Now that my Earthwatch expedition has started, my teammates and
I are students, just like you! Archaeologist Karl Laumbach will
be teaching us about the history of the Monticello Box Ranch by
sharing his knowledge, and we'll also learn from hands-on experience
when we begin to help excavate the site. First we needed to get
some background on the work that has already been done here, and
what archaeologists have learned from it. On Sunday morning, Karl
and Dennis O'Toole took us on a tour of the canyon.
We learned that there are four important archaeological sites
here. They are quite close together, and they span a range in time
from A.D. 600 to 1400. Some of the artifacts and dwellings that
are found here are typical of the prehistoric Mogollon people who
lived in the southern part of New Mexico, while others are more
like those of the Anasazi people who lived farther north. Archaeologists
are interested in learning if groups of Anasazis moved south to
make their homes here, and if they did, were they here at the same
time as the Mogollon people?
As we toured the area, Karl helped us learn how to recognize the stone structures that the people who lived here left behind. One of the special things about this site is that, unlike many of the other sites in the southwest, the ruins in this area have been undisturbed. Today we stood on top of the ruins of rooms that have been untouched since their inhabitants left them more than 700 years ago. So much history right under our feet!
Credits: Courtesy of Shayne Russell