Reserve phase community function in West-Central New Mexico : a case study from Devils Park, Gila National Forest




Barnes, Robin Benson, 1965-

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The survey of Devils Park was conducted as part of the WS Ranch Project directed by James A. Neely of the University of Texas at Austin. A stratified regional survey was done in the area surrounding the WS Ranch Site (LA-3099 in the New Mexico Laboratory of Anthropology Site Survey Inventory). One of the goals of the survey was to investigate the theory that the WS Ranch Site was a regional trading center along the borders of the Pinelawn/Reserve and Mimbres culture areas (Neely 1978; Neely 1979). Building on the results of that survey, this study focuses on defining the function of the Reserve Phase Devils Park community through the comparison of selected Devils Park sites with selected portions of the Reserve Phase occupation of the WS Ranch Site and WS-5 as well as exploring possible interaction between the Devils Park settlement, the WS Ranch Site, and WS-5 (Figure 1.1). WS-5 is a smaller pueblo just across the San Francisco River from the WS Ranch Site. The purpose of this comparison is to determine whether small river valley and upland sites served similar functions, as well as to determine whether the WS Ranch Site inhabitants interacted with small sites in both ecotones in a similar manner. Survey data as well as the data from the excavation of two Devils Park sites, the WS Ranch Site, and WS-5 will be used in the exploration of the upland Reserve Phase settlement pattern. As well as investigating the interaction within Devils Park and in the local area, observations from the Devils Park study will be compared with data concerning small site excavations and settlement pattern data elsewhere in the Southwest in order to [...] determine whether the appearance of the Devils Park settlement is part of a regional phenomena. The original plan for the investigation of sites in Devils Park was to excavate sites from each hierarchical category defined by Accola and Neely (1980,1981) and Peterson (1988). The categories are based upon the size of the roomblock and whether a depression is present. The first site excavated, 9-19-14-8 (Figure 1.2), listed in the WS Ranch Site Project field site inventory as the eighth site found in Township 9, Range 19, Section 14 (United States Forest Service 197, Glenwood District, Gila National Forest), was chosen as a representative of the "field house" category of one- to two-room pueblos. This is the smallest architectural site category and the lowest category in the site hierarchy. Its proximity to water control features was also an incentive to excavate this site in particular. Excavation revealed that the site actually has three rooms, though one is very small. In order to investigate potential site diversity within Devils Park, I decided, with advice from Peterson, to excavate a five-room pueblo north of the Trail Tank in the north-central portion of Devils Park (9-19-10-7, USFS 288) (Figure 1.3). This pueblo, a representative of the second category of sites in the hierarchy, is associated with a dense artifact scatter a short distance to the east, which upon excavation appears to be a midden. The two other less dense artifact concentrations were not tested. The lack of pothunting and undocumented surface collection made this pueblo a promising choice for understanding the function of a somewhat larger site in Devils Park