Archaeological site discovered at Holloman Air Force Base

by Tommy Grant

An archaeological site that might shed more light on New Mexico’s ancient history has been discovered recently within the boundaries of Holloman Air Force Base.

Base officials said geomorphologists and members of the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental flight uncovered a campsite in early March that’s about 8,200 years old and belonged to some of the state’s first settlers.

Matthew Cuba, the squadron’s cultural resource manager, said the formation of white sand dunes inadvertently buried the site with windblown silt protecting the archaeological remains.

“This site marks a pivotal moment in shedding light on the area’s history and its early inhabitants,” Cuba said.

He said digs at the site have turned up about 70 items ranging from flake stones to a rare example of an early ground stone.

“We also uncovered a series of hearths, or community campsites, with remnants of mesquite charcoal, which is a tremendous find in and of itself,” Cuba said.

He said the site is one of 400 archaeological discoveries found within the boundaries of Holloman, which was built in 1942 and is located 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) southwest of Alamogordo in south-central New Mexico.

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