US Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District

District Archaeologist Shares Historical Discoveries at Colorado Conference

District Archaeologist
Published March 30, 2015
JOHN MARTIN RESERVOIR, Colo., -- This is the sandstone survey marker found in 2001 at the reservoir. It marked a corner of the Mary Prowers Indian Claim No. 19, also known as a "beef-steak claim."

JOHN MARTIN RESERVOIR, Colo., -- This is the sandstone survey marker found in 2001 at the reservoir. It marked a corner of the Mary Prowers Indian Claim No. 19, also known as a "beef-steak claim."

These archaic anthropomorphic (top left) and representational protohistoric (buffalo and cattle) pecked petroglyphs at John Martin Reservoir, Colorado, may date from approximately 5000 B.C. to about 1880 A.D.  Petroglyph panels and other cultural resources located on public lands belong to all Americans and are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act.  Please photograph but do not touch or deface these historic properties.

These archaic anthropomorphic (top left) and representational protohistoric (buffalo and cattle) pecked petroglyphs at John Martin Reservoir, Colorado, may date from approximately 5000 B.C. to about 1880 A.D. Petroglyph panels and other cultural resources located on public lands belong to all Americans and are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act. Please photograph but do not touch or deface these historic properties.

A buffalo petroglyph, one of many in southeastern Colorado, near John Martin Reservoir. Petroglyph panels and other cultural resources located on public lands belong to all Americans and are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act. Please photograph but do not touch or deface these historic properties.

A buffalo petroglyph, one of many in southeastern Colorado, near John Martin Reservoir. Petroglyph panels and other cultural resources located on public lands belong to all Americans and are protected by the National Historic Preservation Act. Please photograph but do not touch or deface these historic properties.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- District archaeologist Gregory Everhart attended the 37th Annual Conference of the Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists held in Estes Park, Colorado, March 13-15. Everhart gave an agency report on recent cultural resources activities at Trinidad Lake and John Martin Reservoir as well as presenting two papers at the Carrillo Symposium, held during the conference. The Carrillo Symposium was named in honor of Richard F. Carrillo, a well respected archaeologist from southeast Colorado who passed away unexpectedly last year.

Everhart’s first paper provides documentation on the discovery at Albuquerque District’s John Martin Reservoir of an 1872 marker that delineates a portion of the boundary for Indian Claim 19, one of a set of land grants granted to survivors of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. The sandstone marker was discovered in 2001 by Park Ranger Don Headlee, now retired. Titled “A Report to Document the Discovery of an 1870s Sandstone Survey Marker Delineating a Boundary Corner of the Mary Prowers Indian Claim No. 19, in Bent County, Colorado,” the paper provides a brief background on Mary Prowers and her famous father and mother, John Wesley Prowers who married Amache Ochinee in 1861. Amache was the daughter of Cheyenne Chief One-Eye who was killed in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. Chief One-Eye was one of the principal Cheyenne peace chiefs.

Subsequent to Sand Creek, the U.S. Government, through the October 14, 1865, Treaty of the Little Arkansas, granted lands along the north side of the Arkansas River “…to those [Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indian] survivors of Sand Creek who had suffered the loss of husbands or parents.” Per Article 5 of the Treaty, the Mary Prowers claim is one of the thirty-one 640-acre fee-simple Indian Claim grants.

Indian Claims 17, 18 and the western portion of 19 are now in the reservoir upstream of John Martin Dam. The eastern portion of Indian Claim 19 is downstream of the dam and the sandstone marker was found on a gravel terrace north of the Arkansas River floodplain.

Everhart presented a second paper titled “A Brief Summary of Interesting Physiographical and Historical Information Regarding Southeastern Colorado’s Arkansas River Valley.” In this paper, Everhart provides information on the characteristics of the Arkansas River and local sand dunes. It also includes several historic maps of the region as well as a number of photographs of several undocumented historic properties in the area that included Archaic “rock art,” historic names carved in rock including a few of Hispanic origin, log cabins and rock buildings, and an old water tank associated with the historic AT&SF railroad.

The second presentation was presented primarily for a younger generation of archaeologists to consider each of the photographs as potential research topics. Everhart said that he wanted to encourage younger archaeologists to focus on other, less-researched areas in southeastern Colorado.