Project Updates

MOVING DAY, MAY 11, 2016

The PODS shipping container was deposited at the loading dock of the Hibben Center of the Maxwell Museum at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque early in the morning of Wednesday, May 11th. There to receive its contents were Karl Laumbach and his son, Kris, who had done the lion’s share of curating the Cañada Alamosa Project’s extensive artifact collections at Human Systems Research in Las Cruces  including transfering the cardboard boxes to the container for shipment and then storage at their new, permanent location.

   The tally came to 338 boxes. Each box bears a label identifying its contents and specifying the year, site, unit, and level of excavation. Some were light—pottery sherds, bone fragments, charred wood; some were heavy—manos, small matates, and bags of sifted dirt. All had to be transported on wheeled storage shelves from the shipping dock to the storage area one story below.

   David Phillips, curator and interim director of the Maxwell, was there for guidance. A member of his curatorial staff and one of his graduate students helped with the heavy lifting and placement in the collections storage area. Denny O’Toole, a project principal, arrived mid-morning to help with the off-loading.

Kris, Denny, Karl and Dave

   The boxes containing the Cañada Alamosa Project’s artifacts now take up two large tracked mobile storage units, each with two sides of four- shelves-high storage space, having a total capacity of 422 linear feet, or more than the length of a football field of artifacts. The CAP collections are now in good hands. They are secure, protected, and easily accessible for future researchers.



   A virtual version of the exhibition “The Cañada Alamosa Project: 4000 Years of Agricultural History” is now available on the project website. Starting at the upper left of the home page, go to Our Site, scroll down to Exhibition, click on it and you are ready to navigate and interact with the exhibition on your own.

   The exhibition was on display at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum from April 2013 to May 2014. Photographs of the entire exhibition were taken by John Fitch and other Cañada Alamosa Project principals. These images, plus the pdf files of the exhibition text and videos taken during the project, became the raw material from which the virtual exhibition was constructed.     

Intro 1

   Another veteran of the project, Marc Bacon, designed and built the virtual exhibition and installed it on the website. Marc can be contacted at Marc Bacon Design,


   On Thursday, April 4th, 2013, the exhibition “The Cañada Alamosa Project: 4000 Years of Agricultural History” was opened at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. The exhibition will remain on display until April
, 2014.
   Curated by Toni Laumbach, with the help of Karl Laumbach, John Fitch, and others, the exhibition is the first public showing of the artifacts, research methodologies, and hypotheses and conclusions of the thirteen-year-long archaeology and oral history project.

   From 1999 to 2011, under the leadership of archaeologist Karl. W. Laumbach of Human Systems Research, Las Cruces, excavations were conducted at four major pithouse and pueblo sites at Monticello Box Ranch in upper Monticello Canyon. Human occupation of these sites, it was learned, spans from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries A.D. In addition, over 40 other sites in the canyon, prehistoric and historic, were surveyed, recorded, and added to a data base of previously recorded sites in the Alamosa Creek watershed. Field crews were provided by Earthwatch Institute, Maynard, Massachusetts, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, and local volunteers.

   The nineteenth and twentieth century history of the canyon and its people has been documented through oral history interviews with the descendants of the canyon’s Native American (Warm Springs Apache) and European American (Hispanic, Anglo, and others) settlers and immigrants. Excerpts from a few of the twenty interviews are included in a special section of the show.

   Among the objects displayed are 4000 years old pots and potsherds, an array of projectile points, and domestic stone and bone tools. Ancient corn and corn cobs (the oldest of which is 4000 years old) will be showcased.

   The exhibition utilizes maps and photographs to sketch the geographical and geological contexts of the project. The contrasting architecture and site plans of the four excavated sites are shown through photographs and field drawings. The process of archaeological excavation are brought to life through photographs and a video.

  Such state of the art analytical methods as neutron activation analysis, archaeo-magnetic dating, and x-ray florescence are presented to show how buckets full of dug-up dirt can be made to yield valuable information about the people who occupied these sites centuries ago, about their traditions, their way of life, their interactions with other people outside and inside the canyon, and about the timing and likely causes of their migrations.

Montecello Box Ranch

Earthwatcher Gin Phillips

 Publishes Second Novel,
“Come In and Cover Me”, with Riverhead Books (2012)

   In early June of 2008, a team of seven Earthwatch volunteers came to Monticello Box Ranch to help with ongoing excavations at the Victorio site. In their number was a young, thirty-something freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama, named Ginny Phillips. As we came to learn, Gin (as she liked to be called) had recently published her first novel, one titled The Well and the Mine, and was mulling over a second fiction that would be set in the Southwest and use archaeology as its story’s framework.

   Gin had an unassuming, it’s-no-big-deal attitude about her rising literary career; we on staff, as I recall, tried not to act too impressed. After all, Earthwatchers regularly impressed us with their range of interests and abilities.

   She took lots of notes and asked lots of questions, while doing the same work and following the same routines as everyone else: digging, scrapping, screening, and sorting artifacts in the hot sun; drawing plan views and profiles of her team’s feature; cleaning, sorting, identifying, and cataloging the day’s finds back in the shade of the bunkhouse’s screened-in porch after lunch.

   The stream-fed, high desert setting itself; the archaeologist’s tool kit and the often arbitrary, always exacting ways they do their work; the personality traits and personal quirks of those she worked and played with during the ten-day session—Gin Phillips took in all this, did considerable additional research on her own afterwards, and, through the alchemy of her novelist’s artistry, fashioned a story of loss, love, and ghostly encounters that is Come In and Cover Me.

   The story begins with a phone call. Ren Taylor, a thirty-seven year old woman, single, an archaeologist employed by a New Mexico museum, picks up the phone and hears fellow archaeologist Silas Cooper tell her that he and his small crew have “found some pottery she might recognize” at a Mimbres site they are excavating in Cañada Rosa. Cooper, whom Ren has never met, knows to call her because he has found pieces of a Mimbres bowl bearing the image of a parrot similar to images on some Mimbres bowls Ren unearthed at a site called Crow Creek a few years previously.

   Ren is out the door, packs her gear and is into her truck in a heartbeat. What propels her is the possibility that the same artist, the same woman who made the bowls in her famous Crow Creek discovery—she’s adamant that the same hand fashioned all three bowls uncovered there—may also have come to live and work at Silas Cooper’s Delgado site.

   Getting to the Delgado (Victorio) site in Cañada Rosa (Alamosa) isn’t easy, Ren finds. The asphalt ends in the village of Montpelier (Monticello). From there, the dirt road is rough, the cottonwood-lined canyon narrows, the shallow creek “snaked back and forth across the road—she lost count of how often she’d crossed it.” Finally, where the canyon widens, she arrives at Montpelier Box Ranch and at the bunkhouse where she’ll be staying with Silas and his two-man crew.

   The bunkhouse and the Delgado site are the setting for the drama that unfolds. Ren’s scrutiny of the pottery sherds Cooper has found convinces her that “her artist” was indeed at the Delgado site in the past, and she throws her considerable energy into an expanded excavation of the site. But where to dig, precisely?

   Ren arrives at an answer to this routine question in an unnatural way. She encounters ghosts from the deep past, several of them. One day it is children at play along the creek, then there is an evening encounter with a young woman she comes to recognize is her long-dead artist. Most powerfully, she glimpses an older woman, her apron adorned by parrot feathers, who leads Ren to an area on Delgado that reveals, once it is opened up by the archaeologists, more evidence of the way people lived on the site in the 1100s and of the presence of Ren’s pot maker and the woman she thinks of as the parrot lady.

   The personal relationship between Ren and Silas develops amidst the fever of the ramped-up digging and its discoveries at Delgado. Its physical dimension blossoms early. But the professional relationship is tense. Silas is skeptical when he learns from Ren of her ghosts. And it becomes clear as the narrative drives on that Ren is holding back important things about her childhood and family from Silas, which stymies the growing intimacy and professional collaboration between the two.

   Phillips brings the story to crisis and resolution in a convincing way. She does this, in part, by making the different mind sets of the two archaeologists the arena in which their human relationship is tested and forged.

   Silas thinks in terms of “masses of people, uncountable, crossing broad swaths of land and mountain.” He wants to analyze the data, all the data, then work and work the pieces until they fill into a larger picture. Which he knows will never be complete or true.

   Ren wants to use the data, especially what she can hold in her hands, to see through them to individual people, actual human beings, who used and handled and threw away these things so she can “make one woman’s story real—to flesh out the life of someone dead for centuries.” That there is only one true version of each of these human stories is something she’s certain of.

   Come In and Cover Me gripped me from start to finish. Partly this stemmed from my interest in watching Phillips take a setting and activity I’m familiar with and transmute them into a novel with broad human appeal. But the book has much more to offer than this. Her characters are three dimensional and engaging. The dialog and descriptions of place and the archaeological process ring true. Most importantly, the fraught relationship between the bluff social scientist and ghost-haunted visionary is drawn with a sure hand and resolves itself in ways that prompt sympathy, self-reflection, and affirmation.

   Denny O’Toole, April 24, 2012

   The Cañada Alamosa Project’s last full scale excavation took place at the Montoya Site from June 9 to June 18, 2011. The Montoya Site was most recently explored in 2004, following initial testing in 1999 and digging in 2001. The 1999 testing was done by a team of students from Eastern New Mexico University; the 2001 and 2004 digs were undertaken by crews from Earthwatch Institute under the direction of project archaeologist Karl Laumbach.
   After completing excavations at the Victorio Site in 2010, Karl wanted to return to Montoya one last time to attempt to answer lingering questions about the site’s depth and breadth, as well as to confirm or modify our understanding of the sequence of occupation of what has been considered a predominantly Classic Mimbres ruin (A.D. 1000 to 1130).
   The team assembled was comprised of veterans of previous digs, several with more than five years’ experience on site, and crew chiefs who have been field leaders from the beginning or nearly so. Diggers at Montoya were Marc Bacon, Rich Ferlazzo, Terry Finkelstein, Bob Finkelstein, Brian Halstead, Scott Mackenzie, Brent Reed, and, for portions of the dig, Trudy and Denny O’Toole’s good friends Kitty Porterfield and Helen Pettit. Crew chiefs were Delton Estes, Dean Hood, and John Schue. John Fitch was, as usual, project photographer and go-to man; Karl Laumbach kept us all pointed in the most productive directions. 

   Two teams were designated to excavate two room features, Feature 4 and Feature 13. Feature 4 had seen work in 2001 and 2004 and walls and floors were already partially defined. Dean Hood’s crew completed exposing the walls and floors and drawing and profiling the large room at F4 over the course of the dig.

Feature 13 had not been previously excavated but rock alignments visible on the surface suggested walls below. Delton Estes headed the crew at F13. Before the digging was over, the team had exposed the walls of a medium sized room, found portions of a floor, and duly recorded it all. This feature lies just 30 feet or so southwest of F4. Additional wall fragments suggest a complex of four or more rooms in this area.

  The youth corps of Marc Bacon and Brian Halstead opened new features, F12 and F14, to test soil composition, artifact density, and depth. Both locations lie up slope (west) of the large room that is F4. The two found some artifacts, considerable depth, but no walls or floors at these features. At another new feature, Feature 15, which lies farthest up slope of all the Montoya Site features, John Schue and Denny O’Toole found deep (nearly two meters) alluvial fill with a few artifacts and some large, unaligned rocks, but no intact walls or floors. Curiously, two corn cobs were found at a depth of 1.7 meters at the point where alluvial fill comes into contact with the surface of the old terrace.   

   Two additional features were opened and investigated in the last days of the excavation. Early on, Karl spotted tell-tale stains in the arroyo embankment north of Feature 4. Labeled Feature 17, a team under John Schue’s oversight sampled and partially exposed a subsurface structure or pit.

  No ceramics were found  although a single one-hand mano was found on the well plastered floor. This extended our conceptual map of the site northward and provided evidence of the extent of arroyo cutting into the site
  On  the flat area at the foot of the slope south of F4, new Feature 16 was opened to explore the anomalies that had been found through electro-magnetic testing in 2000.    Some artifacts but no walls or floors were found in the hard-packed, dark soil of this feature.
   CAP principal and geologist Ginger McLemore was on hand for three days in themiddle of the session.   Her availability was fortunate, as she was able to help Karl sharpen hypotheses about the natural history of the site: its evolution over time, the sources of its soils, and their relationships to the human occupations of the site.  Profiles were drawn and photographed and soil samples taken for analysis.  
Another important project specialist, Gary Hein, volunteer at the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, took archaeomagnetic samples from hearths in Montoya’s Feature 4 and across the canyon at the Kelly Canyon Site.
   All the artifacts that were unearthed, cleaned, bagged and boxed during the session were taken to Las Cruces, where they will be further analyzed, sorted, entered into the project’s electronic data base, and properly stored by project volunteers and staff. The samples taken by McLemore and Hein are being analyzed in labs in Santa Fe and Socorro. Considerably more will be known about the Montoya Site when those tests are completed.
   Preliminary results do indicate that the site was considerably larger to the north and up slope to the west than it had been thought to be. The artifacts found gave further support a Classic Mimbres period occupation. A future generation of archaeologists, however, will have to do additional digging to confirm these hypotheses.
  Also, more was learned about the history and sequence of the buildup of soils at the site. Curtis Monger, soil scientist from New Mexico State University, is particularly excited about the soils recovered from the profile of Feature 15, as they could provide additional information on climate change that affected the Mimbres and post-Mimbres occupations of the canyon.
   With the completion of excavations, the project’s principals are now focused on the completion of all lab work and analyses, the writing and editing of the field
reports from 2008-2011, the ongoing updating of all data bases, and the curation of the collections in preparation for their eventual deposit at the University of New Mexico’s Hibben Center in Albuquerque. 

   An interpretive exhibition of CAP’s findings is scheduled for spring of 2013 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. Toni Laumbach is curating the exhibition.

   The oral history project of CAP is nearing completion, with one more season of interviews to occur fall/winter 2011-2012. The transcriptions, with selected photographs and copied documents, will be available for researchers at four different New Mexico repositories in 2013.

   Two publications, one technical and the other for a more general audience, are the planned capstone to the project. Karl Laumbach will be the principal author of these multi-author books tentatively scheduled for 2015. 


Field Teams Draw, Map, Record, and Reveal
More Canyon History, January-April, 2011

   Curtis Monger, professor in the department of plant and environmental sciences at New Mexico State University, returned in January, 2011, to continue his investigation of the geologic processes that, over time, shaped the arroyos and terraces on the east side of Alamosa Creek below and downstream from the Victorio Site. He was joined by project archaeologist Karl Laumbach, principal John Fitch, and NMSU graduate student and Humans Systems Research intern Brian Halstead.   

Curtis completed his probing of the walls and flats of the Victorio arroyo that he and others had begun in November, taking additional samples of organic materials and cultural artifacts that might produce dates.  He then shifted his attention to the eastside stream banks.

  Randy Furr, piloting the backhoe, shaved away a section of wall surface down to the creek bed. There, in a stretch of river bank about ten feet above the river bottom and six feet below the top, the team found two separate ancient surfaces marked by organic lenses that yielded charred wood, part of a metate and other evidence of human occupation. 

  Some of the larger questions Dr. Monger is seeking to answer are: How old are these alluvial fans? Do they contain a record a climate change in the past? and Are these soil changes associated with human habitation? Monger and his NMSU colleagues will extract carbon isotopes from the soil that will provide a record of changing vegetation patterns over the last 3000 years.
      In March, Monger and Laumbach reported that the two living surfaces date to 770 -440 B.C. The metate and other artifacts were found in the upper layer. This is the first tangible evidence of human occupation of upper Cañada Alamosa during the Archaic Period that project researchers have found. Even more interesting, one of the charcoal samples was corn, making it the earliest corn discovered since the project’s inception.
   These are preliminary findings. There are more findings to come, particularly those pertaining to the interrelationship between climate-change related events and human activity in shaping and reshaping Cañada Alamosa, the environmentally and culturally dynamic setting for CAP’s research.

   During two site visits, one in March and the other in April, a varied team of project specialists completed measuring and drawing the principal features at the Victorio Site. Delton Estes and Dean Hood were the precision artists. Assisted by Karl, John Fitch, Brent Reed, and Brian Halstead, the crew also pinned and flagged more than 400 features, units, and artifacts on the Victorio Site’s broad expanse for future digital mapping. More than 40 flags were placed on the Kelly Canyon Site for the same purpose.

   Then, in early April, archaeological surveyor Scott Andrae, with his wife, archaeologist Dabney Ford, deployed a GPS linked surveying device to “shoot in” the data points at Victorio and Kelly. The resulting two maps will be added to one already done for the Pinnacle Ruin, providing exact surface data points for all the discoveries that have been made at the three sites. The Montoya Site will be similarly mapped in June, 2011, completing the suite of four maps of CAP’s excavated sites.

   Gary Hein, volunteer for the Museum of New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies in Santa Fe, took advantage of the work going on at Victorio in March to capture archaeomagnetic samples from the hearths of three features at the Victorio Site, the final ones to be obtained there. Brian Halstead assisted. Dates gathered through archaeomagnetic analysis have proven to be the most exact generated of all the dating methods employed by project archaeologists. It will be some time before the lab analyses of these recent samples will be available.



   Hein, wearing another hat, returned in mid-April with a team of rock art recorders to inventory, describe, and record rock art on the Monticello Box Ranch. His team of highly experienced rock art recorders consisted of Carol Chamberland of Albuquerque, Paul Anderson of Santa Fe, LeRoy Unglaub of Las Cruces, and Jerry Eagan of Silver City. John Schue, veteran project crew chief from Truth or Consequences, was also able to be present for part of the week of rock-art recording. Over a six-day period, the team identified, drew, measured, and photographed eighty-four panels of pictographs at six different locations on the ranch.

   The D-Stretch application on one of the cameras proved to be a potent diagnostic tool for rock paintings that were often faded and worn. D-Stretch images bring out elements not visible to the human eye or to a standard camera.

   The analysis of the recorded rock art has just begun. But preliminary analyses are intriguing. Most (but not all) of the pictographs appear not to be Apache (the initial hypothesis) but from a tradition known as Mogollon Red, which corresponds (500-1200 A.D.) with the pit house and pueblo occupations of the upper canyon.

   The rock art recorders were joined by Karl, John, and Brian during the first part of the week. Their mission was to ascend Montoya Butte and survey and draw cultural features atop and on the slopes at the base of the knob. They found and recorded strong evidence of a pit house period habitation (400-600 A.D.) of the site. Stone redoubts, possibly Apachean, were also noted.


Arroyo Profiling, Trenching, and Backfilling
At Victorio, 11/3/2010 to 11/8/2010

     A team of veteran crew chiefs and volunteers, under the leadership of project archaeologist Karl Laumbach, gathered at the Monticello Box Ranch in early November, 2010, to finish work at the Victorio Site. CAP principals Steve Lekson and Ginger McLemore were also on hand to help with the work.

  The five-day field session w
as highly productive. The experience and dedication of the crew (Delton Estes, John Fitch, Dean Hood, Scott Mackenzie, Denny O’Toole, John Schue), together with Randy Furr’s skillful operation of the backhoe and front end loader, allowed all of the session’s objectives to be met.

  There were three objectives for the field work.
  First was to do a quick investigation of the area often referred to as "the great kiva." Since kivas usually are large and deep, the backhoe wa s used to dig a long east-west trench across the area. After digging down 1.5 meters to just above the previously determined floor level, the shovelers and trowelers took over. 


   They uncovered a well preserved floor with possible post holes, partially plastered curved earthen walls, and dimensions suggesting a subterranean room at least eight meters in diameter.
    A deep, subfloor cavity with a shaped adobe collar and a likely entry ramp-turned-ventilator shaft were also found. The few pieces of pottery found at floor level seem to indicate that the room was occupied between AD 750 and 850, too early, in Steve Lekson’s view, for it to have been used as a true kiva. 
    The new hypothesis: it was a large pithouse used for domestic as well as community purposes by dwellers from the other pithouses nearby. The extensive berm outside the perimeter of the pithouse, if contemporary, supports the hypothesis that this big subterranean room served a somewhat different function than  other pithouses on the site.
    The second objective was to learn more about the nature of the soils and the history of the formation of the terraces upon which the Victorio pueblo was built. Ginger McLemore, project geologist, and Curtis Monger, a soils specialist from New Mexico State University, led the work of surveying and recording the large arroyo that cuts through the Victorio site and the three trenches that were dug on top. They were joined by David Kirkpatrick, archaeologist from Human Systems Research in Las Cruces, David Love, a colleague of Ginger’s at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, and Marcella Catoni, a postdoctoral fellow at NMSU. This work, which will conclude in January, 2011, should yield important information about land use, erosion, and climate change over many centuries in the upper Cañada Alamosa.

   The final objective was to backfill all previously dug but still uncovered features. Having a tractor available to do this job proved a boon to the team. Mission accomplished.
   All artifacts and organic materials collected this session were taken to Human Systems Research in Las Cruces to be cleaned, sorted, cataloged, and analyzed. Just two more CAP features—one at the Montoya Site and one at the Kelly Canyon Site—require further examination, then backfilling. That work will be accomplished by another small team in June of 2011.



  Victorio Wrap Up Dig
6/3/2010 to 6/12/2010

Out front: Ben the ranch dog
First row, left to right: Dennis O’Toole, Trudy O’Toole, Rich Ferlazzo, Judy Brown, Lori Barr, Bob Finkelstein,
John Fitch, Karl Laumbach, Toni Laumbach, John Schue, Ginger McLemore, Spyros Skouras.
Second row: Sue Manternach, Marie Kusmierz, Brent Reed, Dean Hood, Marc Bacon, Roxanne Shelefontiuk,
Scott MacKenzie, Terry Finkelstein, Mary Lou Estes,
Delton Estes, Lena Baker, Randy Furr, Donna Furr, Ron
 From June 3rd to June 12th, 2010, a wrap-up dig was conducted at the project’s Victorio Site. In 1999, CAP’s first year, a team of six students from Eastern New Mexico University first excavated at Victorio, fully unearthing a large room (Feature 1).   

   Subsequently, in 2005, Earthwatch teams revisited the 450-room site for the purpose of conducting a diagnostic surface survey of the entire site. The information gathered in 2005 became the basis for directed, deeper excavations at selected features by Earthwatch crews in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and, the finale, 2010.

 The 2010 team consisted of 12 individuals who had participated in previous digs and indicated they would make the commitment to get themselves to Cañada Alamosa on their own and help us get to the bottom of things at six different features. Two came from Canada (Lori Barr and Roxanne Shelefontiuk), four from California (Terry and Bob Finkelstein, Ron Halter, and Spyros Skouras), and one each from Missouri (Lena Baker), New Hampshire (Judy Brown), Indiana (Rich Ferlazzo), Delaware (Marie Kusmierz), Iowa (Sue Manternach), and Arizona (Brent Reed).
  Crew chiefs were veterans Delton Estes, Dean Hood, and John Schue. Marc Bacon, Mary Lou Estes, Scott Mackenzie, and Denny O’Toole supplemented the dig crews. Trudy O’Toole, with help from Donna Furr and many others, prepared dinners at the Montoya House. Randy Furr provided his customary behind the scenes and in the trenches support. 

Dennis O’Toole, Rich Ferlazzo,
John Schue, Bob Finkelstein.
Feature 9

Sue Manternach,
Lori Barr.
 Features 11 and 38

Roxanne Shelefontiuk,
Spyros Skouras (front),
Terry Finkelstein, Delton Estes, Judy Brown, Mary Lou Estes.
Feature 18


Marie Kusmierz, Brent Reed, Ron Halter, Lena Baker,
Dean Hood.
(Marie and Brent also dug Feature 39.)
Feature 20


 Project archaeologist Karl Laumbach, of Human Systems Research, Las Cruces, led the excavations. Toni Laumbach, of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces, put her mastery of puebloan ceramics to work in the field. John Fitch was photographer at large; project architectural historian Martin Hoffmeister (New Mexico State University, retired) photographed and mapped walls and foundations.
   Steve Lekson, curator and professor of anthropology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder, and a principal of the project from its inception, was able to be on site for a couple of days during the dig. Other guests were two geologists who joined project geologist Ginger McLemore, of the Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, in her investigations of the formation, erosional history, and mineralogical makeup of the terrace upon which the structures of the Victorio Site were constructed. They were Dave Love, principal senior environmental geologist at the NMBGMR, and Curtis Monger, professor of pedology (agronomy) and environmental science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. This threesome’s work promises to fill a gap in our understanding of the geological matrix of the history of human habitation in the upper canyon.
  Equally rewarding was the visit of two National Forest Service staff, archaeologist Chris Adams and manager Shane Shannon, and a small group of summer interns accompanying them. Two days scanning with metal detectors identified over forty Apache-related artifacts dating from the late nineteenth-century. This confirmed what had been previously identified as the location of two wiki-up rings, allowing units to be staked out and dug during the last days of the June dig. These efforts considerably extended the material evidence of an Apache presence on the site.

  Gary Hein, volunteer at the Laboratory of Anthropology of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, came for a multi-day visit. He collected samples from hearths in one of the features. It’s hoped that they will provide an archaeomagnetically derived date for the occupation of this particular room. Archaeomagnetic dating has proven to be one of the most precise ways we have of establishing the period of occupation of project features.
  The information unearthed, recorded, and sorted in the June 2010 dig now resides at the project’s lab in Las Cruces, where they will be cataloged, analyzed, and written up in the months ahead. Those features at Victorio not back filled at the conclusion of the June dig will be filled and protected by a small crew in November, 2010.  amount of field work stil and the analysis, synthesis, interpretation, and public dissemination of the project’s findings lay before the project team in its next phase. But the full-scale excavations of CAP’s four sites came to an end with the Victorio dig of June of 2010.