Author(s): Linda Scott Cummings; Thomas E. Moutoux

Year: 1999


Mummy Lake has long been the object of debate concerning its function. This feature has

been interpreted as a prehistoric reservoir and as a dance pavilion. Additional pollen samples have

been examined to address the question of function for Mummy Lake. Samples from the Mummy

Lake Drainage Basin were examined to identify any evidence of agriculture. The 25-acre drainage

basin feeding Mummy Lake might have been farmed, which would have changed its runoff

characteristics, since agricultural surfaces have more runoff than natural vegetated ground

surfaces. Six pollen samples were collected from three locations within the drainage basin to

search for evidence of agriculture. Both maize and squash produce pollen grains large enough to

find during low-power scans of pollen samples. Therefore, after pollen counts were finished, each

slide was scanned in search of evidence of agriculture. Sediments between the retaining walls of

Mummy Lake also were sampled stratigraphically for pollen. If these samples represent cleaning

episodes where sediments that had accumulated in Mummy Lake as a result of its function as a

prehistoric reservoir were removed and deposited between the retaining walls, then small quantities

of maize pollen are expected as part of this record. If Mummy Lake had been used as a dance

pavilion, the pollen record should be more variable, containing large quantities of maize pollen in

some samples and none in others, or no maize pollen in any of the samples, depending on whether

or not maize pollen was used for ceremonial purposes.

Cite this Record

POLLEN ANALYSIS OF MUMMY LAKE AND THE MUMMY LAKE DRAINAGE BASIN, MESA VERDE, COLORADO. Linda Scott Cummings, Thomas E. Moutoux. 1999 ( tDAR id: 378432) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8GM86NX

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