The Archaeological Conservancy announced Thursday that it is raising funds for the acquisition of the Holmes Group archaeological site, a significant Chaco community.
The site, located in San Juan County northwest of Farmington, is considered one of the largest and most complex of the Chaco-period occupation sites. The conservancy group plans to raise funds for its purchase through Generosity by Indiegogo, an online nonprofit fundraising platform.
The group began negotiating with the owner of the property in 1981, but had no success until the owner’s children agreed to sell the site long-term preservation.
The Holmes Group was first recorded by W.H. Holmes in 1875 and again by Nusbaum in 1935. Despite episodes of looting, the site contains large areas of undisturbed cultural material that have the potential to yield important information. A 1984 archaeological survey of the site identified two Great Houses, two possible Great Kivas, two cobble masonry bi-wall structures and an impressive “circular road” or “enhanced areola,” a 1,000-foot diameter earthwork circle enclosing the center of the community. The 1984 survey identified a total of 127 surface features and structures. The Holmes Group is considered to be the “most intact” of all the major La Plata Valley Chaco period occupation sites. The site is a region of ongoing oil and gas development, and faces new development.
Jim Walker, the Conservancy’s Southwest Regional Director, stated, “This is a unique opportunity to preserve an important Chaco Outlier. Although our understanding of the complex Chaco system has expanded greatly in the last 40 years, significant questions remain unanswered. Establishing the Holmes Group as a permanent archaeological preserve could help future researchers answer some of those questions.”
For the new Indiegogo campaign, The Conservancy has organized contribution amounts into tiers, and each level corresponds with a specific unique benefit. These range from a Conservancy postcard to a very exclusive private tour of the Holmes Group site and more. All donations can be made at www.generosity.com/fundraisers/holmes-group-archaeological-project, and will support saving this phenomenal site.
The Archaeological Conservancy, established in 1980, is dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation’s remaining archaeological sites. Based in Albuquerque, the Conservancy also operates regional offices in Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, and California.