Historic Central

Its hard to believe that after this week has finished I only have one more week left at Colorado National Monument! I cant even begin to express how much fun I have been having since I arrived in Colorado so far from home. This past week was pretty exciting for me as we came across a structure for the first time since I have been surveying. Part of what we do, after we finish surveying the area, is go back and record the Bison Fence that surrounds the White Rocks area. The Bison Fence was put there by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 after John Otto introduced Bison to the area. John Otto felt that the park needed something else and attempted to turn it into a preserve in the early years of the monument. The fence was erected by the CCC because the bison were leaving the park boundary and grazing and destroying the communities houses and farms. So in order to keep them in they built a fence around the park so they couldn’t leave. Once we are done surveying we return to the field and record the sections of the Bison Fence in our survey areas. We photograph each culvert along the fence as well as the old fence posts, where the fence was taken down in 2007. Recording the Bison Fence is typically the last thing we do before finishing up our survey area.  As we were recording the fence line along Monday we came across a foundation of a structure which was pretty exciting. The picture shows a small foundation of what could of been a storage building for the CCC as they were building their fence for easy access to supplies. Or it could have been a troph designed to hold water to make it easier for the bison to have a water source. It is still unclear to know what it could be but we hope to gather more data on it and figure out what the building potentially could have been used for. We also were able to identify a lot of historic cans around the same site. Each was labeled as holding blasting powder that was most likely used to blow out rocks and create the culverts to help filter water through the area. We also found a locus of lithics on a hill about 50 meters away from the site which made the site a multicomponent with historic and prehistoric artifacts. The Loci was comprised of more than 50 artifacts. The lithic scatter was mostly debitage and there were not many significant tools, but there was a large variety of material types which made it unique compared to other prehistoric sites we have found.

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