Pueblo Homes, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

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Pueblo Homes, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Post by edfrank » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:06 pm

Study Documents Early Puebloan Homes

http://home.nps.gov/applications/digest ... ts&id=8884
BAND-Laser.jpg (40.68 KiB) Viewed 3351 times
In 2000, the Vanishing Treasures Program at Bandelier National Monument began a project to document and conserve the cavates in Frijoles Canyon. Cavates are hand-hewn rock chambers that were occupied from the twelfth to the sixteenth century C.E. They are the ancestral dwellings of the Pueblo people who now live in the Rio Grande Valley.

There are over a thousand cavates in Frijoles Canyon, a key interpretive area of the park visited by over 300,000 people per year, and a least a thousand more in surrounding canyons and Pueblo lands. Cavates are unique in the architecture of the American Southwest because of the extensive modification and use of the natural environment for their creation, the high number and density of dwellings, and the excellent preservation of some interior architectural features.

The principal aim of this project is to develop appropriate methods to identify, document, conserve, and maintain the cavates as both constructed and natural heritage, and, through Native American consultation and planning, create a culturally adaptive management strategy that addresses the physical conservation of the cavates in their constantly changing landscape. Condition assessment has revealed that the cavates are slowly deteriorating from both environmental and human impacts.

Today the cavates appear as a honeycomb of caves in the cliff face; however, when they were in use, masonry walls and multi-story buildings covered them. All of those exterior structures have since collapsed, and only ten of the cavates have prehistoric masonry enclosure or partition walls left in situ.

Cavate B002 is unusual in that two of its original walls were built of masonry. Both walls were intact in the 1920s, but one has fallen down, and the surviving wall, the largest, is extremely fragile due to extensive mortar loss between the masonry units and severe cracking in the cliff face just above it. A multidisciplinary project is currently underway to evaluate the structural stability of the wall and study deterioration of the Bandelier Tuff.

This initial phase of research includes a detailed condition assessment of Cavate B002, laser scanning to record wall geometry, design and analysis of a structural model, and development of recommendations for ongoing structural monitoring. The structural model generated from the laser scan data will be used to theoretically predict wall behavior based on small changes in existing conditions, and will provide us with the theoretical basis for establishing stability/failure thresholds. A monitoring program for this site will be developed and implemented in future phases of this project. We hope this project to serve as a model for monitoring other cavate enclosures in the park and surrounding Pueblo lands.

The primary collaborators in this project are the School of Architecture at the University of New Mexico, led by Associate Professor Douglas Porter, and the Vanishing Treasures Program at Bandelier National Monument under the direction of Lauren Meyer. University and professional participants include Angelyn Bass Rivera, architectural conservator and former manager of the Bandelier National Monument Vanishing Treasures Program, Dr. John A. Ochsendorf, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Jim Holmlund and Joe Nicoli of Western Mapping Company, Inc. This project is being facilitated by the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit (CESU).
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Re: Pueblo Homes, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Post by Neil » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:27 am

Dear ENTS,

I just spent a week at the AGU Chapman Conference on Climates, Past Landscapes, and Civilizations - http://www.agu.org/meetings/chapman/2010/ecall/. It was a pretty good conference and showed a pretty tight connection between climate and changes in human culture. An interesting aspect for me, however, was the few talks indicating that this whole Mayan collapse and Mayan collapse as a result of drought is pretty much a popular press myth. The Mayans as a 'whole nation' didn't really exist and in several places in the area considered 'Mayan', civilization persisted through drought. James Aimers, http://www.geneseo.edu/anthropology/aimers, really took Richardson Gill, who is popularizing this myth, to the proverbial woodshed. It was illuminating.

but, i've digressed away from the trees.

they took us on a trip to Bandelier Nat. Mon. mid-conference. there were several hiking options. my group of friends at the conference took the longer hikes. the second half took us through/near an experimental watershed where they are monitoring EVERYTHING and have mapped and dated all tree mortality and recruitment in the forest. this is being led by Craig Allen, http://www.fort.usgs.gov/staff/staffpro ... taffID=109, who is famous for the drought and ecotonal shift in the American southwest study: http://bit.ly/fOw8jx

The press release on this suggests nearly complete mortality, even though that is not what was reported: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 073510.htm

So, I took great interest in the survival of the pinyon, especially. There are living mature pinyon pine and seedlings. To me, this suggests that if the drought breaks and it doesn't get as hot as predicted in the future [there is a great work suggesting heat is what really drove the mortality http://www.pnas.org/content/106/17/7063.full ], the pinyon will come back/will not disappear.

i'll include pix of dead and surviving pine below. i also saw alligator juniper though i am still unsure why they named it that ;)


drought-induced pine snags
drought-induced pine snags
surviving pines in the landscape
surviving pines in the landscape
alligator juniper [not sure where the name derives from ;) ]
alligator juniper [not sure where the name derives from ;) ]

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Pueblo Homes, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Post by Bart Bouricius » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:34 am

Thanks for the post Ed

A wave of nostalgia hit me on seeing this post. Some of my first memories were from here. I lived in Los Alamos from age 2 to 7. It's a short drive from there to Bandelier Park, which my family visited often. We kids used to draw on the side walk to play hop scotch with the soft volcanic tuff rock which is prevalent in that part of New Mexico.


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