Cultural Resources Work at the Hansonburg Mining District

 Hburg 1

Tierra archaeologists performed a 1,752-acre Class III cultural resources inventory for a New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department Abandoned Mine Lands Program undertaking to safeguard the public from hazardous open mines in the Hansonburg Mining District.

NM Hansonburg 1The project was performed on lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico State Land Office. Tierra’s cultural resources survey resulted in the documentation of 41 newly discovered sites, 4 previously recorded sites, 2 historic buildings, 4 historic structures, and 72 isolated occurrences. Among these were historic mining features, historic buildings, a historic rock shelter with pictographs, and prehistoric and historic artifact scatters. 

Tierra addressed the survey’s unique challenges—including its very high site density, large number of features, and potential hazards involved with working around abandoned mines—by implementing a project-specific safety plan focused on mine hazards, devising appropriate methods for defining site boundaries and managing large feature datasets, and using Trimble GPS and GIS to record, organize, and manage archaeological data. In addition to pedestrian survey, this project involved archival research and oral history interviews with mine claim holders in conjunction with a field visit.