Crow Canyon’s New Partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center

Posted November 1, 2022

This year, Crow Canyon forged a new, exciting partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center and Executive Director, Rebecca Levy, that includes interactive displays in the Cultural Center’s lobby, the analyses and recording of artifact collections, and an archaeological survey at the Hawkins Preserve south of Cortez.

Crow Canyon’s 2022 Education Intern, Catherine Gagnon, took the lead to create interpretive digital resources for visitors at the Cortez Cultural Center. From Indigenous videos on how to visit archaeological sites with respect to Pre-Hispanic timelines, visitors can now interact with digital resources that are projected on a wall for easy access to educational content related to local history and culture.

The Center displays artifacts, dating from A.D. 500–1300, including pottery vessels that Crow Canyon’s laboratory archaeologists are analyzing to determine what time period they date to and if there are any that may have been brought into the area from outside of the Mesa Verde region, an indicator of social networks in the past.

At the Hawkins Preserve, Crow Canyon field archaeologists developed a pedestrian survey as part of Crow Canyon’s Archaeology Research Program—this program involves citizen scientists to aid in data collection on the archaeological sites that dot the landscape. Hawkins Preserve consists of a 122-acre natural area and includes numerous Pueblo I–Pueblo III period (A.D. 750–1300) habitations that are part of the Mitchell Springs Group, one of the densest concentrations of houses and community architecture in what is now southwest Colorado. In addition, there are several historic sites associated with Ute and Navajo peoples, as well as the earliest Euro-American settlers in the Cortez area.

“In conjunction with Crow Canyon’s Northern Chaco Outliers Project, data collected during our partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center will provide important information on the history and occupation of two of the largest Pre-Hispanic communities in the area, greatly contributing to our understanding of the human past in the Mesa Verde region.” — Dr. Susan Ryan, Chief Mission Officer

We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center!