Survey of the Merchant Site Vicinity in Lea County, Southeastern New Mexico


This report presents the results of an intensive archaeological survey of 1,257 acres in the vicinity of the Merchant site (LA 43414), a prehistoric pueblo settlement in Lea County of southeastern New Mexico. The survey parcels are on lands administered by the Carlsbad Field Office (CFO) of the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico State Land Office. The survey was funded under the Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement (PBPA) administered by the CFO. The Merchant site was first investigated by the Lea County Archaeological Society between 1959 and 1965 (Leslie 1965) and was the subject of a recent series of investigations under the PBPA program (Miller et al. 2016).

The 1,257-acre survey parcel included areas north and south of the Merchant village area and extended around the small playa west of the site. Multiple surveys conducted between 1983 and 2017 had recorded 19 prehistoric sites and one historic site within this survey parcel. A Transect Recording Unit (TRU) survey of the parcel resulted in the redefinition of these sites and their boundaries. A continuous distribution of artifacts and features was identified around the entire margin of the playa and connecting with the Merchant site, leading to the definition of a large site consisting of multiple village and camp localities. Six smaller sites were identified around the periphery of the main site area.

Cite this Record

Survey of the Merchant Site Vicinity in Lea County, Southeastern New Mexico. Timothy B. Graves, Juan Arias, Katherine Jones, Mark Willis, Myles Miller. 2021 ( tDAR id: 466183) ; doi:10.48512/XCV8466183

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Radiocarbon Date: 5000 to 50

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.37; min lat: 31.461 ; max long: -102.612; max lat: 33.573 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Myles Miller

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
BLM-BPA10-Merchant-Vicinity_REDACTED.pdf 37.47mb Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021 10:49:37 AM Public
Redacted report. Text and images with site location information are redacted.