Permian Basin Mitigation Program, Transect Recording Unit Survey and Small-Scale Excavations at 42 Sites Along the Southwest Pecos Slopes, Eddy County, New Mexico

Summary

Information relating to the prehistoric occupation of Southwest Pecos Slopes physiographic region remains relatively unknown. This particular region has recently witnessed a pronounced increase in oil- and gas-extraction activities, and the tract of land situated between the Black and Pecos Rivers was only just incorporated into the Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement (PA) study area. In order to improve the management abilities of the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and address critical data gaps for region, the Carlsbad Field Office (CFO) requested a detailed study to examine general trends in human settlement and land use across the study area. The Southwest Pecos Slopes physiographic region is characterized as a small area of gentle east-trending slopes geographically situated between the Guadalupe Ridge and Reef Escarpment and the Pecos River. These slopes are dissected by tributary drainages of the Pecos River that head in the Guadalupe Mountains to the west. Much of the study area is characterized by exposed bedrock of the Castile Formation; vegetation patterns are influenced by both elevation and rocky substrates that persist across this area. The transitional vegetation community present across the study area interfaces between the succulent-rich uplands in the foothills to the west and the mesquite-dominated lowlands that occupy the sand sheet formed along the Mescalero Plain. Available resources, such as lithic raw materials and edible plants, are scarce within this region; however, numerous small sites related to resource-processing and cooking activities persist across the study area. The BLM-CFO requested an evaluation of currently used site and feature typologies, in order to explore the potential for deriving more meaningful behavioral interpretations regarding prehistoric use of the Southwest Pecos Slopes region. This investigation also aims to better understand patterns of lithic-raw-material sources, procurement, reduction, transport, use, and discard across the region, in addition to examining temporal and spatial trends in the prehistoric occupation across the area. The combination of these detailed studies will be used to elucidate the function and chronological placement of small sites across the region. The lack of a detailed understanding of overall settlement patterns regarding prehistoric land use within the Southwest Pecos Slopes area hinders the BLM’s ability to manage sites within the developing region, especially in regard to understanding issues of site eligibility and research potential. The combination of detailed studies integrated into this study were used to develop a research context for evaluating the integrity and research potential of archaeological sites across the Southwest Pecos Slopes region.

Cite this Record

Permian Basin Mitigation Program, Transect Recording Unit Survey and Small-Scale Excavations at 42 Sites Along the Southwest Pecos Slopes, Eddy County, New Mexico. ( tDAR id: 448045) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8448045

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Monica Murrell

Record Identifiers

Bureau of Land Management(s): Carlsbad Field Office

Resources Inside this Project (Viewing 1-4 of 4)

  • Documents (4)

Permian Basin Mitigation Program, Transect Recording Unit Survey and Small-Scale Excavations at 42 Sites Along the Southwest Pecos Slopes, Eddy County, New Mexico

  1. Camping and Hot-Rock Cooking: Hunter-Gatherer Land Use Across the Southwest Pecos Slopes (2018)
  2. Camping and Hot-Rock Cooking: Hunter-Gatherer Land Use in the Southwest Pecos Slopes (2018)
  3. Camping and Hot-Rock Cooking: Hunter-Gatherer Land Use in the Southwest Pecos Slopes, Data Compendium (2018)
  4. An Examination of Hunter-Gatherer Land Use across the Southwestern Pecos Slopes (2018)