The Boot Hill Site (LA 32229): An Oasis in the Desert, Eddy County, New Mexico


This document reports on the investigations of TRC Environmental, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico, under contract with the Bureau of Land Management, Carlsbad Field Office. TRC carried out the required archaeological and geomorphologic investigations at LA 32229, Eddy County, New Mexico. Under the Bureau of Land Management’s Permian Basin Mitigation Program, TRC carried out Task Order 4 with the goal of providing a more comprehensive interpretative assessment of prehistoric use at LA 32229. Note, as used in this report, LA 32229 refers to the current project area, the original Boot Hill site (now known as Locus 3), not the expanded site.

This project fulfilled the responsibilities mandated under the Scope-of-Work issued on February 23, 2010 and awarded April 26, 2010. As a result, cultural materials were documented, and significant archaeological data were recovered. Task Order 4 was carried out in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 36 CFR 800, and other relevant laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines. The fieldwork was performed under ARPA Permit No. 45-8152-10-31 from June 15 through July 20, 2010 and the BLM provided funding for the project.

The testing at LA 32229 consisted of a phased strategy that included site survey and documentation, geophysical survey, geoarchaeological testing, and test excavations. The fieldwork commenced on June 15, 2010 and ended on July 20 2010, with the results of each phase contributing to the subsequent one.

Phase I was a geophysical survey that employed ground penetrating radar (GPR) and magnetometer (fluxgate gradiometer). Because of vegetation cover and topography, 18 grids were surveyed. The grids were georeferenced to the TRC site datum. Geoarchaeological testing and evaluation followed the geophysical survey. Manual test excavations were conducted concurrently with the geoarchaeological testing with constant collaboration between the two groups. The final phase was detail mapping of surface features and a 10 percent sample of surface artifacts. Nine discernible features were mapped within the project boundary.

Subsurface testing included the hand excavation of three trenches. Trench 1, placed over an anomaly found during the geophysical survey, consisted of 19 contiguous 1 x 1-m units west of the road. Trench 2, placed in the location of the Lea County Archaeological Society excavations, consisted of seven contiguous 1 x 1-m units west of the road. Trench 3, placed over a subsurface geophysical anomaly, consisted of five contiguous 1 x 1-m units east of the road. The combined level of effort was 31 m2. The cultural assemblage recovered during testing consisted of 6,508 artifacts of which 367 were sherds, 4,432 were debitage, 35 were ground stone fragments, 20 were cores, 11 were bifaces, 17 were projectile points, 6 were hammerstones, and 1,620 were faunal remains.

The final phase of the project consisted of artifact analysis. Analyses include macrofloral and pollen samples; starch residue; FTIR residue; eight AMS dates; diatom analysis; and rhyolite XRF sourcing. Of the feature-related radiocarbon samples submitted, Feature 3 yielded a conventional age of 1440±25 B.P.

Combined with the diagnostic artifacts, seven of the corrected AMS dates suggest a continuous use of the Boot Hill site from the Formative 1 through Formative 6 periods (A.D. 575 through 1250).

Cite this Record

The Boot Hill Site (LA 32229): An Oasis in the Desert, Eddy County, New Mexico. Kenneth Brown, Marie E. Brown, Benjamin G. Bury, Peter C. Condon, Richard Doucett, Charles D. Frederick, Martha Graham, Brittney Gregory, Willi Hermann, Richard G. Holloway, Melissa K. Logan, Shawn M. Patch, Linda Perry, M. Steven Schackley, Phillip Shelley, Adriana Romero, Barbara M. Winsborough, Marie E. Brown. 2011 ( tDAR id: 378477) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8N017B2

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.208; min lat: 32.445 ; max long: -103.332; max lat: 32.972 ;

Record Identifiers

BLM Permit No.(s): 45-2920-09-TT

TRC Report No. (s): 174675-C-01

BLM Report No.(s): 11-NM-523-0176

Permian Basin Mitigation Program Task Order(s): 04

Cultural Resource Permit No. (s): 45-8152-10-31


Redaction Note: Access to redacted/confidential information can be granted by contacting: Bureau of Land Management, Carlsbad Field Office 620 E. Greene St. Carlsbad, NM 88220 (575) 234-5972

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
boot-hill-complete-report---confidential.pdf 36.14mb Feb 4, 2013 3:09:07 PM Confidential
boot-hill-redacted-report_Redacted_Final.pdf 30.25mb Jun 19, 2015 2:59:26 PM Public

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Contact(s): Martin Stein