ENRD uncovers oldest military training area
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Stanislava “Sasha” Romih, cultural resources archeologist, and Jennifer Laqualia, cultural resources laboratory technician, from the Environmental & Natural Resources Division (ENRD), inventory artifacts found at the Electronic Proving Ground construction site at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. ENRD’s cultural resources archaeologists are sifting through evidence of the oldest military training area found on the installation. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
ENRD uncovers oldest military training area
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Among all the finds, a brass bugle mouthpiece used for military service calls is documented as part of the Electronic Proving Ground recovery site by Environmental & Natural Resource Division cultural resources archeologists at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
ENRD uncovers oldest military training area
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Archeological finds such as cavalry horseshoes and iron shoes for oxen found at the Electronic Proving Ground construction site are documented by Environmental & Natural Resource Division cultural resources archeologists at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
ENRD uncovers oldest military training area
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Martyn Tagg, conservation branch chief and acting cultural resources manager from the Environmental & Natural Resources Division (ENRD), holds an iron bracket assumed to be manufactured in 1912 as part of the handrail from a barrack built at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. ENRD’s cultural resources archaeologists are sifting through evidence of the oldest military training area found on the installation. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
ENRD uncovers oldest military training area
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – With the fieldwork portion of the data recovery complete, a construction crew begins slowly removing layers of dirt at the Electronic Proving Ground construction site to prepare the ground for EPG’s new ground transportation building at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Cultural resources archaeologists from the Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental & Natural Resources Division (ENRD) are sifting through evidence of the installation’s oldest military training area as a new construction project begins.

The construction site will be the new location for the Electronic Proving Ground’s (EPG) ground transportation building.

“Any ground-disturbing projects, which are called undertakings, requires review of the area and research to see if it was investigated by archaeologists, and whether any significant cultural resources were found there,” said Martyn Tagg, conservation branch chief and acting cultural resources manager, ENRD.

The words, cultural resources, encompass a broad array of objects, whole landscapes, sacred sites and properties used by local or indigenous communities, Tagg said.

“Fort Huachuca has an extensive array of cultural sites, ranging from prehistoric villages to historic ranches and military training sites,” said Stanislava “Sasha” Romih, cultural resources archaeologist, ENRD.

“It is hard to step in any direction without impacting a cultural site,” Romih said.

The EPG construction site was surveyed for unexploded ordnance and was recently deemed safe for cultural resources personnel to begin data recovery.

“It was discovered the area was used in the WWII era for landmine training,” Tagg said.

ENRD conducted over 60 sample metal detecting units and 12 test excavations across the site.

“Thousands of artifacts were revealed such as horseshoes, ammunition casings spanning decades, horse gear, boot spurs, lines of wire fencing or entanglements and bivouacking supplies,” Tagg said.

“During consultation, the Environmental and Natural Resources Division notifies parties of the Army’s project,” Romih said.

While all interested parties work to avoid sensitive areas, sometimes requirements of the Army mission mean the site may be negatively impacted or destroyed, Romih said.

The intent here is to protect sites, or salvage as much information as possible if impacted. For every undertaking, Fort Huachuca’s archeologists consult with public and private stakeholders, including the Arizona State Historic Preservation office and 11 Native American tribes who claim cultural affiliation to the area.

Tagg explained, as the data recovery progressed, the cultural resource team found evidence of five ammunition cartridges approximately every five feet which can be interpreted as a firing line.

“This is a tactical training method of cavalry troops in the 1890s to 1900s,” Tagg emphasized.

Jennifer Laqualia, cultural resources laboratory technician, ENRD, pointed out a bugle mouthpiece and its information card displayed on a table at the cultural resources archeology lab here.

“The date on the mouthpiece is May 2, 1883,” Laqualia said. “This is part of an instrument that was once used for military signals.

“It was discovered in the EPG data recovery site in an area used for cavalry training.”

All the data recovered from the site is analyzed and labeled with the date, the exact location the artifact was found, and given a unique category number in case the item needs to be extracted from the collections for further research, Laqualia added.

ENRD manages over 500 archaeological sites and over 140 historic buildings on the roughly 80,000 acres that make up the fort’s training ranges. Many of the installation’s oldest buildings are in the Old Post area at the mouth of Huachuca Canyon and date to the 1880s and 1890s when Fort Huachuca was established.

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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.