Site Overview

Site Number


History of the Site Name

Named for a previous landowner, Luther Shields (born in 1921), who moved to the Goodman Point community in March of 1925 from Benton County, Arkansas (see Marjorie Connolly's "A Historic Land Use Study of Gooman Point", 1990, on file at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center).

Other Names

Name Comment
Indian Burial Ground Named this by historic Goodman Point community residents
Indian Ruins Named this by historic Goodman Point community residents
Shields Complex This name appears on ealy maps of the site produced by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Site Type

Habitation (with public architecture)

Site Boundary Description

The northern, eastern, and western boundaries are formed by private property. The southern boundary is formed by County Road P.5.

Site Size

Approximately 52 acres, 210,800 square meters, 340 meters north-south, 620 meters east-west

Site Composition and Layout

Shields Pueblo is located in what is now southwestern Colorado, northwest of Cortez and immediately adjacent to the Goodman Point Unit of the Hovenweep National Monument, on lands owned by Colorado Mountain College and James and Veda Wilson. Shields Pueblo consists of artifact and masonry concentrations distributed over a 35-acre area, which has been disturbed by historical land use, primarily mechanized plowing. Immediately south of the site is the Goodman Point Unit of Hovenweep National Monument, a preserve within which is the large settlement of Goodman Point Pueblo. With the kind permission of the landowners, archaeologists from the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Center educators, field interns, volunteers, teachers and hundreds of program participants conducted archaeological fieldwork at Shields Pueblo from 1997 through 2000. During that span, we examined 18 dense artifact concentrations and conducted test excavations within approximately 50 structures, most of which were subterranean masonry-lined kivas or earth-walled pitstructures. We sampled a small percentage of subterranean structures we believe to be present at Shields Pueblo, an interpretation based on the results of remote sensing surveys conducted at the site. Shields Pueblo was home to dozens of families in the centuries between the late A.D. 700s and the depopulation of the Mesa Verde region by A.D. 1300, after which the lands remained largely untouched until homesteaded in the early twentieth century. The most intensive occupation of Shields Pueblo dates between about A.D. 1100 and 1280, when the site was densely settled and appears to have been central to a larger community of households that resided within a few miles of the site. By the mid-A.D. 1200s, Goodman Point Pueblo, located several hundred yards south of Shields Pueblo became the central settlement in the vicinity, though some families continued to reside at Shields Pueblo. Between A.D. 1280 and 1300, people remaining in the Mesa Verde region chose to leave, moving to areas to the south, where Pueblo people continue to live today.

Cultural Affiliation and Date Range of Occupation

Mesa Verde ancestral Pueblo Indian, approximately A.D. 500-1280 (Basketmaker III-Pueblo III)

General Location

1.1 miles west on County Road P.5 from the intersection of of Roads P and 18. Shields Pueblo is located on a series of ridges on the north side of Road P.5 approximately 0.5 miles past Goodman Canyon.

Ownership, Stewardship

Colorado Mountain College (southern portion) and James and Veda Wilson (northern portion)}

Years of Crow Canyon Excavation


Percent Excavated by Crow Canyon

Approximately 1 percent


State of Colorado Archaeological Permits were obtained for each field season (1997-2000) to conduct archaeological research

Permits Comment
2000-29 State of Colorado Permit to conduct archaeological excavations
97-21 State of Colorado Permit to conduct archaeological excavations
98-31 State of Colorado Permit to conduct archaeological excavations
99-3 State of Colorado Permit to conduct archaeological excavations