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An alluvial plain in the process of sedimentation always has local depressions which fill with water after rains or floods. These pools or charcos Bryan, afford a limited water supply during the growing season. The Papagos of southern Arizona were entirely dependent on charcos during the planting and harvesting of their crops until, within the past few years, the United States Indian Service drilled wells at the fields. Before coming of the Spanish, these Indians not only cultivated the same fields while dependent on charco water but carried the crop on their backs to winter residences located at permanent, or at least longer lasting, water many miles distant.

Thus lack of permanent water is not necessarily a hindrance to floodwater farming, although it may be an obstacle to permanent residence.

Digging In - Archaeology in New Mexico

In Rincon del Camino one of the Navaho workmen employed by the Pueblo Bonito Expedition developed a small spring in a rock shelter or niche under a cliff. At other similar localities on the north side of Chaco Canyon the rock is damp and covered by an efflorescence of salts.

Here it might be possible to develop water by systematic digging, and springs of this type may have been the principal source of domestic water to the ancient people. It is certain that a very slight increase in rainfall over the present annual average would produce springs in such localities.

Conditions of alluviation lead also to a relatively high water table. At present, water may be obtained by digging about 10 feet below the bed of the arroyo, or some 40 feet below the plain. Before the modern arroyo was cut the stream ran in a shallow channel and ground water must have saturated the valley fill to within 10 feet of the surface, a distance comparable to the present depth of water below the bed of the arroyo. As the dry season advanced, the prehistoric peoples may have scraped holes in low places and thus formed a primitive type of well.


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No evidence of such wells has been found but the digging of them would have been entirely feasible for the inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito even though they lacked metal tools. The formation of an arroyo similar to the present one, or the one we have called the post-Bonito channel, confines floodwaters to a narrow belt below the level of the plain.

NASA launches ‘space archaeology’ project in Greater Chaco area

Dig into archaeology to help uncover the answers to questions surrounding the historical population of Southwest Colorado. Dig for clues into resource use, sustainability, and long-term impacts on ancient communities in Colorado.

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Thousands of years ago, spectacular great houses were constructed in what is now northwest New Mexico. Between A. The complex Chaco regional system is not well understood, but with your help, researchers hope to find answers to questions surrounding the historical population of Southwest Colorado.

Join archaeologists at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, located in Cortez Colorado, to take part in hands-on fieldwork.

Download Chaco Canyon (Digging for the Past) by R. Gwinn Vivian PDF | Thomas Foolery Book Archive

Fieldwork will begin on the second day, where you will:. Your work may focus on the excavation of homes, middens trash deposits , and the great houses. Remote sensing tools are used to identify features beneath the ground that may have been overlooked by standard survey techniques. Additionally, you may attend programs, including an introduction to research at Crow Canyon, presentation by staff archaeologists, and guest lectures on current research in Southwestern archaeology.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. The group leaders are Girl Scouts National Volunteers, and the program will be delivered by Earthwatch. Read more about this program on the Earthwatch website.