Recent Research at a Jornada Mogollon-Manso Site at Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico” Presented by Robert J. Stokes, Ph.D.
New Mexico State Parks and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently undertook survey and limited testing at a proposed recreational vehicle expansion area at Leasburg Dam State Park along the Rio Grande north of Las Cruces. Survey indicated that the project was next to a large area of surface artifacts and burned rock (LA 178466). Many of the sherds at LA 178466 are typical for Jornada Mogollon sites, but numerous pieces of olive green glaze wares were also found. Extensive shovel probe testing in the project area revealed other pieces of glaze ware adjacent to the site boundary, but also recovered one piece each of Gila Polychrome and Spanish Majolica (Puebla Polychrome). Trench monitoring documented several fire pits which produced macrobotanical remains and two radiocarbon dates. Based on the evidence gathered thus far, the site appears to be a transitional Jornada Mogollon-Manso site occupation (ca. A.D. 1400s–1700s). Known Manso sites in the lower Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico and west Texas are few and what their sites look like is largely a mystery. Our work at Leasburg Dam State Park has provided new Spanish Colonial period archaeological data for this poorly understood local Native American group.
Robert J. Stokes, Ph.D.
Dr. Stokes is the New Mexico State Parks archaeologist. He joined State Parks in 2014 after working 14 years as a Principal Investigator at several Cultural Resource Management firms in Arizona. He received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 and then worked on several archaeological projects in southern New Mexico and the El Paso area. In 1992, he began his graduate work at Eastern New Mexico University, receiving his M.A. in 1995. While at ENMU, he also worked at the Lincoln National Forest. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 2003. Dr. Stokes’ graduate studies focused on prehistoric settlement patterns and aspects of land tenure in the Mimbres Mogollon area.For more information please contact Jeff Romney, Museum Director at (915) 755-4332 or by email at Romneyjk@elpasotexas.gov