Dating of Early Navajo and Historic Period Sites

There are several goals of the La Ventana Mesa project that include research, management, and training aspects. Research goals involved individual samples and sites, different occupations of the mesa, and regional implications of the data. Specifically, we wanted to:

  • Examine the dendrochronological potential of different sample types associated with the sites, i.e. architectural and arboreal archaeological samples (CMTs)
  • Generate the first tree-ring dates from the mesa and the largest number of dates from the area
  • Provide chronometric data concerning the founding, occupation, and abandonment of the sites
  • Produce dendroarchaeological data concerning the past behaviors of the site occupants, and
  • Supply data relevant to syntheses of the Early Navajo, Hispanic, and Navajo occupations of the Rio Puerco drainage

    The Management and Training goals were more limited, but just as important. We wanted to provided the BLM with high-quality data necessary for making decisions about the future preservation of the sites, particularly those though to be in danger through increased visitation in the area. Finally, it was critical that we train students and professionals in the proper sampling and collection techniques from a number of different site types.