Oñate Monument and Visitor Center
State Road 68 BLDG 854, Santa Fe NM 87506
The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project (MPPP) is pleased to announce MPPP’s Project Director, Janet MacKenzie, speaking about her work recording ancient trails across Mesa Prieta. On Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 pm at the Oñate Monument and Visitor Center, Alcalde, Janet will present: Lost on the Way – Recording the Trails Networks on Mesa Prieta.
The ancient people who lived on the east and west sides of Mesa Prieta often travelled along established routes to visit each other. During the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project’s recording work, which began in 2002, several major trail networks across proveniences on the mesa have been discovered and mapped.
Prehistoric and Historic period artifacts including Archaic and Ancestral Puebloan lithic artifacts, ceramic sherds, glass sherds, metal objects, and animal bones have been found along these trails. Manmade features like corrals, rock cairns, rock walls and other structures speak to the use of the mesa over thousands of years. Some of the petroglyphs and artifacts that have been found are associated with these trails, some as trail markers.
The trails themselves are fascinating evidence of the activities of those who came before and they are still being used today. Their form and function have evolved over hundreds of years, from simple transportation trails to water management features that may be related to the heavy sheep grazing on Mesa Prieta’s grassy benches into the 1930s.