Shields Pueblo (Site 5MT3807) 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 research at Shields Pueblo was designed to provide detailed information about the occupational history of the site and to begin building an archaeological database to complement the work the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (Crow Canyon) has conducted in the central Mesa Verde region. Research conducted at nearby sites includes that at the neighboring Sand Canyon community, comprising archaeological fieldwork at Sand Canyon Pueblo (Kuckelman 2007), Castle Rock Pueblo (Kuckelman 2000), and at the sites of several smaller settlements located in the vicinity (Varien 1999). The Shields Pueblo-Goodman Point settlement group was thought to be the nearest counterpart to the Sand Canyon community. Research at Shields Pueblo provided the opportunity to evaluate models that attempt to account for the sequence of Ancestral Pueblo community development, on the basis of the work in the Sand Canyon community.