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Planning Workshops for the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Glenna Dean

The New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is preparing regional overviews for management purposes in response to recommendations voiced during the "Improving the 106 Workshop" held in Albuquerque in July 1996. The vehicle for the overviews will be roundtable workshops scheduled regularly over the next decade to discuss the precontact period. For each region, about 15 knowledgeable participants (including academics, CRM professionals, and avocationals) will be invited to represent the profession and discuss what has been learned from the past, future research domains, the data sets needed to address the research domains and the types of sites that might contain the data sets, issues of eligibility under the National Register criteria, and data collection standards.

The goal of the overviews is to establish generally accepted research domains that must be considered by the field archaeologist during survey and be referenced in any recommendation of eligibility. In practice, an archaeologist would pull the appropriate overview off the shelf (or the HPD Web site) for a project area and apply the discussions of data sets and research domains to a particular site in recommending eligibility. When decisions are made on sites that merit preservation or excavation in the face of project impacts, those decisions can be made with larger research issues in mind.

Because these "regions" are essentially management units unrelated to cultural areas, there are few constraints on where to draw the lines. After extensive thought and discussion, a dotted line has been drawn along the eastern flank of the Sangre de Cristos and the San Andres/Guadalupes to define the "Eastern Plains." The rest of the state could be divided up into the Central Highlands, San Juan Basin, Western Highlands, and Chihuahuan Desert, for example, for a total of five regions generally drawn along topographic breaks. These titles do not convey any cultural implications; the dotted lines are porous and discussions should include adjacent areas.

The first overview effort will concentrate on the southern portion of the Eastern Plains, south of the Caprock/I-40 to the Texas line ("SE New Mexico"). The first roundtable workshop for this area is scheduled for early December 1999 in southern New Mexico. Funds are available to pay travel and lodging expenses to the meeting site for about 15 participants in the three-day event. Three such meetings are expected over the next three years to complete the overview process.

Chosen participants will be expected to have major archaeological experience in the area, know the major literature, understand the regional issues, summarize what has been learned , and help draft sections of the overview between roundtable events. An honorarium will be paid to participants to cover some of the expenses of research and writing.

Before the second roundtable workshop in 2000, a completed draft of the initial discussions will be distributed to the participants. A completed overview will be distributed to all state archaeological firms for comment soon thereafter. The third and

final roundtable workshop will discuss changes to be made to the draft document based on the findings of a geoarchaeology study undertaken for areas of southeastern New Mexico. A final document (3-ring binder, Web page) will be produced by 2001.

For information on participating in the SE New Mexico roundtable workshops, contact Glenna Dean, State Archaeologist, Historic Preservation Division, Office of Cultural Affairs, 228 E. Palace Ave., Room 320, Santa Fe, NM 87501, tel: (505) 827-3989, fax: (505) 827-6338, email:, Web: ·

Glenna Dean is state archaeologist for New Mexico.

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