Message #201

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998
Subject: Coronado Research At Sites In Blanco Canyon TX

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] : 

From: C. Randall Morrison

Floyd County Texas Hesperian-Beacon 102:24:1,3
(11 JUN 98), Floydada TX:

Dr. Ronald Blakeslee and other students from Wichita
State University in Wichita, Kansas assisted by
volunteers from Kansas, New Mexico and Texas returned
to work in the canyon, at the Coronado dig site, from
May 23rd through May 29th. Archeologists from Germany
and Slovakia also assisted in the digs. The
archeologists have been coming to the site since Labor
Day weekend 1995 and have returned four times a year,
each year, since then. Geomorphological testing by Dr.
Rolfe D. Mandel of Topeka, Kansas was done recently at
the Jimmy Owens Site in Blanco Canyon. Results of the
tests have not been received yet. Five of the copper
crossbow bolts have been released by the Wichita State
Lab and transferred to the Floyd County Historical
Museum. Among the points returned are those found by
Floyd County amateur archaeologists Jimmy Owens, Ray
Macha and Roland Adams. According to Dr. Blakeslee the
Coronado site in Floyd County is "the earliest historic
site in Texas." "We hope to draw tourists here from
all over the world," said Blakeslee. The archeologists
are now concentrating their efforts along river
terraces and are finding Coronado material mixed in
with Comanche and Kiowa artifacts. "We are finding
Coronado material 5 1/2 feet down," said Blakeslee.
"That is why it is not being picked up with a metal
detector. Two thousand years ago there was a very nice
lake at this site. We are digging at a site that is
230 meters wide and 450 meters long." According to
Blakeslee the artifacts are "incredibly well
preserved." "It is a dry area and the soil is not
salty. There are in a wonderful stage of preservation
now, but the more we handle them we can damage them.
The salt comes off our hands and causes 'copper disease'
which corrodes the material. "As we turn over the
Coronado artifacts to your museum it is important to
make sure the museum building has the proper climate
control and packaging to preserve the artifacts. This is
very essential." The archeologists are expected to
return during Labor Day weekend. In other news at the
Floyd County Museum, the museum has been notified that
photos of the 3/4 scale model of the Montgomery
Ranchhouse located in the museum will be included in a
feature story about Dugouts to be published in a future
issue of Texas Highways Magazine.