Southwest Regional Office
Jim Walker, Southwest Regional Director, 1717 Girard Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87106 (505) 266-1540
Some of Our Southwest Preserves
Sherwood Ranch Pueblo (Arizona)
Formerly known as the Raven Ruin, this 300-room Pueblo located in Apache County was donated to the Conservancy by landowners Ruth and Wendell Sherwood in 2003. Situated along the Little Colorado River, the pueblo has two occupation periods: AD 1250-1300 and 1310-1370. The site, considered to be ancestral to both the Hopi and Zuni, was one of the largest and last settlements to be inhabited prior to a general migration to the north and east. The site was partially excavated by the White Mountain Archaeological Center from the mid-1980s through the 1990s. This project was partially funded through the assistance of an Arizona Heritage Fund grant.
Mission Guevavi (Arizona)
Situated along the banks of the Santa Cruz River in Santa Cruz County, this ruin represents Father Kino’s first mission in what is now the United States. Rancher Ralph Wingfield donated the preserve to the Conservancy in 1988. Guevavi has been designated as part of Tumacacori National Historical Park and has been transferred to the National Park Service.
Arroyo Hondo Pueblo (New Mexico)
Situated five miles south of Santa Fe in Santa Fe County, Arroyo Hondo Pueblo was first established in the early AD 1300s. The stone and adobe pueblo grew to over 1000 rooms. The pueblo had two occupation periods: AD 1300-1345 and AD 1370-1425. The School of American Research extensively investigated the site in the 1970s. The School of American Research transferred this 20-acre preserve to the Conservancy in 2003. Learn more in the online database.
Fort Craig (New Mexico)
Situated along the Rio Grande just south of Socorro in Socorro County, this Civil War-era Union stronghold was an important frontier post. Donated to the Conservancy by the Armendaris Corporation in 1981, this 160-acre preserve has been transferred to the Bureau of Land Management and interpreted for the public.
Lamb Spring (Colorado)
This 35-acre preserve, located near Denver in Douglas County, contains the remains of at least 24 mammoths along with other Pleistocene animals including camel and sloth. It was acquired in 1995 as the Conservancy’s 100th preserve. Partially excavated in the 1960s and again in the 1980s by the Smithsonian, the site contains possible evidence of man’s presence dating back 13,000 years. At a higher level in the site, an 8,000-year-old Cody complex bison kill was discovered. The Conservancy formed a unique alliance with the Denver Museum of Science and Nature and Douglas County to acquire, preserve, study and interpret the site. The acquisition was made possible in part by an Historical Fund grant administered through the Colorado Historical Society.
Cabe Mounds (Texas)
Located in Bowie County just north of Texarkana, Mr. Horace Cabe donated a 50-acre easement to the Conservancy to protect this seven-mound Caddo ceremonial complex in 1986. The Caddo lived along the Red River and its tributaries in the four-state region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana from AD 800 until the time of Spanish and French contact. Cabe Mounds represents one of nine Caddo preserves established by the Conservancy in the region.
Burnham Site (Oklahoma)
This 135-acre preserve located in Woods County preserves a geological and paleontological record of late Pleistocene life including tantalizing suggestions of man’s presence dating to between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. Discovered in 1986 by the Burnham family who owned the land, the site has been tested by Don Wyckoff of the University of Oklahoma.
Yellowjacket Pueblo (Colorado)
Considered the largest ruin in Colorado, this Mesa Verde pueblo has an estimated 2,000 surface rooms, 192 kivas, 27 towers and a Great Kiva. Yellowjacket is located northwest of Cortez, Colorado. It has one of the highest density of ceremonial structures ever found. Read more about Yellowjacket Pueblo.
Red Smoke Site (Nebraska)
Situated in Frontier County, this 40-acre Paleo-Indian preserve contains buried cultural remains dating from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. The site was partially excavated in the 1950s in advance of a dam construction project. The site yielded evidence of its use as a campsite and a quarry.
Hedley Pueblo (Utah)
This 71-acre preserve in San Juan County contains the remains of three large Mesa Verde Anasazi ruin complexes dating from early Pueblo II to late Pueblo III times (AD 1000-1300). The ruin is one of the largest Mesa Verde complexes ever recorded. The Conservancy has preserved a total of 14 Mesa Verde sites in the Four Corners region.
Western Regional Office
Cory D. Wilkins, Western Regional Director The Archaeological Conservancy, 4445 San Gabriel Drive, Reno, Nevada 89502
Some of Our Western Preserves
Borax Lake (California)
The Borax Lake site is located 75 miles northeast of San Francisco. Considered to be one of the earliest and most significant archaeological sites in California and the entire Pacific Coast, the site contains at least three distinct occupations, the earliest of which is the Folsom culture dating to 10,000 B.C. Learn more about the Borax Lake Site.
Fish Traps (California)
Around A.D. 1500, ancient Lake Cahuilla was one of the largest freshwater bodies in North America. Around this oasis, the Desert Cahuilla Indians created a rich and industrious society, building ceremonial rock rings and staging camps and villages along the steadily receding shoreline, before the lake dried up completely by 1541. They also built innovative stone structures to help them harvest the lakes’ fish schooling along the shore. Fish Traps is now part of Anzo-Borrego Desert State Park.
Fort Nisqually (Washington)
The Conservancy’s first preserve in Washington. Constructed in 1833 by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound. Excavations have revealed hundreds of trade beads, broken clay tobacco pipes and other items. Visit the reconstructed fort in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park, which houses historical exhibits. Join us for a photo blog tour of the Fort Nisqually Site.
Fort Rock Cave (Oregon)
Overlooking a remote valley in south-central Oregon, the small hollow of Fort Rock Cave has altered prevailing ideas about ancient Americans in the northern Great Basin. Late 1930’s excavations revealed a layer of volcanic ash that later research confirmed was the result of Mount Mazama’s eruption 6,000 years ago, the event that created Crater Lake. Below this layer, numerous artifacts were uncovered, including 70 pairs of woven sagebrush-bark sandals. Fort Rock Cave is now an Oregon State Park.
Ghost Dance (California)
The site, located at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, was inhabited from 2000 B.C. to the 1880s. The site is large and complex. Seventeen round housepit depressions measuring from 10 to 25 feet in diameter are adjacent to a large, deep, rectangular earthen structure. Large structures such as this one are nearly unheard of in California archaeology. The midden deposit is at least three feet deep and extends more than 300 feet from the center.
Hotchkiss Mound (California)
The Hotchkiss Mound, a Miwok village located near San Francisco Bay, has a high number of burials and artifacts. Among other things, multi-barbed fish spears, a variety of mortars and pestles, beads, whistles and pipes have been recorded. Most of the artifacts found are in good condition, and the tremendous amount of information uncovered there has allowed the development and refinement of new research techniques.
Leonard Rock Shelter (Nevada)
The Leonard Rock Shelter archaeological site is a significant National Historic Landmark. The Rock Shelter is located near the lower end of the Humboldt Valley. The Rock Shelter, named after Zenas Leonard, a member of the famed 1833 Walker Expedition, is formed by a massive geological limestone dike of Jurassic age that outcrops and forms the rear wall of the shelter. The sites primary significance resides in the long continuum of sporadic cultural occupations spanning from 6710 B.C. to A.D. 1400.
Manis Mastodon Site (Washington)
The site was discovered in 1977 when Emanuel Manis decided to dig up his front yard to make a pond. Little did he know that some 14,000 years earlier, water from a melting glacier formed a pond in this very spot that attracted ancient animals and the Paleo-Indians who hunted them. Further examination showed a spear point imbedded in a mastodon vertebrae, making this the oldest archaeological site on the Olympic Peninsula by at least 4,000 years, and the first direct evidence of humans hunting mastodons in North America.
The site contains thousands of prehistoric herring and salmon bones, the remains of other fish species, stone and bone tools, and hearth and pit features. Radiocarbon dates from the weir stakes show that the tidal wetlands of the Coquille River were fished 800 to 900 years ago. As the river rose, a fishing village was established. The village was destroyed by an earthquake in 1700.
Spring Mound (Nevada)
Formed when mineral deposits from spring seepage accumulated over hundreds of years, Spring Mound once provided rich sources of plants and animals for native peoples who used the springs and left archaeological evidence in the areas surrounding them. The site contains prehistoric deposits that date from the Late Archaic through the Ceramic period, indicating human use of the site for the last 2,500 years. A later historic component has also been identified. Spring Mound likely served as a water stop for wagon freights and stagecoaches that ran through the Pahrump Valley in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Learn more about Spring Mound in the Nevada desert.
Midwest Regional Office
Paul Gardner, Midwest Regional Director 3620 N High Street, Suite 307 Columbus, OH 43214 (614) 725-1500
Some of Our Midwest Preserves
Biesterfeldt Site (North Dakota)
The Biesterfeldt site is the only sizable village site on the Sheyenne River, and the trade goods recovered from it date it to the mid- to late eighteenth century, the time when ethnographic and documentary evidence place the Cheyenne there. The preserve was an important settlement of the Cheyenne during their transformation from a settled horticultural society of the Eastern Woodlands to a society of equestrian bison-hunters of the Plains.
Bodie Circle (Kentucky)
The Bodie Circle archaeological site, an example of an Adena Culture “sacred circle,” consists of a ditch and earthen wall about 120 feet in diameter. The ditch is about four feet deep and the wall four feet high. A causeway about six feet across spans the ditch and wall and connects to the circle’s interior. The interior may contain a low earthen mound. The circle is placed on a prominent point overlooking Silver Creek in Madison County.
Chapman Site (Illinois)
The John Chapman Archaeological Preserve is one of the premier late prehistoric sites in the upper Midwest. This region has proven to have one of the clearest examples of contact between the indigenous Late Woodland cultures of the upper Midwest and the more elaborate Mississippian Culture of the greater Southeast. This parcel was a substantial Mississippian “temple town” with a pyramidal platform mound, two conical mounds, and a village area surrounding the plaza.
Great Mound (Ohio)
The Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Great Mound Preserve qualifies as the third largest Adena burial mound. It is believed to have been built during the period of about 800 B.C. to 200 A.D. when these moundbuilders dominated the Ohio Valley. They were the first people to build large burial mounds for their elite dead. Elaborate grave goods including stone figurines, carved tablets and jewelry are often found in the mounds. It is assumed that the huge Adena mounds like the Great Mound were built over a long period of time.
Hopewell Mounds (Ohio)
The Hopewell site was in use from about 300 B.C. to 500 A.D., serving as the major civic-ceremonial center of the Chillicothe Hopewell focus. The quantity and quality of grave goods already recovered from Hopewell indicate that it was of utmost importance to the pre-historic people of the area. One of the most striking characteristics of major Hopewell sites are the massive earthworks that remain as much of a mystery today as when the first Europeans discovered them. This work consists of a large D-shaped and a smaller square earthworks, containing at least 30 mounds. It is now part of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.
La Saline (Missouri)
The La Saline archaeological site possesses a series of occupations near a natural salt spring south of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. In the late seventeenth century, French colonists established their first settlement west of the Mississippi at Ste. Genevieve. Surviving documents indicate that by the late 1690s, La Saline had become an important source of salt; by the 1750s, its salt was such a vital part of the French colonial economy that it was declared an official medium of exchange and was used as currency. If Lewis and Clark bought salt in St. Louis for their 1803 journey, it would have come from La Saline.
Samels Farm (Michigan)
The Samels Farm includes three important archaeological sites covering the PaleoIndian, Archaic and Late Woodland periods. The parcel is remarkable in that it is horizontally stratified rather than vertically stratified as with most North American archaeological sites. The horizontal stratification is the result of glacial rebound, a phenomena that occurs when the tremendous weight of the glaciers is removed as they recede.
Silver Mound (Wisconsin)
Silver Mound is a rare quarry site that was an important regional source of raw materials for tool manufacturing. The site is a steep-sided, V-shaped geological formation of standstone covering nearly 2,000 acres. The unique quality of the feature is the presence of a hard surface quartzite, unusually durable and easily accessible. The quartzite appeared to have made Silver Mound like a magnet to prehistoric people who were reliant on stone tools.
Jessica Crawford, Southeast Regional Director P.O. Box 270, Marks, MS 38646 (662) 326-6465
Some of Our Southeast Preserves
Bisset Mound (Florida)
Bisset Mound Complex, situated on the bank of a tidal river, consists of a rich shell midden, a village area and a Late St. Johns Period/Timucuan burial mound standing 24 feet high with a 370 foot base. The well-preserved site serves as one of the last remaining examples of the Native American culture that flourished in central Florida prior to European contact.
The Cedarscape site, located in Tupelo, Mississippi, contains the remains of the significant Chickasaw village of Tchitchatala. It was occupied until 1734, abandoned, then reoccupied after 1772. There is a gread deal of historical documentation regarding the leaders of the village, and attacks by enemy tribes such as the Creek and the Chocktaw. The modern Chickasaw are supportive of our efforts and are interested in the possibility of building a retreat or cultual center in the Tupelo area.
DePrato Mounds (Louisiana)
The DePrato site consists of 5 mounds and an impressive continuum of occupation from the Troyville Culture (A.D. 400 to 700) through the Middle Coles Creek Culture (A.D. 700 to 800). Due to flooding, two and a half feet of alluvium covers the site. Consequently, the five mounds appear smaller than they originally were and the archaeological resources remain virtually untouched by modern activity such as road construction and farming.
Mott Mounds (Louisiana)
The Mott Mounds, located in northeast Louisiana on the west bank of Bayou Macon, represent several different occupational periods including: Late Paleo Indian, Late Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian. Among the largest mound centers in the Southeast, the site was threatened by looting, land leveling, and timber harvesting. The site contains one of the largest mounds in Louisiana, covering over two acres at its base.
Old Mobile (Alabama)
The Old Mobile site contains the intact archaeological remains of the first permanent French colonial settlement and the earliest European town on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Occupied from 1702-1711, Old Mobile was the first French colonial capital of Louisiana. The 120 acre settlement area, as identified through historical and archaeological studies, contained a wooden fort, church, and administrative center. In addition, archaeological investigations have identified the remains of private homes and blacksmith shops within the town of Mobile.
Parkin Mound (Arkansas)
The Conservancy has been acquiring land for the Parkin Archaeological State Park since the mid-1980s. The Parkin site is widely believed to have been the capital of the providence of Casqui, a major chiefdom of the Mississippian culture and occupied from approximately A.D. 1000 to 1600 and visited by Hernado de Soto in 1541. A prehistoric moat encloses an 18-acre village mound.
Samuel Site (Alabama)
The area sits on a peninsula formed by the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers and has been home to diverse cultures for more than 7,000 years. The region’s first residents were Archaic Indians and Late Woodland and Mississippian Moundbuilders. Later tenants included French colonial soldiers, English and Scottish traders, Andrew Jackson’s army, and modern American settlers. The preserve included a number of archaeological resources, from 7,000 year old campsites to the remnants of 19th century Ft. Jackson Town.
Sharp Site (Tennessee)
The site was discovered during a routine archaeological survey. The search for unmarked graves prior to development plans revealed an entire Mississippian town, including evidence of a palisade. The survey uncovered numerous artifacts, human remains, and dozens of features, including post-holes, middens, and house floors from the Mississippian period. The town should expand current knowledge about life during the Mississippian period in Tennessee.
Stallings Island (Georgia)
Stallings Island flourished some 3,700 years ago during the Late Archaic Period (3000-1000 B.C.). The Stallings Island culture produced the oldest documented pottery in North America, the first local shell fishing, and the region’s first settled communities. The repeated use of village sites, coupled with their consumption of large quantities of shellfish, produced the large shell-midden mounds. They produced the earliest forms of elaborately decorated pottery, along with carved bone pins, banner stones, and stemmed projectile points.
Eastern Regional Office
Kelley Berliner, Eastern Regional Director, The Archaeological Conservancy,
Federated Charities Building, 22 South Market St., Suite 2, Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 682-6359
Some of Our Eastern Preserves
Lamoka Lake (New York)
The Lamoka Lake site is one of the key sites in New York state archaeology. William Ritchie, an archaeologist with the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences (now the Rochester Museum and Science Center [RMSC]), conducted the first systematic excavations of the site from 1925 to 1928. This work, and his subsequent excavations with the New York State Museum in 1958 and 1962, resulted in his identifying and naming the Lamoka culture and its projectile point type. The small, narrow, thick point has become diagnostic of the Late Archaic Period in the Eastern U.S. Ritchie’s work also marked the first use of the term “Archaic” in American archaeology.
Barton Site (Maryland)
The Barton site contains a complete sequence of occupations from Late Woodland to European contact (A.D. 1000-1600), as well as earlier Woodland and Archaic components (6000 B.C. – A.D. 1000). It possesses the remains of three highly significant villages: a Mason Island phase village, a Luray period village, and a Susquehannock village, as well as evidence of Shawnee occupation. The site has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
Fort Foster (Maine)
The first naval battle of the Revolutionary War took place in the bay off Fort Foster. In June 1775, the people of Machias and the surrounding area captured the British cutter Margaretta in the first sea battle of the Revolution. The fort was the location of two houses and one block house. The fort saw action in the war and provides high research potential. The site has never been plowed or disturbed.
Fort Littleton (Pennsylvania)
Begun in 1755, Fort Littleton consisted of two to three houses enclosed within a stockade with four bastions and 75 provincial troops. Two hundred and fifty years ago this region of the province of Pennsylvania was at the center of the French and Indian War, during which France and its Native American allies fought the British, who were supported by their own Native American allies and colonial forces.
Governors Point (Maine)
The site was discovered in 1986 by the Maine State Museum, and subsequent testing revealed the site was nearly continuously occupied from the beginning of the Ceramic period up to the late 19th century or early 20th century. A wide variety of early, middle and late Ceramic points have been recovered from the site, as well as contact material from the 17th through 19th centuries. It is located along the eastern shore of Governors Point, a prominent peninsula on the north shore of Big Lake.
Hunting Creek Site (North Carolina)
Previous excavations have demonstrated the presence and richness of a Late Woodland period village or hamlet associated with the Uwharrie Phase. The distinctiveness of the site and the archaeological remains found there is characterized by an abundance of artifacts within the plowed soil, frequent occurrence of human burials, both within and below the plowzone, numerous trash filled pits, and an upland topographic setting somewhat removed from the nearest source of permanent water, Hunting Creek.
Nevers Site (New Hampshire)
Nevers is the first confirmed Paleo-Indian site in northern New Hampshire and one of the largest. Clovis spear points have been found at the site. Limited excavations indicate that the Nevers site would likely have been a tool manufacturing area, where hunters may have stayed and returned over the course of hundreds of years. At least nine fluted points as well as numerous stone tools and channel flakes have been uncovered.
Steele Site (New York)
Steele was a palisaded village home to approximately 1,000 Senecas between 1640 and 1655, placing it in the thick of dramatic changes in the Seneca’s way of life during the 17th century. During this time, the Seneca became heavily involved in the fur trade and increasingly desirous of European trade goods. Some of the earliest gun parts, along with metalwork, trade beads, pottery, and a comb have been discovered at Steele.
Verburg Village (Vermont)
Verburg Village, also known as the Rivers site, has witnessed three separate excavations in its history: in 1931, 1958, and 1971. Researchers hope that the magnitude of the site and its exceptionally well-preserved artifacts will help reveal the fascinating story of prehistoric settlement in the Lake Champlain Valley.