(Continued from Jay Canyon 1: Approach)
One cannot afford to overlook even the smallest detail when examining an archaeological site; they all combine to tell the story. I pause at a dinner-plate-sized hole in the hillside, peering in to see what animal (kit fox? badger?) may have lived there. Black widow nests are in their predictable places, crevices in the rocks and nooks in the structure. A slight breeze helps me find their messy webs.
Knowing this site has been dug and looted — it’s not far off a jeep trail — we look for evidence. A Prince Albert tobacco tin left behind by miners or cowboys sits on a rock. Brittle paper contents from a century ago are somewhat intact, but in 2010 some selfish soul wrote her own thoughts on the back of the artifact. I bristle at the lack of respect.
Inside the cylindrical granary, bones are laid out, obviously for 21st-century display. I click a photo and moved on to the room block behind it. This is someone’s house; several families dwelt here eight centuries ago. We examine old corn husks, blackened charcoal, pieces of juniper that may have been part of a roof.
Piecing together why this site was such a lovely place to reside — water supply, south-facing exposure, protection from enemies — we both approved of the real estate chosen by someone’s ancestors.
~~ To Be Continued ~~