Paleoindian and later occupations along ancient shorelines of the San Agustín Plains, New Mexico

Matthew E. Hill, Vance T. Holliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To better understand the residential behavior of Paleoindian (14,000-8000 CAL B.P.) and later groups (Archaic and Formative period), our project undertook an investigation of the eastern sub-basins of the high elevation (>2070 masl) San Agustín Plains in west-central New Mexico. The work included pedestrian survey of 390 ha, geoarchaeological studies, an analysis of private collections consisting of 210 artifacts from 75 sites, and site-file record searches. The preliminary results from this project suggest the presence of significant Archaic and Paleoindian occupations along paleolake shorelines in the northeastern portion of the San Agustín Plains. Most of the archaeological sites from this area represent isolated finds of diagnostic projectile points, although a few large multicomponent sites were also identified. Functional and temporal differences between the occupations of the two sub-basins show that human use of the area shifted gradually from one focused on moderate to low-intensity habitation (Paleoindian and Archaic period) to one of short-term seasonal visits associated with special-function resource extraction activities (Formative period) in response to the disappearance of surface water features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Ake site
  • Archaic
  • Paleoindian
  • Paleolake
  • San Agustín plains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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