The Romo Cache

A black and white photo of the Romo cache of shell and stone beads, copper bells spilling out of a ceramic jar. A ceramic bowl, which served as the lid to the jar is nearby.
The Romo Cache. Douglas Lindsay, photographer, 1963. (ASM 9104)

In November 1949, Mr. Ray Romo chanced upon an unusual archaeological specimen on the west side of the Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona. This specimen consisted of a red-on-brown earthenware jar with a cover bowl of similar type. The jar contained approximately 100,000 beads of stone and between 25 and 30 small, spheroidal copper bells, each equipped with a ring eyelet for suspension. 

The discovery was made on top of an isolated hill located about three miles north of Romero Canyon and just within the Coronado National Forest boundary (now within Catalina State Park). The Arizona State Museum was advised by Mrs. Eva Aguirre of this discovery in the fall of 1953...

READ MORE ABOUT THE ROMO CACHE

The circumstances and contents of the Romo Cache were published in detail in this 1959 article:
A Thirteenth Century “Strongbox”, by Emil Haury and Carol Gifford (Kiva, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Apr., 1959), pp. 1-11).
https://www.jstor.org/stable/i30247490

The cache is referenced in the Winter 2013 issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine, pages 15-16.

Find more information about, and even visit, the general area of the Romo Cache encounter, at Catalina State Park: https://azstateparks.com/catalina/

 

Rincon Red-on-brown jar and bowl lid from the Romo Cache, c. 1100-1150 CE
Rincon Red-on-brown jar and bowl lid. Terra cotta, mineral paint. Hohokam, Tucson Province. C. 1100 – 1150 CE. Romo Site, Catalina Mountains, Coronado National Forest, Pima Co., AZ. Romo Transfer, 1953. H: 20.5 cm (jar). Michelle Dillon, photographer. (A-9071, A-9072)

READ ABOUT THREE ADDITIONAL CACHES FROM THE GREATER TUCSON AREA

A Cache at Huerfano Butte (also called the Bahti Cache), by Mark Bahti (Kiva , Vol. 36, No. 2 (Winter, 1970), pp. 17-22 
http://www.jstor.com/stable/30247132

Two Prehistoric Shell Caches from Southern Arizona (Flowing Wells Road and Flieger Ruin Caches), by Michael B. Stanislawski (Kiva , Vol. 27, No. 2 (Dec., 1961), pp. 22-27 
http://www.jstor.com/stable/30247523

Sample of stone and shell disk beads from the Romo Cache, C. 1100-1150 CE
Sample of stone and shell disk beads. Argillite (also called pipestone and claystone), steatite (also called soapstone), turquoise. Hohokam, Tucson Province. C. 1100 – 1150 CE. Romo Site, Catalina Mountains, Coronado National Forest, Pima Co., AZ. Romo Transfer, 1953. Bead diameter: 0.3-0.4 cm. Michelle Dillon, photographer. (A-9075)
Sample of copper bells from the Romo Cache. C. 1100-1150 CE
Sample of copper bells. Hohokam, Tucson Province. Romo Site, Catalina Mountains, Coronado National Forest, Pima Co., AZ. C. 1100 – 1150 CE. Native copper. Romo Transfer, 1949. Michelle Dillon, photographer. (A-9073)