Water Management on the Mesa: The Horseshoe Ridge Reservoir Community and the Occupation of Park Mesa, Colorado
Water management is a critical concern in the arid landscape of southwest Colorado, particularly for farmers. As such, significant developments in water supply systems — like the construction of reservoirs — reflect the social, political, and economic climates in a community. Three reservoirs are located on Park Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park. These were originally documented during surveys in the 1970s and revisited after the Chapin 5 fire in 1996, but none have been analyzed beyond basic description. In July 2017, two of the largest villages on Park Mesa were re-mapped as a part of the Community Center Reassessment Project, including one apparently centered around the Horseshoe Ridge Reservoir (HRR; 5MV03629). We examine the social and ecological contexts of the HRR community to understand more fully the development and organization of occupation on Park Mesa. We calculate least cost paths and viewsheds in order to help define the extent of the Horseshoe Ridge community and situate it within the broader social landscape. We also evaluate ecological setting, including potential sediment and surface hydrology, to assess the agricultural potential provided by this supposed water catchment feature. We compare the HRR community to other reservoir communities on the Mesa Verde cuesta.
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Water Management on the Mesa: The Horseshoe Ridge Reservoir Community and the Occupation of Park Mesa, Colorado. Katherine Portman, Donna Glowacki, Kyle Bocinsky. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444930)
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min long: -123.97; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -101.997; max lat: 46.134 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21250