2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 18
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


FORTIN, Louis William, Anthropology, Washington State University, 1620 NE Northwood Dr, Apt.#EE202, Pullman, WA 99163 and DUFF, Andrew I., Anthropology, Washington State University, PO Box 644910, College Hall, WSU, Pullman, WA 99164-4910, lfortin@wsu.edu

Cox Ranch Pueblo (LA 13681), New Mexico is a Chacoan great house community consisting of roughly 18 residential roomblocks with associated middens. The site was used extensively throughout the Archaic, and then the Chacoan settlement was established ca. A.D. 1050 – 1130. The site is 2000m above sea level and has a semiarid climate. Modern mean annual precipitation suggests that the area is generally too dry to successfully grow crops without irrigation. Previous archaeological research has shown that the region went through an extensive drought during the mid-A.D. 1100s, which likely played a part in the collapse of this Chacoan community. Upon departure from the area, the sunken room kivas were left unfilled and intentionally burned.

This research was completed to aid in the identification of the depositional processes that affected Cox Ranch Pueblo during post-abandonment, specifically Roomblocks 1 and 4. Off-site natural samples were also collected for reference. Samples collected from these units were put through a suite of pedological analyses (pH, electro-conductivity, % organic, % CaCO, particle size) to determine the differences in natural and cultural strata. Results were then compared with previous geoarchaeological analysis of alluvial processes to identify regional similarities in the deposition sequence.