McElmo Canyon Research Institute, Cortez, CO

McElmo Canyon Research Institute Projects

McElmo Canyon Research Institute has administered a number of grants from the Colorado State Historical Fund, partnering with the Bureau of Land Management and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM) to accomplish these goals of preservation and education.

In 1996 MCRI received a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund to conduct an inventory of 1,600 acres of BLM lands in the Sand Canyon area. Between 1998 and 2000, MCRI completed structural stabilization projects at six prehistoric cliff dwellings in Sand Canyon and recorded rock art near Cannonball Mesa. In 2004, MCRI received a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund to complete Historic American Building Survey (HABS) documentation for standing architecture at Cannonball Pueblo, including backfilling of Cannonball's North and South Pueblo, and the design of a project exhibit. These projects were all accomplished with volunteers through the Elderhostel Road Scholar programs. Additionally, MCRI's Road Scholar volunteers assist the AHC annually with site surveys and a variety of curation-related projects including collections inventory, rehousing projects and artifact cataloging.

In 2010 MCRI was awarded a Colorado State Historical Fund grant for Phase 1 of the Dolores Archaeological Program DAP) Collections Preservation, Access, and Education Project. The project included re-boxing, re-bagging, and re-labeling artifact collections to bring them up to Department of the Interior museum preservation standards as well as reconciling DAP database information with the physical collections. The work done in Phase 1 at the Anasazi Heritage Center helped to signicantly improve the condition of one-third of the artifact collections, raised the profile of this important resource, and presented a learning opportunity for both interns and volunteers.

Phase 2 of the DAP Collections, Preservation, Access and Education Project was funded as of October, 2012. This second 2-year grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund will complete the work begun in Phase 1. Building upon the upgrades made to the artifact database records, a research guide will be developed to further improve accessibility and encourage the use of this valuable resource. The newly-developed guide will include site and collections information, a bibliography of past research, and suggestions for future research. A specialized DAP curation tour for the general public will also be created that will teach visitors not only about the DAP, but also about the value of archaeology and historic preservation.

The following is the abstract of a report done in conjunction with the BLM on what is now the Sand Canyon Recreational District of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. It is just one example of much work that was done as a partnership among MCRI, Kelly Place and the BLM. This project was conducted when Kelly Place was owned by Rodney and Kristie Carriker and prior to the designation of Canyons of the Ancients as a National Monument. Partner Report Abstract Link