The International Boundary of the U.S. and Mexico: Water, Rock, Steel and Concrete

Author(s): Mark L Howe

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Roads, Rivers, Rails and Trails (and more): The Archaeology of Linear Historic Properties" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The International Boundary between the United States and Mexico was first established in the 1850’s by rock monuments, then permanently marked by Steel, Stone and Concrete monuments in the 1890’s and now stand as sentinels along the southern border of the United States. Today, the land monuments from El Paso, Texas to San Diego, California are hidden behind fences, barriers or ignored as if a remnant of a time gone by. The younger cement and brass monuments on both sides of the Rio Grande from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico are other monuments that have been forgotten but also represent the border. When the river shifted, these monuments were used to triangulate the border line to remark where the border is and not defer land to either country based on the rivers meandering. This paper will address the monuments and work on maintaining them with Mexico, under Treaty.

Cite this Record

The International Boundary of the U.S. and Mexico: Water, Rock, Steel and Concrete. Mark L Howe. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457501) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8457501


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 196

File Information

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SHA-Howe-2020.pdf 15.51mb Dec 30, 2020 9:56:26 AM Public