Development Project Uncovers Indigenous Burial Sites

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Monday, August 23, 2021 - 5:45am
Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2021 - 2:08pm

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Edison-Eastlake future development site
Mark Brodie/KJZZ
An empty lot in the Phoenix Edison-Eastlake development area in 2020.

The city of Phoenix has been planning to replace the Edison-Eastlake housing projects east of downtown Phoenix with new, mixed-income housing since 2018.

Now, as construction begins, it was discovered that the original Edison-Eastlake housing projects were built over the heart of one of Phoenix’s largest archaeological sites, occupied centuries ago by the Hohokam people. 

Hear Phoenix New Times Reporter Katya Schwenk Discuss The Development With Host Lauren Gilger On The Show

The archaeological site at Edison-Eastlake lies unmarked, but forms part of a prehistoric village, called “La Ciudad,” that spans hundreds of acres in eastern Phoenix.

The project’s impacts on the archaeological site will be “extensive,” according to a treatment plan obtained by Phoenix New Times

The city estimates that the ongoing construction could unearth more than 700 Hohokam remains.

Despite outcry from O’odham activism groups, the project is continuing as planned. 

Per state and federal law, any remains and artifacts found during excavation will be repatriated to tribal governments.

19th Street and Garfield Street in Phoenix
Mark Brodie/KJZZ
The Edison-Eastlake area is east of downtown Phoenix near Interstate 10.

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