Sand Canyon Archaeological Project

Legacy Project


The Sand Canyon Archaeological Project studied settlement in the Sand Canyon locality, focusing on the A.D. 1000–1290 period. Beginning in 1983 and continuing to 1993, the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center conducted extensive archaeological investigations in an effort to better understand the ancient Puebloan communities of the mesa and canyon country west of Mesa Verde National Park. The research at Sand Canyon Pueblo – Site 5MT765 was a major component of the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project. This project also included intensive excavations at a small site (Green Lizard) and a medium-size site, Castle Rock Pueblo, probabilistically designed test excavations at numerous small sites, intensive survey of approximately 30 km2 in the Sand Canyon locality, and paleoenvironmental modeling. Several published accounts cover aspects of the history of research at Sand Canyon Pueblo in the context of the larger regional project. The 1992 Sand Canyon Archaeological Project progress report devotes a chapter to the excavations at Sand Canyon Pueblo, and various components of the larger project are described in other chapters. The Site Testing Program, which consisted of small-scale test excavations at 13 sites in the Sand Canyon locality, was an essential component of the larger project.