It's a Saturday and summer is about to break. The new gorge offers obstacles to driving along the side of preita. We are hiking to an area that looks to the east at preita and the big water fall area. To the west across the mesa and meadow are the cliffs and the large cliff Dwelling. To the south there is the vista of the entire Laguna reservation. To the north lay a series of mesa's, bluffs and valley's. Leaving the Hummer in a ditch we crossed the gorge where the animals have made a trail. Prior to their trail you could not cross. It is amazing how events like this flood that caused the gorge is now just another part of the landscape.
You can see piano stool mesa in the distance beyond the gorge. Mike and I climbed up a revine and the water shed at the end to mount the first Level of the mesa we now called half way. As it is half way between The other features like the big water fall which can be seen over Mike's Right shoulder in the picture below. You will also notice that I tagged the tree that is growing from the site we discovered.
The site was barely viewable and could easily be missed walking just Yards away. Once you are on it the site is obvious and you can see several rooms and walls. The type of rock that was used was unusual as it was the hardest and most irregular rock in the area. There was plenty of soft sand stone, pumice, and flag stone near the foot of the mesa that makes great building material. These people choose a harder route. I wonder why? The most notable uniqueness I found was two grinders and a grinding stone. What stands out is the hardness of these tools. Usually I find grinders that are made of Lava rock, pumice or soft sand stone. The two I found here were very hard and the way the tool maker made them concave was to sculpt out dimples removing material to concave the bowl shape. They are very shallow but still hold water. The hand stone likewise was of an uncommon hardness and had been worn flat and smooth. I can only imagine the amount of effort it took to grind this hard round stone in half. I am left with many questions about this site. It is out in the open With very little defense. So it was well before the defensiveness of the cliff dwellers of 800 years ago and not in the Pueblo style that followed. It uses none of the clever Anasazi rock carving or masonry in the earlier sites. The other issue is the time spent making the tools. I could see one spending a lot of time sculpting a hard material instead of using to more immediate soft materials. It seems to say that they had time to sit around and craft what they wanted without fear of others arriving on this spot. Just more questions and another great day at the ranch.
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copyright 1995-2006 Chuck Dawson Corrales NM
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