This report is concerned with the excavation of Valshni Village, (Ariz. DD:1:11(ASM)), a surface ruin fourteen miles southwest of Sells, Arizona, in the Sells District of the Papago Indian Reservation (Fig. I and 2). The site is located in the Baboquivari Valley on the adobe flats near the confluence of the Valshni (also known as Vamori Wash) and Fresnal Washes about one-half mile east of the Papago Village of Burro Pond. It is distinguished by five trash mounds rising above the desert level and by many sherd concentrations. The excavation of the site was in progress from November 7, 1939 to April 20, 1940.
Prior to 1938, no archaeological investigation had been carried on in Papagueria other than surveys conducted by Gila Pueblo (Gladwin and Gladwin, 1929) and the Arizona State Museum. During the winter of 1938 - 39 the first excavation in the area was completed at the Jackrabbit Ruin under the field supervision of Frederick H. Scantling. This excavation served to define what was called the Sells Phase (Scantling, 1940). However, this phase was found to occupy a relatively late position in the local archaeological picture, and left unanswered what had occurred in the region prior to that time.
Sherd collections from the surface at Valshni Village indicated that this site had a long occupation prior to that at the Jackrabbit Ruin and would serve to establish a pre-Sells Phase horizon. Work was begun here in March, 1939, when Frederick H. Scantling, directing the Arizona State Museum CCC-ID (Civilian Conservation Corp-Indian Division) project for that year, spent two weeks on the site conducting stratigraphic and general testing in order to determine whether or not it warranted further investigation. At this time stratitests were put through two trash mounds and some architectural evidence was picked up during the general testing. The following winter, the entire season was devoted to the excavation of the site. Two phases were established, both preceding the Sells Phase. The older of these phases has been named the Vamori Phase and the younger the Topawa Phase (named after local Papago Villages), and it is with the diagnostics of these phases that this report is, concerned.