Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


FALVEY, Lauren W., Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 9845 Corbett St, Las Vegas, NV 89149 and MCLAURIN, Brett T., Department of Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 400 E. 2nd St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815,

The Harris Archaeological Site is a Late Pithouse period (550-1000 CE) Mimbres Mogollon occupation located in the Mimbres Valley of southwest New Mexico. Recent excavations at the Harris Site conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas have recovered a number of fossil specimens from cultural contexts. These include individual fossils as well as pieces of fossiliferous limestone, which were used as a raw material for tool manufacture. Recovery of these items from specific archaeological contexts, combined with the presence of cultural modification and inferences from ethnographic analogy, suggest that fossils held symbolic value for the prehistoric inhabitants of the Harris Site and were purposely collected.

Taxa represented in the fossil collection include brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, and crinoids. Fossil identification combined with previous geologic mapping of the region indicate that the Harris fossils originated from the Percha Shale (Devonian) and the Lake Valley Formation (Mississippian). The Box Member (late Famennian) of the Percha Shale is characterized by interbedded calcareous shales and limestone. This member contains a diverse assemblage of brachiopods and solitary rugose corals. The succession is disconformably overlain by the Lake Valley Formation. The Nunn Member (Tournaisian- Visean) of the Lake Valley Formation is a fossiliferous interval of interbedded shale and limestone. Abundant crinoids are present in this member. Outcrops of these formations are found approximately 4 km west of the Harris Site in the Georgetown region of the Pinos Altos Range.

  • LF BM GSA 2012 Harris Fossil Poster.pdf (2.8 MB)