The Pecos Trade Fair Area: Archeological Investigations of Apache, Comanche, and Spanish Related Sites at Pecos National Historical Park, New Mexico

Pecos Trade Fair Image

Publication: Department of Anthropology, University of Nebraska

Author: Douglas Scott & Peter Bleed

Date of Publication: April 2014

PDF File: The_Pecos_Trade_Fair_Area_Archeological-1.pdf


The 2011 and 2012 metal detecting investigations demonstrate the value of metal detecting as a complement to the earlier park-wide pedestrian survey by confirming certain site distribution patterns, identifying a wider variety of historic sites by the presence of datable metal artifacts, and identifying historic areas disturbed by modern activities that have no surface manifestations. Metal detecting has minimal impact to archeological deposits or archeological integrity especially in areas that have been exposed to years of collecting and other forms of surface disturbance. The metal detecting survey recorded 1438 metal targets. About 20% (304) of the metal targets were excavated and about 20% (65) of the excavated targets were collected for additional analysis. The metal distribution is patterned as far as the pre-twentieth century materials are concerned. The investigations may have found a Coronado era campsite. The project found the presence of metal objects in and around the 1617 Ortiz church with possible evidence of some burning supporting recent historical analysis the church was finished before being recycled in 1621. Recycled metal and trade item distribution patterns indicated both the Pueblo occupants and their trading partners used the boulder strewn slopes to the north and east of the Pueblo as temporary camp and metal working sites. The inventory also established there are good data present to identify mid-nineteenth century Santa Fe Trail routes and uses of the current park lands, and there is some evidence of Civil War era activity near the Pueblo, which has yet to be fully interpreted.