Free “Brown Bag” talk on prehistoric Mount Graham bajada “Hanging Canals”

Sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Coronado National Forest (CNF)

Local author and researcher Don Lancaster will present his and Dr. Jim Neely’s latest updates to a recently discovered spectacular series of prehistoric Mount Graham bajada “Hanging Canals.”

Where: BLM/CNF Safford Office, Lecture Room, 8th Avenue and 14th Street
When: April 4, 2019, 12:00 p.m.

There are now over 100 Canal Study areas dating from CE 1350 that have a combined total length of more than 150 miles and now seem to surround Mount Graham.

Many of these canals were literally “hung” on the sheer edges of remnant bajada mesas (A “bajada” consists of a whole fan shaped mass of water transported material). “Hanging” made their slope largely independent of local terrain and thus represented highly unique and unprecedented Stone Age engineering. This feature meant that the builders could construct across, rather than along the canal route for vastly improved labor efficiency.

The canals seem to have exploited every reasonable drop of Pinaleno and artesian water. At least 250 person-years of labor went into their construction. The hanging canals are likely unknown elsewhere in the American Southwest, although some unrelated historic “Levada” examples dating from the 1400’s are present in the Portuguese Canary Islands.

The talk can be previewed at and a preprint of the latest brand new Journal of Field Archaeology 44-1 paper can be found at One of this paper’s authors can be contacted via (928) 428-4073.

Bring your own lunch and drinks and join us for this fascinating talk!