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As the only national non-profit organization that acquires endangered archaeological sites, The Archaeological Conservancy has preserved more than 365 sites across the country. Below are some of the Conservancy's most recent projects.
Prospect Hill (Mississippi)Prospect Hill was a large plantation that was established in the early 1800s by Captain Isaac Ross, a Revolutionary War veteran. Accompanied by his family and a group of slaves, Ross moved from South Carolina to southwest Mississippi, where they turned Prospect Hill into a prosperous cotton plantation at a time when the industry was benefiting from the invention of the gin.
Ross was a member of the Mississippi Colonization Society, which advocated “repatriating” freed slaves to what is now Liberia. Ross’ will decreed that Prospect Hill be sold and his slaves who chose to emigrate to Liberia be freed. Their resettlement was to be funded by the proceeds from the sale. However, his grandson, Isaac Ross Wade, contested the will in court, seeking to prevent the sale of the plantation and the freeing of the slaves. The case was tied up in litigation for a decade, during which time the house was burned during a slave uprising in April, 1845. A young girl died in the fire, and a group of slaves who were accused of orchestrating the uprising were executed on the plantation grounds.
Garcia Canyon Pueblito (New Mexico)
The love for archaeology motivated Norma Garrett to buy and protect Garcia Canyon Pueblito, perched atop a steep mesa in a residential subdivision. The Conservancy purchased the site with POINT-4 emergency acquisition funds.
Located in Frederick, Maryland, the Rosenstock site contains the remains of a Late Woodland period village that radiocarbon dating indicates was inhabited sometime between A.D. 1300-1450. Recently, Aldi Inc. (Maryland), the City of Frederick, and the Conservancy partnered to preserve the site. Aldi Inc. (Maryland) generously donated the land containing the site, the City of Frederick assisted in obtaining access to the property, and the Conservancy is taking care of the associated costs, ownership, and ongoing management of the property as a preserve.
Cahokia Mound 2 and East St. Louis Mounds (Illinois)
The American Bottom, the approximately 175 square-mile expanse of Mississippi River floodplain opposite Saint Louis, Missouri, was the location of the greatest florescence of the Mississippian Culture. Scores of Mississippian towns were located there, many of them quite large. The largest, Cahokia Mounds, possessed over 100 mounds with the largest, Monks Mound, reaching 100 feet in height and covering 14 acres at the base.
Cary Ranch (California)
Cary Ranch is a 160-acre property near Anza, in southern California, that contains three distinct occupations. It’s thought that as early as A.D. 1000 the Mountain Cahuilla tribe lived in a village on the property known as Pauki, and that they resided there for centuries. The village was situated in a small valley with rocky hills separated by a spring and creek. This picturesque place contains several hundred bedrock mortars, basins, and cupules. Pictographs, painted pottery, trade and shell beads, milling stone tools, and projectile points have also been found in abundance.
The Great Miami River Valley snakes through southwestern Ohio and eastern Indiana and boasts a large number of important archaeological sites. Some of the best-known sites in this area are associated with the Middle Woodland period from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 500, the time of the Hopewell Culture. Huge geometric earthworks, conical burial mounds, and earth and stone hilltop enclosures were constructed during this period and are still visible today as reminders of the people that once lived here. After A.D. 500 it seems that the Hopewell stopped building and using these ceremonial sites.
Culture and Time Period: Hopewell (100 B.C - A.D. 500)
Status: Threatened by development.
Acquisition: The Conservancy needs to raise $300,000 to purchase the 30-acre parcel. Ten additional acres are being donated.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, Attn: Oberting-Glenn, 5301 Central Avenue NE #902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
Carman (New York)
The Carman site is a 16th-century Late Woodland period Cayuga Iroquois village situated in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, between Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga. Carman is located near the Town of Trumansburg, and in close proximity to the Indian Fort Road site, another Late Woodland Cayuga village the Conservancy is attempting to acquire (See “Preserving An Unusual Village,” Spring 2012).
Culture and Time Period: Cayuga Iroquois (16th century Late Woodland)
Status: Conservation-minded owners want to preserve the site.
Acquisition: The Conservancy is raising $500,000 for its new Iroquois Preservation Project.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, Attn: Iroquois Preservation Project, 5301 Central Avenue NE #902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
Fort Adams (Ohio)
In signing the Treaty of Paris in 1783 to end the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain transferred all the land east of the Mississippi River to the new American nation. While the British did not consult with their former American Indian allies before this betrayal, neither did they abandon their Midwestern trading posts not reduce the trade that kept the tribes well supplied with firearms. Unsurprisingly, as American settlers moved into the Ohio county, armed conflict ensued.
Initially, the confederacy of Midwestern tribes oundly defeated two organized military expeditions against them. Consequently, President Washington reorganzied the army and placed it in the command of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.
Larry Keller, a realtor who listed a wooded tract that encompassed the remains of Fort Adams, an obscure fort built by Wayne's army to help secure their route from Fort Washington to Fallen Timbers, contacted the Conservancy about purchasing it.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, Attn: Fort Adams Project, 5301 Central Avenue NE #902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
Fort Parker (Montana)
Ft. Parker, the first Crow Indian Agency, was established under the terms of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Located in Montana along Interstate 90 about 40 miles east of Bozeman, the land is currently part of a large cattle ranch owned by a family who has diligently protected the site for four generations. Although ranching is a family tradition, many family members are pursuing other interests and professions, some of them far away from the ranch. The family has a portion of the ranch adjacent to Ft. Parker listed for sale, a sign of changes to come.
Culture and Time Period: Crow Indian (A.D. 1868-1875)
Status: The site is privately owned and in need of permanent protection.
Acquisition: The Conservancy needs to raise $249,000 to purchase Fort Parker, including fencing, closing costs, establishment of a stewardship fund, and an educational program.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, ATTN: Fort Parker, 5301 Central Avenue NE, Suite 902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
The Conservancy is in the process of acquiring the 42-acre Shavano Valley Rock Art site just west of Montrose, Colorado, on the eastern edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau. The site, which dates from the Archaic through the historic Ute periods (1000 B.C. – A.D. 1900), contains numerous petroglyphs as well as artifact concentrations that represent stone tool and resource processing and tool making. It has been at the center of western Colorado rock art research since the early 20th century, having been used to define rock art traditions and styles, and to interpret cultural continuity and change in the region.
Culture and Time Period: Archaic through historic Ute (1000 B.C. - A.D. 1900)
Status: The Conservancy holds an option to purchase the site.
Acquisition: The Conservancy received a Colorado Historic Fund Grant and needs to raise $30,491 in matching funds.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, Attn: Shavano Valley, 5301 Central Avenue NE, Suite 902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
The Blanchard site is located in northwestern Mississippi, not far from the Mississippi River. Blanchard, named for the family who owned it when it was first recorded in 1940, consists of four mounds in a rectangular arrangement on the bank of a bayou. This part of Mississippi is known for its rich soil, and in addition to the mounds the site also contains a family farm with various barns, storage buildings, a home, and a family cemetery. Since these structures date to the early 1900s, they, too, could be archaeologically significant.
A 1.3-acre triangle of land near Camp Verde in central Arizona was recently donated to the Conservancy by the McDonald family for permanent preservation. For decades the small parcel has served as the trailhead for pedestrian access to the Clear Creek Ruin Complex, which is owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
Clear Creek is the largest Tuzigoot-phase Sinagua settlement (A.D. 1250 to 1450) in the region. It’s located on a limestone mesa with commanding views of the Verde Valley and the West Clear Creek drainage, and it consists of one main pueblo and a handful of other contemporaneous structures spread across three levels of the mesa. The ground floor of the settlement had at least 48 rooms and may have stood several stories high.
Situated in Utah near the Colorado border, Carhart Pueblo is the northernmost outlier of Chaco Canyon. The 67-acre site contains a Chacoan great house, a great kiva, road fragments, and a number of associated structures and features.
Culture and Time Period: Chaco and Mesa Verde Anasazi (possibly A.D. 1030-1280)
Acquisition: The Conservancy needs to raise $188,000.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, Attn: Carhart Pueblo, 5301 Central Avenue NE, Suite 902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530.
Herd (New Mexico)
The Herd Village Preserve is a late Basketmaker III- early Pueblo I-phase settlement (A.D. 750-900) located in San Juan County, in northwestern New Mexico. Archaeologist Alex Wesson brought the site to the Conservancy’s attention in June of 2012, and with the gracious cooperation of the landowners Peggy and George Herd, the Conservancy surveyed the property’s archaeological remains.
After returning from World War II, in which he served as a bomber pilot and was a war prisoner, Gordon Redtfeldt took an intense interest in California archaeology and Indian culture. He painted reproductions of Native American rock art and participated in amateur and professional archaeological excavations, becoming a member of the Archaeological Survey Association.
Culture and Time Period: Southern Valley Yokuts, A.D. 300-1500
Status: The Conservancy acquired the site.
Acquisition: The Conservancy needs to raise $60,000.
How you can help: Please send contributions to The Archaeological Conservancy, attn: Redtfeldt, 5301 Central Avenue NE, Suite 902, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1530
The Conservancy has reached an agreement to purchase the Croft Archaeological Preserve, its first preserve in Idaho. Located on the eastern portion of Idaho’s Snake River Plain, roughly 19 miles northwest of Idaho Falls, the preserve consists of three caves that were created by collapsed lava tubes. The most extensively studied of the three is Owl Cave, which was first recorded in the 1960s by Helen and Richard Gildersleeve of the Upper Snake River Prehistoric Society (USRPS).
Plaza Montoya (New Mexico)
The Mexican colonizer Juan de Oñate named the Piro Indian pueblo of Teipana Socorro—meaning aid or help—in 1598. He chose that name because the residents gave the Spanish colonists food and other needed items. In 1626, Franciscan fray Alonso de Benavides founded the mission of Nuestra Señora del Socorro at Pilabó Pueblo, located about six miles away from Teipana. The former Pilabó Pueblo became the modern town of Socorro, but the location and fate of Teipana, the original Socorro, was for many years a mystery.
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