Excavations at Trinidad Reservoir

In June and September of 2000, the Office of Contract Archeology conducted salvage excavations at the Leone Bluff site (5LA1211) in Trinidad Reservoir, Los Animas County, Colorado, at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  High waters in the reservoir significantly impacted several areas of the site.  The Leone Bluff site is attributed to the Sopris Phase (ca. A.D. 1000-1250), and previous excavations throughout the 1960s and 1970s identified the remains of a substantial settlement consisting of multiple residential structures and human remains.  Funding for the analysis and final report of these salvage excavations was recently approved by the USACE.  The OCA analyses include a detailed comparison using X-Ray Fluorescence of Sopris Phase sherds recovered from this site and contemporaneous sherds recovered by Southwest Archaeological Consultants, Inc., from sites in the Vermejo Park area west of Raton, NM.  The obsidian artifacts also were subjected to X-Ray Fluorescence in an attempt to source these artifacts.


June 2000 shoreline


Same shoreline in September 2000

Excavation of a dog burial


Overview of northwestern shore of Trinidad Reservoir

Deblyn Palella of Thermo Scientific Niton Analyzers explains the use of an XRF Analyzer during the SHA Workshop, which took place at OCA laboratory. The XRF Analyzer was employed to collect data on ceramics and obsidian flakes collected during the dig at Trinidad Reservoir.


September 2000 shoreline