Field Methods

North Indicator

True north (14 degree declination), USGS Quadrangle map: Arriola, 7.5 minute series, 1965 (photoinspected 1971)


Grid is aligned to true north

Mapping Techniques

Mapping at Shields Pueblo was conducted with a Topcon GTS-303 total station surveying instrument and data collector. However, the setting in of Datums 1 and 2 were accomplished with a Lietz one-minute transit, as this initial work required an instrument with a compass in order to establish a baseline oriented to true north. The primary datum (Datum 1) was set in the tallest portion of the Architectural Block 100 rubble mound. The coordinates of this datum were set at 500N 500E (meters); these numbers were large enough to ensure that the grid for this site could be extended and used for mapping and excavations at all sites within the entire 52-acres without necessitating the use of negative coordinates on any site. The elevation of Datum 1 was set at 100 meters, to avoid any possibility of necessitating the use of negative elevations throughout the site. Datum 2 was set in east of Architectural Block 500 at 490.856N 702.563E and an elevation of 92.119 meters. Datum 3 was set in north of Architectural Block 100 at 552.098N 504.567E and an elevation of 97.634 meters. Datum 4 was set in west of Architectural Block 700 at 516.452N 294.270E and an elevation of 96.218 meters. The rebar mapping datums were the only items left at the site when fieldwork was completed.

Clearing of Vegetation

Grasses and other small plants were removed in excavated areas. Shrubs were trimmed during placement and removal of the equipment trailer, and during construction of the culvert south of Architectural Block 600 and north of County Road P.5. No trees were removed or damaged during Crow Canyon's research at the site.


Excavation units were backfilled according to permit stipulations and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center policy. Landscaping fabric was used in the bottom of excavation units to protect surfaces and to mark the extent of Crow Canyon's excavations. The pits and structures were then filled with layers of dirt and rocks as nearly as possible to the original contours of modern ground surface. All Crow Canyon equipment and debris, except for rebar mapping datums, were removed from the site when fieldwork ended in November 2000.

Surface Indications

Intact masonry rooms were indicated by rubble mounds or rock concentrations only in Architectural Block 100. Throughout Shields Pueblo, kivas were indicated by shallow depressions, some by the absence of rubble, and for some kivas there were no surface indications. Middens were indicated by relatively greater artifact density on modern ground surface, but had been dispersed by plowing activities.

Modern Ground Surface Collections

Artifacts on the modern ground surface were collected from a 3-m diameter "dog leash" in the center of each 20-x-20-m grid on the site. Artifacts on the modern ground surface were collected from each excavation unit.

Treatment of Disturbed Areas

When Crow Canyon's field work began at Shields Pueblo, multiple disturbed areas were visible. Pothunting activities were evident in most architectural blocks, particularly those located near County Road P.5 including Architectural Blocks 500, 600, and 800.

Areas Disturbed by Crow Canyon

Crow Canyon staff and participants were involved in archaeological excavations at Shields Pueblo for four years, from 1997 to 2000. Crow Canyon's trailer was located in Architectural Block 100 and the portable toilets were located southeast of Architectur

Areas and Percent Damaged by Vandals

Beginning in the 1950s and continuing into the late 1990s, mechanical equipment was used for agricultural production at Shields Pueblo, thus the site was heavily disturbed from plowing activities. Although plowing ceased on the Colorado Mountain College p

Artifacts Not Collected

All artifacts caught by 1/4-inch-mesh screen (or 1/8-inch-mesh screen for hearth fills) were collected. Architectural rocks such as building blocks, ventilator cover slabs, hatchway covers, and so forth were not collected. In-situ deflector slabs were documented as features and left in place.

Types of Surfaces Recognized

Prepared (constructed) floors; ephemeral use surfaces within structures; outdoor (extramural) use surfaces. All features (except wall features) were inferred to have been associated with a surface of some type; thus, a surface was designated for each feature, regardless of whether a surface was visible.

How Artifact-Surface Associations Were Defined

Artifacts were inferred to be associated with a surface if they contacted the surface or rested on an object that contacted the surface. Artifacts were inferred to be possibly associated with a surface if they were within 5 cm of the surface (if an artifact was within 5 cm of a surface, the elevation of the artifact relative to the surface was recorded).

Tree-Ring Sampling

All burned and unburned wood specimens that appeared to contain 40 or more rings were collected as tree-ring samples. These samples were collected and securely wrapped in cotton string as promptly as possible after exposure to prevent damage to the sample. Tree-ring samples were point-located (i.e., the locations were documented both horizontally and vertically).

Archaeomagnetic Sampling

Not applicable

Archaeobotanical (Flotation) Sampling

Flotation samples were routinely collected from contexts containing burned organic material. These contexts included ashy midden deposits, hearth and firepit fills, ash deposits on kiva floors, and any vegetal material in roof-fall strata. Standard samples were 1 liter, but smaller samples were collected where a smaller cultural deposit was encountered. Modern plant and animal disturbances were avoided when sampling. Individual samples, such as visible charred maize cobs or kernels, were recovered during excavating or screening, and sent in as a vegetal sample.

Pollen Sampling

Pollen samples were collected from contexts thought most likely to yield information about structure use. Thus, samples were collected from sealed contexts on floors (i.e., beneath rocks that were resting on a surface) and from sealed mortar contexts in Structure 1412 (shrine located above Structure 1402, masonry kiva). Control samples were collected from roof-fall and wall-fall debris.

Other Sampling

Ash and burned desposits (i.e., ash from hearths and firepits) were collected for microbotanical and macrobontanical analyses.