Asaayi Dam Navajo Burial Protection: Cultural Resources Protection of an Historic Navajo Burial at Asaayi Dam, Bowl Lake, New Mexico: Report


The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) Phoenix Area Office is assisting the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Navajo Division, in safety of dam modifications to Asaayi Dam in McKinley County, New Mexico. Located on Bowl Creek along the western edge of the Chuska Mountains, Asaayi Dam was completed in 1964 by the Navajo Nation to provide opportunities for recreation and irrigation. The dam is approximately 25 miles northeast of Window Rock, Arizona, and is scheduled to undergo major construction in the summer of 2007.

The project area is located on the south end of Bowl Lake, overlooking the Asaayi Dam at an elevation of 7,500 ft amsl. Surrounded by rugged uplands covered with juniper, pinyon, and grasslands, the immediate area receives abundant precipitation, which falls as snow in the winter months. Roads, which are unpaved, frequently become impassable. Road conditions were ameliorated at the time of the current fieldwork project by grading, provided by the BIA Safety of Dams office.

A nearby collapsed, forked-stick hogan that marks the location of an historic Navajo burial could have been affected by construction efforts. Reclamation conducted several meetings with representatives of the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department and the lineal descendants of the deceased, whose remains are presumably buried beneath the hogan floor. This resulted in the decision to leave the hogan and burial in place and to develop a means to protect them. At Reclamation’s request, Archaeological Consulting Services (ACS) conducted this burial protection project.

This is the report.

The photos can be found at tDAR ID: 393869.

The photo log can be found at tDAR ID: 393868.

Cite this Record

Asaayi Dam Navajo Burial Protection: Cultural Resources Protection of an Historic Navajo Burial at Asaayi Dam, Bowl Lake, New Mexico: Report. Thomas E. Jones, Ilya Berelov. Tempe, Arizona: Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. 2006 ( tDAR id: 393867) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8QN67R4

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections



Human Remains

Site Type
Isolated Burial

Investigation Types
Site Stabilization

Geographic Keywords
Asaayi Lake Bowl Lake Navajo Reservation New Mexico

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.958; min lat: 35.961 ; max long: -108.912; max lat: 36 ;

Record Identifiers

Bureau of Reclamation Delivery Order No.(s): 06K6320110

ACS Project No.(s): 06-304

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 1425-01-CS-32-0110

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Asaayi_Dam_2006.pdf 8.82mb Oct 1, 2014 9:44:00 AM Confidential

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Contact(s): Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office