Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports, DAP-010: Grass Mesa Locality Overview

Author(s): Patrick Hogan

Year: 1981


The Grass Mesa Locality is a spatial division of the Escalante Sector located within Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado. Intensive archaeological investigations were performed in the locality in 1978 by the Dolores Archaeological Program (D.A.P.) to anticipate projected constuction activities proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Preliminary interpretation of survey and excavation data suggests that the locality has had a long history of human habitation beginning in the Archaic Period (5000 B.C.-A.D. 500). It is proposed that populations representing the Anasazi Tradition (A.D. 500-1300) residing in the Grass Mesa Locality were primarily horticulturalists cultivating the bottomlands along the river; however, because of the diversified habitats available within a short distance, the local populace may have relied to a greater degree on wild resources than was customary. The distribution of Anasazi habitation sites within the locality seems to correspond to a linear pattern, perhaps reflecting the distribution of potential croplands along the river. Grass Mesa Village (Site 5MT0023), the principal habitation in the locality, may have been a control point for foreign groups wishing to exploit highland resources to the north. From preliminary data, it is inferred that prehistoric population levels in the locality probably reached a maximum between A.D. 850-900; perhaps as many as 200 individuals resided at Grass Mesa Village and nearby habitations during the occupational climax. The formulation of more sophisticated interpretations awaits the completion of additional intensive studies.

Cite this Record

Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports, DAP-010: Grass Mesa Locality Overview. Patrick Hogan. Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports. Salt Lake City, Utah: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region. 1981 ( tDAR id: 394729) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8Z03BT2


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: -5000 to 1300

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.603; min lat: 37.465 ; max long: -108.48; max lat: 37.591 ;

Record Identifiers

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 8-07-40-S0562


General Note: As of March 2015, this and additional reports are hosted on the US Bureau of Land Management, Dolores Archaeological Program website;

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