Systematic Survey – Week 2

Friday, Jun 09, 2017

Beginning the day, we were disheartened to find out that the site from last week’s survey had been previously documented. However, our efforts did not go wasted because we were able to add to the boundaries of this reported site.

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Partial image of the flagged surface artifacts.

Getting into today’s fun, we began right where we left off from the previous week and walked the line with 15 individuals – a very large group for a single, phase 3 systematic survey but essential in the learning process for this field experience. Our first transect did not fare well, but our second did not let us down. It is here that we observed a very high artifact scatter that included: several types of flakes, cores, and 2 possible bifaces. For pottery sherds, we recognized: Mancos and Mesa Verde corrugated, unidentified decorated red ware, undecorated white ware and grey ware, and identified Piedra, Cortez, and Mancos black-on-white. Lastly, we found 2 manos (1 possibly multi-functional) and plenty of sandstone indicative of a structure.

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Assortment of artifacts found.

One of our main tasks was to map the six features. We mapped a room block, 2 pit structures resembling kivas, a small depression to the north of the room block with charcoal staining, a large midden to the south of the room block, and a feature to the east of the room block that was discovered from charcoal and adobe coming out of a prairie dog hole.

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The mapping team consisted of Chris, Matt B, Dan, and Monyssha led by Jon.
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Plan map sketch.

So, why does this matter and what did we learn from this surface survey? Well, this is a Pueblo II site from AD 900-1150. It is located on a ridge next to another site from the Great Pueblo Period of the McElmo drainage thematic district. While the site is disturbed from historical farming, there may be undisturbed kivas and room blocks yet to be found and awaiting further investigation. With more interpretive work, we can learn much about the day-in day-out lifestyle, practices within and throughout the community, and how this community interacted with others.

  • David W. McBride

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Author: Crow Canyon College Field School

Mission The mission of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is to advance and share knowledge of the human experience through archaeological research, education programs, and partnerships with American Indians.

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