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Aztec Ruins Hosts Archeologist

Archeologist and speaker Robin Cordero “walks” the audience through the excavations of the site, interpreting the Middle Archaic activity areas and the artifact assemblages.

 


On a prominent ridge overlooking a large, broad drainage and Huerfano Mesa to the south sat the seemingly unremarkable site of LA 172328. It was the summer of 2013 and archeological survey crews from University of New Mexico’s Office of Contract Archeology (OCA), began the arduous excavations, inventories and investigations prior to the project of pipeline construction through the San Juan Basin.

On the surface, there was a scatter of 60 chipped stone artifacts and a single large side-notched point covering this ¾-acre area. However, waiting for discovery a little more than a foot under the surface were the well-preserved remains of a 4,000 year old bison processing site with a substantial Late Archaic component. These bison remains and the associated San Rafael and Sudden Side-Notch points paint a new picture of the terminal Middle Archaic in the San Juan Basin, and present a new set of questions for future research into this under-studied period of human history.

Archeologist and speaker Robin Cordero “walks” the audience through the excavations of the site, interpreting the Middle Archaic activity areas and the artifact assemblages. The research was compiled and published by Cordero and Christian Solfisburg, OCA, a division of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology within UNM. The lecture covers larger topics that include new dates on both Sudden Side-Notch and San Rafael projectile points, interpretations and implications for the presence of bison during this time, and the notion that the appearance of these large side-notched points may reflect a movement of bison hunters from the north into the San Juan Basin.

Robin M. Cordero began his career in Cultural Resource Management with his first project in 1997. Since then, he has participated in excavation, survey, analysis, and reporting throughout northern California, New Mexico, west Texas, and southern Colorado.  Mr. Cordero arrived at the Office of Contract Archeology as a Senior Archeologist in 2006 where he currently serves as the Archeology Projects Administrator/co-Principal Investigator and as the resident bioarchaeologist/zooarchaeologist. Cordero is working as a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

The talk takes place on Friday, June 2, at 7:00 pm in Aztec Ruins Visitor Center and admission is free. For more information, call 505.334.6174, visit the Schedule of Events on the webpage nps.gov/azru, or follow the park on the Aztec Ruins Facebook page.

 

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