Field Methods

North Indicator

True north (14 degrees declination) (USGS Quadrangle Map: Mud Creek, Colorado, 7.5 minute, 1979.


Grid rotated 2.3762 degrees counter clockwise around 'Dillard Gate Point': UTM Zone 12, 707583 mE/ 4135275 mN/ 1809.12 vertical datum. NAD83.

Mapping Techniques

Mapping at the Dillard site was conducted with a Topcon GTS-303 total station surveying instrument and data collector. However, the setting in of Datums 1 and 2 was accomplished with a Lietz one-minute transit, because this initial work required an instrument with a compass in order to establish a baseline oriented to north. Due to this handheld method, grid north is rotated 2.3762 counterclockwise around a point established on the south gate to Jane Dillardメs driveway, north of 5MT10647. The primary datum (Datum 1) is 3m south-southeast of the Great Kiva at 5MT10647. The coordinates of this datum were set at 1400N, 500E, 100 above datum (meters); these numbers were large enough to ensure that the grid for this site could be extended and used for mapping and excavations at all sites within the Indian Camp Ranch Development without necessitating the use of negative coordinates or elevations on any site. Datum 2 (and backsite) was set 25 m northwest of the Great Kiva at 5MT10647 with coordinates of 1426.0909N, 465.5016E, 100.47 above datum. Datum 6 was set at the south end of the roomblock at site 5MT2032 on the ridge south of Jane Dillardメs house. The coordinates of Datum 6 were set at 1423.8648N, 203.1950E, 110.90 above datum. Datums 1, 2, and 6 are rebar stakes mounted in concrete, all three were left in place at the end of the Basketmaker Communities Project to facilitate future orientation to the projectメs grid. In all, 69 primary mapping datums were set in as part of the Basketmaker Communities Project. One to three primary datums were set at each site. All other datums were set along roadsides and driveways to tie specific sites into the overall project grid. Most of the mapping at the Dillard site was done using mapping datums 1 through 5.

Clearing of Vegetation

Vegetation was cleared only in the areas that were excavated. Live trees were not cut or otherwise modified unless necessary. When tree roots were partly exposed, attempts were made to preserve as many as possible. During rehabilitation of excavated areas at the site, cut brush was spread over disturbed areas to reduce erosion.


Back dirt from the appropriate screening station was used to backfill each unit when excavation was completed. Most backfilling across the site was done by hand but the Great Kiva was backfilled using heavy equipment. By the end of the 2014 field season, all excavation units were completely backfilled to match the preexisting topography as much as possible. Dead brush was scattered across excavation areas and trails, further reclaiming disturbed areas. Native seed from nearby plants was spread in excavation areas during visits over the next two years. Primary mapping datum rebar (Datums 1 and 2) were left in place when excavation ended and the Indian Camp Ranch site pole was reset 10 m south of its original location. All other equipment and debris from excavation were removed from the site.

Surface Indications

The surface signature of the site includes a great kiva depression surrounded by six acres of Basketmaker III era midden mixed with sporadic pockets of burned rock and adobe. Eleven of these rock/adobe concetrations were recorded as surface features during the 1991 documentation of the site. A total of 52 00 square meters across the site was surveyed with multiple types of geo-physical imaging to find buried structures. Bill Wolf of the NRCS and Mona Charles of Fort Lewis College surveyed using a Geoscan RM15 resistance meter and Geoscan Research FM256 Fluxgate Gradiometer. Margaret Watters of Time Team America applied magnetometry, conductivity, and resistance survey. Time Team America also surveyed the site with sub-10 cm lidar.

Modern Ground Surface Collections

Artifacts and samples were collected from the general site surface during the course of excavations at the Dillard site. Pollen and botanical samples were collected as modern control samples. Particularly unique or diagnostic artifacts were collected from the site surface as they were encountered. All surface collections were point located.

Treatment of Disturbed Areas

There is overwhelming evidence that the old growth pinion and juniper forest across the site was chained sometime between the 1920s and 1980s. Chained trees were piled in three 10 m wide east-west windrows that crossed the north, center, and south end of the site. These windrows were subsequently burned by Archie Hanson during the early development of Indian Camp Ranch in the early 1990s. The disturbed windrows were avoided during the selection of judgemental units in middens. In addition, disturbed fill was encountered in the 1991 trenches through the great kiva. Backfill in these trenches was removed without screening.

Areas Disturbed by Crow Canyon

A gravel pad was established adjacent to the driveway on the north side of the site for temporary storage and work space tents. Grasses and other small vegetation were removed from excavation areas--no trees and few shrubs were disturbed. Screening statio

Areas and Percent Damaged by Vandals

There is overwhelming evidence that the old growth pinion and juniper forest across the site was chained sometime between the 1920s and 1980s. Chained trees were piled in three 10 m wide east-west windrows that crossed the north, center, and south end of

Artifacts Not Collected

Post-occupation fill, construction deposits, and midden were screened through 1/4" mesh. Uncollected feature fill and deposits within 10 cm of structure floors were screened through 1/8" fill. Construction stones and large ground stone were analyzed in the field and reburied in place.

Types of Surfaces Recognized

Only prepared floors or native sediment floors were designated as structure surfaces. Upper use surfaces in structures were identified as separate strata and all artifacts associated with them point located. Surfaces were designated in extramural areas when associated with features and/or pit structures.

How Artifact-Surface Associations Were Defined

Artifacts found directly on a surface or resting on an object that was in direct contact with a surface were interpreted as surface-associated artifacts. Artifacts that rested within 10 cm above a structure surface were considered to be possibly associated with the surface. All surface maps show both the surface-associated artifacts and those that were possibly associated with the surface. They can be distinguished from one another by their provenience designation (PD) numbers.

Tree-Ring Sampling

All burned and unburned wood specimens that appeared to contain 10 or more rings were collected as tree-ring samples. These samples were collected and securely wrapped in cotton string as promptly as possible after exposure to prevent drying and destruction of the sample. Tree-ring samples were point-located (i.e., the locations were documented both horizontally and vertically).

Archaeomagnetic Sampling

Samples were collected from hearths and other burned areas by contractor Kay Barnett. Contexts were selected based on the intensity of their burning, clay content, and intensity of burning. The sample was processed by the Archaeomagnetic Laboratory in the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

Archaeobotanical (Flotation) Sampling

Flotation samples were routinely collected from contexts containing burned organic material. These contexts included ashy midden deposits, hearth and firepit fills, ash deposits on floors, and any vegetal material in roof-fall strata. Standard samples were 1 liter, but smaller samples were collected where limited cultural deposit were encountered and larger samples (2 liter or 3 liter) samples were collected where high plant diversity contexts were encountered. Modern plant and animal disturbances were avoided when sampling. Individual samples, such as visible charred maize kernels, were recovered during excavating or screening, and sent in as a vegetal sample.

Pollen Sampling

Pollen samples were collected from various contexts. Modern ground control samples were collected to contextualize pollen variation in prehistoric contexts and to identify modern pollen contaminates. Control samples were collected from three environmental contexts: old growth pinion and juniper forest on Indian Camp Ranch lot 5, a chained and windrowed setting on lot 6, and a plowed field on lot 20. During excavation possible extramural surfaces and structure floors were sampled. Samples came from sealed contexts (pit features and floors). Some samples were collected in curation grade zip lock bags and treated with four drops of alcohol to suppress mold growth. Other samples were placed in manilla envelopes and sealed and allowed to dry naturally. Pollen grains were separated and concentrated from sediment samples at the Palynology Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, utilizing protocols developed and tested by Dr. Vaughn Bryant, Jr.

Other Sampling

Constant Volume Samples were collected from structure floors, pit features, and extramural spaces to identify micro-artifacts associated with various activities. These samples were standard 3 liter soils samples, water screened through 1/16ヤ mesh. Two constant volume samples were taken from every quarter structure or every two square meters of exposed floor. In extramural areas, two samples were taken from every 2x2 m extramural unit from fill in contact with the prehistoric ground surface. Constant volume samples were collected from pit features to determine associated activities.

Twenty soil samples were processed for quantitative phytolith analysis by J. Byron Sudbury. Samples were selected from two archeological sites--the Dillard Site (5MT10647) and the T. J. Smith Site (5MT10736) and included a surface control sample from each site for reference/comparative purposes.

Approximately 40 carbonized annual botanical samples from Basketmaker Communities Project excavations and testing were dated with Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS). The Dillard site produced 18 samples. AMS samples were selected from charred annual botanical remains. In 2011/2012 samples were processed by Arizona AMS Laboratory and calibrated at Crow Canyon by Lab Director Kari Schleher. All subsequent samples were processed and calibrated by Beta Analytic Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, Miami, Florida

Alyson M. Thibodeau, University of Toronto Department of Earth Sciences, analyzed isotopic variability signatures of seven turquoise samples from the Dillard site to identify their formation of origin. AND Steven Schackley, Geoarchaeological XRF Lab, conducted spectrometry analysis of fifteen obsidian samples from the Basketmaker Communities project to determine their source.