Dominguez Anthropological Research Group

 

Active:

Status [2017]

Archaeological Assessment of Independence Mountain Sites In progress
Archaeological Assessment of the Occurrence of Culturally Modified Bison Bone Elements in Northwest and West Central Colorado In progress
Archaeological Assessment of the Moore Site, 5MN863 In progress
Ute Trails of the Southern Uncompahgre Plateau: Spring Creek Section In progress
Archaeological Assessment of the Monitor Mesa Wickiup Site, 5MN42 In progress
Archaeological Assessment of the Lee Ranch Wickiup Site 5MN41 In progress
Archaeological Assessments of the Wickiup Sites 5MN44 and 5MN65 In progress
Data Retrieval from Eight Sites in the Hubbard Mesa OHV Open Area for the Colorado River Valley Field Office In progress
Rock Art Database Project In progress

 

 

Completed:

Report Date

Archaeological Assessment of Tunnel Siding and Station, 5ME21489 2016
Archaeological Assessment of the Roan Creek Toll Road 2016
Rock Art of the Colorado River Valley Field Office: An Ancillary Study of the Ute Trails Project 2016
USFS Inventory for the Pauline and Cathedral Timber Sales Project in Saguache County 2016
Documentation of Selected Wooden Features in Four Sites in the Colorado National Monument 2016
An Archaeological Assessment of the Windger Flats Drift Fence (5ME14198) 2016
Archaeological Assessment of Two Ute Trails in Eagle County, Colorado 2016
Archaeological Assessment of Wickiup Sites 5ME470 and 5ME6674 2016
A Reexamination of the Uncompahgre Complex: Taylor Site 5ME97 2016
Archaeological Assessment of the 5MN1519 (Grand Lodge) and 5MN10514 Wickiup Sites 2016
Cultural Resources Inventory of 128 Miles of Open Drains in Mesa County, Colorado, for Grand Valley Drainage District 2015
Documentation of Selected Ephemeral Wooden Features in Colorado National Monument 2015
Site Reevaluation and Test Excavations at 5MN3462, the Jeff Lick Stone Circles, for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest 2015
Falls Creek Rockshelters Archaeological Assessment Project - Phase II 2014
Database Project: Internet Application of Colorado Tree-ring Information 2014
Radiocarbon Database Project (Continuation of C14 study) 2014
Cultural Resources Inventory of the 7N and Long Creek Mesa Landscape Restoration Project for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest 2014
Cultural Resources Inventory of the Moore and Payne Mesa Landscape Restoration Project for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest 2014
Archaeological Assessment of the Gunsight Pass Site: 5GA4251 Archaeoastronomy and Landscape Archaeology in Middle Park 2013
Ute Trails Project: Phase I Years 2010-2012 Reconnaissance Survey of Ute Trails on the Uncompahgre Plateau in Mesa County, Colorado 2013
The Colorado Wickiup Project Phase VII: Documentation of Selected Ephemeral Wooden Feature Sites in Rocky Mountain National Park 2013
Cottonwood Cave (5MN519) Assessment Project 2013
Colorado Wickiup Project: Assessment of Four Decker Wickiup Sites 2013
Cultural Resources Reconnaissance for the Bocco Mountain Special Recreation Management Area in Eagle County 2012
An Archaeological Assessment of the Colorow Gulch Wickiups (5RB2968) 2012
Cultural Resources Investigations for the Grizzly Ridge Sage Grouse Hydro-axe Treatment Areas in Montrose and Delta Counties 2012
McClane Canyon Rock Shelter Excavation 2012
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase VII - Rocky Mountain National Park 2012
Ute Trails Project: Blue Creek Drainage 2012
Colorado Radiocarbon Database Project: Phase IV Eastern Colorado 2012
Excelsior Station Assessment 2012
Reevaluation of Basketmaker II Material Culture from the Falls Creek Rockshelters Phase 2 2012
Glade Guard Station Rehabilitation 2012
Ute Rock Art Maps Study for BLM-NLCS 2012
Debeque Canyon Rock Art Documentation 2012
The Lanuage of the Land Conference 7-9 Oct 2011
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase VI - Test Excavation of Black Canyon Ramada (5DT222) and Documentation of Four Additional Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites In Colorado 2011
CCA Devils Canyon Scavanger Hunt 2011
Colorado Wickiup Project: Archaeological Assessment of Pisgah Mountain Wickiup Village (5EA2740), Eagle County, Colorado 2011
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase V - Test Excavation of Ute Hunters' Camp (5RB563) and Documentation of Five Additional Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites in Rio Blanco County, Colorado 2010
Late Quaternary Alluvial Deposits and Geoarchaeology of Douglas Creek Within Canyon Pintado National Historic District, Rio Blanco County, Colorado 2010
Redcliff Assessment (5ME15398) 2010
BLM & Ute Tribes Ethnohistory Project 2010
Battlement Mesa (5GF1323) Test Excavations: Phase I 2009
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase IV - Recordation, Re-evaluation and Assessment of Fourteen Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites in the Yellow Creek Archaeological District and Documentation of Thirteen Additional Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites In Garfield, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties, Colorado 2009
Testing and Evaluation of The Bocco Mountain Bison Ceremonial Site(5EA2742), Eagle County, Colorado 2009
Colorado Radiocarbon Database Project: Phase III Southwestern Colorado 2007
Colorado Wickiup Project: Sand Wash Survey In Moffat County, Colorado 2007
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase III - Recordation and Re-evaluation of Twelve Aboriginal Wooden Structure Sites in Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, and Rio Blanco Counties, Colorado 2006
Archaeological Assessment of Leonard Basin and Palmer Gulch Rock Art 2006
Archaeological Assessment of Big Dominguez Canyon 2006
Colorado Radiocarbon Database Project: Phase I West-Central Colorado 2006
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase II - Cultural Resources Class II Reconnaissance Inventory for the Gunnison Gulch Area of Mesa County, Colorado 2005
Colorado Wickiup Project: Phase I - Context, Data Assessment and Strategic Planning 2005
Archaeological Assessment of the Blue Hill ACEC 2005
McHatten Reservoir Site Assessment 2004
Billings Canyon Excavation 2004
Bangs Canyon Survey 2004
Colorado Wickiup Project: Archaeological Assessment of Rifle Wickiup Village (5GF308) in Garfield County, Colorado 2003

 

The Eagle Rock Shelter
Eagle Rock Shelter
The Eagle Rock Shelter, Site 5DT813, located in Delta County, Colorado on BLM lands, was excavated between 2013 and 2016 under a federal grant administered by Delta, County. Rock art recorded by Patterson and Watchman in 2006 indicated the site had been occupied since the Paleo period. Excavations proved the site contained multiple occupational horizons that span the period from about 13,000 BP to 350 BP. Maize recovered from the site returned a radiocarbon assay between 2040 BP and 1910 BP.
(Page is in progress)
Western Colorado Bison Project
Colorado Wickiup Project
Evidence of bison and aboriginal bison procurement in western and northwestern Colorado is extremely rare as is scientific documentation, examination, and radiometric dating of culturally modified bison bone elements, thereby making it nearly impossible to provide valid interpretations of the interrelationship of bison and prehistoric peoples in western and northwestern Colorado. DARG’s research endeavor is specifically dedicated to evaluating, dating, and assimilating the resultant data of known culturally modified bison faunal elements in western Colorado.
(Presentation)
(360° Bison Skull)
Archaeoastromomy Research
Colorado Wickiup Project
Archaeoastronomical sophistication is known to occur in prehistoric cultures in the new world and is being investigated at several architectural sites in western Colorado by DARG archaeologists. Sites with stone rings have been documented that exhibit alignments representing solstice and equinox positions, and possibly stellar arrangements. As well, regional rock art reflects apparent shamanic associations of the calendric features.
(Presentation)
Colorado Wickiup Project
Colorado Wickiup Project
DARG's long-term project to document rapidly disappearing wickiups and other ephemeral, aboriginal wooden structures in the Colorado is enriching the archaeological and ethnohistorical record of the Northern Utes. 
(Presentation)
(More)
Prehistoric Archaeology
Paleoindian and Early Archaic Studies
A series of excavations as part of DARG's Paleoindian and early Archaic studies are uncovering new views of western Colorado's earliest human cultures, and new research projects are focusing on Basketmaker II sites in west central and southwestern Colorado.
Ute Trails Project
Ute Trails Project
In 2010 DARG launched a long-range, landscape-scale project to integrate archaeological, ethnological and ethnohistorical data and perspectives for sites and locales associated with historic Ute trails throughout central and western Colorado.
(Presentation)
Rock Art Studies
Paleoindian and Early Archaic Studies
Petroglyphs and pictographs are continually at risk from natural and man-made causes. DARG is developing an on-going rock art recording and database project to create "preservation quality" documentation for these irrereplaceable cultural resources.

 

 






































































































Top
Available Presentations:

Rock Art of The Colorado River Valley Field Office
Ute Trails Project
High Resolution Rock Art Photography and Editing
Bison and Prehistoric Native American Hunters in Western Colorado
Correlation of Aeolian, Alluvial and Lacustrine Deposits Related to Past Climates and Cultural Change
Archaeological Investigations at the McClane Rockshelter (5GF741)
Late Archaic Pithouses of the Upper Colorado River Drainage
The Colorado Wickiup Project
Cultural Inventory in The Piceance
Gunsight 5GA4251: An Archaeoastronomy Site in Middle Park, Colorado
Rock Art of the Colorado River Valley Field Office

This was a Section 110 related project for the purpose of conducting a study of the rock art within the administrative boundary of the Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO), Bureau of Land Management. Our thanks go to the CRVFO and Archaeologist Erin Leifeld who secured the funding for this project. This study is ancillary to the Ute Trails Project, a research endeavor of Dominquez Archaeological Research Group (DARG). The purposes of the study were to revisit and digitally photograph previously recorded rock art panels and record any newly discovered sites encountered during the revisits.




Ute Trails Project

The trails projects examine prehistoric and historic sites associated with aboriginal trail routes, with the intended results of providing tribal and agency cultural resource managers with landscape scale archaeological baseline data.
The importance of trails depends on the mobility of a society. They are characteristically used for trade between resource differentiated regions, for seasonal movements, inter-group ceremonies, and sacred journeys. Aboriginal hunter-gatherers for example have extensive seasonal movements for changing food resources, but their choice of foot or horse affected the ways and modifications of the routes used. Important contrasts can be drawn between those created by aboriginal foot traffic and those utilized by horse traffic – especially in mountainous regions.




High Resolution Rock Art Photography and Editing

This presentation shows possible applications of high resolution photography to rock art preservation. It focuses on how to create high resolution photos, and then how to use them to trace or to remove vandalism from the panels. It also talks about 3d reconstructions of collapsed wickiups.




Bison and Prehistoric Native American Hunters in Western Colorado

Evidence of bison and aboriginal bison procurement in western and northwestern Colorado is extremely rare as is scientific documentation, examination, and radiometric dating of culturally modified bison bone elements, thereby making it nearly impossible to provide valid interpretations of the interrelationship of bison and prehistoric peoples in western and northwestern Colorado. DARG’s research endeavor is specifically dedicated to evaluating, dating, and assimilating the resultant data of known culturally modified bison faunal elements in western Colorado.




Correlation of Aeolian, Alluvial and Lacustrine Deposits Related to Past Climates and Cultural Change

Past climate of western Colorado since 14,000 RCYBP varied from extreme drought to moderating conditions. Alluvial and aeolian deposits react to changing climates. Incision in alluvium and stabilization of aeolian deposits correspond to cool/wet conditions; alluvial deposition, aeolian deflation, and, in one period, dune formation correlate to warm/dry intervals. Subsistence and settlement patterns vary from large group size and low mobility in cooler intervals to small group size and high mobility in warmer intervals. The major droughts occurred 13,000 to 11,000, 9500 to 6500, 4000 to 2800, and 1000 to 600 RCYBP. Lake level data from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, and PDSI (tree ring) data support the model. Identified droughts correspond to the Clovis drought, Paleoindian to Early Archaic and Middle Archaic to Late Archaic transitions, and organized warfare on the Plains. Middle Holocene and Late Holocene ameliorations correlate to house pits through the Rockies and BMII.




Archaeological Investigations at the McClane Rockshelter (5GF741)

The project entailed the excavation of 10.5 square meters within and on the perimeter of the overhang. Cultural deposits ranging in age from about 4200 to 300 years ago were encountered, primarily in four cultural levels. McKean Complex is represented in the two lowest stratigraphic units, which contained three occupation levels dating between ca. 4200-3000 BP.




Late Archaic Pithouses of the Upper Colorado River Drainage

This presentation discusses two pithouse structures found in the benchland area south of the Colorado River in the vicinity of Battlement Mesa Community and the town of De Beque. Both pit-structures exhibit similar morphology and are associated with the same type of distinctive artifacts.




The Colorado Wickiup Project

The Colorado Wickiup Project (CWP) has been conducting a program of context development, data assessment, and comprehensive field documentation of aboriginal wooden feature sites in the state since 2004.




Cultural Inventory in The Piceance

For any inventory, archaeological visibility is a major concern. Most of the diagnostic artifacts recovered from previously recorded sites in the vicinity of the project area are late Archaic or younger. This is a result of visibility rather than prehistoric preference. The fact remains that deposits older than about 3000 years old simply do not have good surface exposure. Aeolian deposits older than 3000 years ago are exposed in rill cuts, at the edge of sharp topographic breaks, or in disturbances caused by construction. Over broad surrounding areas, the sage-steppe is underlain by over a meter of aeolian sheet deposits and while deposition in pinyon/juniper forest is less than half that, usually the entire sequence of aeolian deposits is present. Surface exposure of older deposits over the surface is otherwise restricted to small deflated areas, and then only the upper contact of the early to middle Holocene deposits are usually exposed.




Gunsight 5GA4251: An Archaeoastronomy Site in Middle Park, Colorado

Gunsight is a prehistoric stone ring site in Middle Park, Colorado consisting of 30 stone features divided into five localities (A—E).
From Medicine Wheels, we inherited: true circles, flattened circles, ellipses/ovals, and egg-shapes, all associated with astronomical observations. At Gunsight we have combinations of shapes: oval, egg, lens, L, J, and irregular polygons. A real mix and match scenario. Is this a reflection of different techniques by different groups and/or at different times, for observation of different celestial bodies or events?






Top

Note: Download files require Adobe Acrobat Reader; available here.

The Bocco Mountain Bison Ceremonial Site

Cottonwood Cave (5MN519) Assessment Project. Montrose County, Colorado
Prepared by Carole L. Graham and Sally J. Cole. Contributions by Karen A. Adams and David Hencmann. Compiled by Michael S. Berry
Abstract & Download >

The Bocco Mountain Bison Ceremonial Site

Ethnographic Landscape Study Northwest Piceance Creek Basin Part I
Prepared by Carl E. Conner, Michael Berry, Nicky Pham, Masha Ryabkova, Jessica Yaquinto and Richard Ott with geomorphology sections derived from documents by James C. Miller, and the rock art introduction by Sally Cole
Abstract & Download >

The Bocco Mountain Bison Ceremonial Site

Falls Creek Rockshelters Archaeological Assessment Project Phase II
Prepared by Karen R. Adams, Michael Berry, Mona Charles, Sally Cole, Phil R. Gieb, Carole L. Graham, Kristina Horton, Edward A. Jolie, Cerisa R. Reynolds, M. Steven Shackley, and Laurie D. Webster. Compiled by Carl Conner
Abstract & Download >
The Bocco Mountain Bison Ceremonial Site
Archaeological Investigations at the McClane Rockshelter 5GF741 Garfield County, Colorado
Michael Berry, Carl E. Conner, and James C. Miller
Abstract & Download >

Perspectives On Ute Ethnohistory in West Central Colorado

Perspectives On Ute Ethnohistory in West Central Colorado
Prepared for the Ute Tribes-BLM Ute Ehnohistory Project
Richard Ott, Betsy Chapoose, Clifford Duncan, and Terry G. Knight Sr.
Abstract & Download >

2016 Documentation of Selected Ephemeral Wooden Features in Colorado National Monument, Mesa County, Colorado

2016 Documentation of Selected Ephemeral Wooden Features in Colorado National Monument, Mesa County, Colorado
Compiled for National Park Service, Colorado National Monument and the Colorado National Monument Association
Prepared by Carl Conner, Masha Conner, Barbara Davenport, and Nicole Inman in association with the Ute Trails of Colorado Project.
Abstract & Download >

An Archaeological Assessment Of The Gunsight Pass Site: 5GA4251 Archaeoastronomy And Landscape Archaeology in Middle Park, Grand County, Colorado

An Archaeological Assessment Of The Gunsight Pass Site: 5GA4251 Archaeoastronomy And Landscape Archaeology in Middle Park, Grand County, Colorado
Completed for The Colorado Historical Society. State Historical Fund Project No. 2013-AS-003.
Prepared by Brian O'Neil and Cheryl A. Harrison with contributions by Holly Shelton and Nicole Inman. Michael S. Berry as the Principal Investigator.
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume I The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume I & II
Context, Data Assessment and Strategic Planning
Curtis Martin, Richard Ott and Nicole Darnell
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume III The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume III
Recordation and Re-evaluation of Twelve Aboriginal Wooden Structure Sites in Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, and Rio Blanco Counties, Colorado
Curtis Martin, Richard Ott and Nicole Darnell
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume IV The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume IV
Recordation and Re-evaluation of Twenty-seven Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites in Garfield, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties, Colorado
Curtis Martin, Richard Ott, Nicole Darnell and James C. Miller
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume V The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume V
Test Excavation of The Ute Hunters' Camp (5RB563) and the Documentation of Five Additional Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites in Rio Blanco County, Colorado
Curtis Martin, Michael J. Brown and Carl E. Conner
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume VI The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume VI
Test Excavation of The Black Canyon Ramada (5DT222) and the Documentation of Four Additional Premier Aboriginal Wooden Feature Sites in Colorado
Curtis Martin, Michael J. Brown and John E. Lindstrom
Abstract & Download >
The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume VII The Colorado Wickiup Project Volume VII
Documentation of Selected Ephemeral Wooden Feature Sites in Rocky Mountain National Parl, Colorado
Curtis Martin, John E. Lindstrom and Holly Shelton
Abstract & Download >












































































































Top

A demonstration of ultra-high-resolution digital photography and advanced image processing for rock art documentation.



EXAMPLE 1: [ See below ]
Ultra high resolution (gigapixel) composite of petroglyph at 5ME16710, detail view of Panel 2.

Image/pixel dimensions: 10514 x 21736 px, 228Mp
File size/format: 580 Mb, TIFF (LZW)

(For best results, maximize browser window.
Click viewer HELP button for navigation tips.)
EXAMPLE 2: [ See below ]
Image enhancement using correlation stretching (Dstretch) of pictograph at 5ME16710, detail view of Panel 3.

Image/pixel dimensions: 1728 x 1152 px

(For best results, maximize browser window.)
before
after

More D-Stretch Examples

Top
Piceance Landscape Database Project

DARG initiated the Piceance Landscape Database Project in 2016 in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management to provide a regional overview of historic and prehistoric Native American land use. It is Part I of an Ethnographic Landscape Study of the Northwest Piceance Creek Basin, an area that was an essential portion of the traditional Ute homeland during the historic period. This area has importance for other tribal groups as well; however, this study’s focus is on the Utes and how they see themselves as connected to this landscape.

 

The project comprises over 2700 sites within the Northwest Piceance boundary. Majority of the sites have components that are prehistoric with many are historic and paleontological, or various combination of the three.


Online Database & Flowcharts >























Mesa County Ute Trails Database Project

DARG pursued this project, entitled Ute Trails of Mesa County, for the purpose of conducting a landscape-scale, multi-disciplinary study of two sections of the historic/prehistoric Ute Trails in Mesa County Colorado.

 

This study integrates archaeological, ethnohistoric and contemporary Native American perspectives. The purposes of the study were to conduct database work, fieldwork school, Ute consultation, rock art documentation, field survey of sites, analysis and completion of the final report and public outreach and information sharing. This included the identification of suspected prehistoric and historic trails or travel routes, the investigation and recording of the general distribution of associated cultural resources, and the evaluation of the significance of the cultural resources for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).


Online Database (Password Required) >























Ute Trails Database Project

DARG conducted a study entitled Ute Trails of Eagle County that included segments of two aboriginal trail systems within the Colorado River corridor. Centrally located in the Northern Utes' aboriginal territory, the two selected trail segments are part of the Sawatch Mountains system (Pisgah Mountain Section, ~9.0 miles) and White River Plateau system (Dotsero Section, ~2.75 miles). These segments offer rich and varied sources of archaeological information, and are historically significant to today's living descendants of the Utes that traveled them.

 

A total of 2500 acres in two discrete parcels and centered on two suspected Ute Trails was included in the reconnaissance survey for cultural resources. Participants in the inventory of the Pisgah Mountain Section included PAAC members and members of the History Colorado SHF staff. Overall 33 sites and 71 isolated finds were identified with the present study.


Online Database (Password Required) >























Colorado Radiocarbon Database

DARG's comprehensive, multi-year project to compile radiocarbon dates recorded in legacy cultural resource management reports and other documents from archaeological sites throughout Colorado has compiled 3430 radiocarbon dates from 953 archaeological sites in Colorado. This database is accessible through the History Colorado Compass web site. It is password protected because it contains location data that could compromise site security.

 

DARG also created a public radiocarbon database for Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. It displays Google maps with limited zoom capabilities and does not show UTMs or latitude/longitude coordinates. It provides researchers with a regional temporal resource without compromising site security. The database currently contains 7332 dates from 1845 sites and is updated as new data become available.


Public Online Database >























Colorado Tree-Ring Database

DARG's comprehensive, multi-year project to compile tree-ring dates from archaeological sites throughout Colorado has compiled 14,560 tree-ring dates from 409 archaeological sites in Colorado. This database is accessible through the History Colorado Compass web site. It is password protected because it contains location data that could compromise site security.

 

DARG also created a public tree-ring database for Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. It displays Google maps with limited zoom capabilities and does not show UTMs or latitude/longitude coordinates. It provides researchers with a regional temporal resource without compromising site security. The database currently contains 34,175 dates from 1380 sites and is updated as new data become available.


Public Online Database >























Top