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FS 18 ruins

It would be nice if this site followed the pattern of other Jemez sites and had a picturesque name. You know, something like “Place where the kittens fart rainbows”. Sadly it does not and is merely known as FS18, short for Forest Service 18. Pure poetry, eh? If that appellation leaves you cold, there’s always LA 5920, its Laboratory of Anthropology designation.

This isn’t an especially large site, originally consisting of perhaps 350 rooms, with three plazas and three kivas. Based upon ceramic dating, it’s believed to have been occupied from around 1350 AD until 1650 AD. The ceramic sherd scatter is fair, more than some, less than others. Overall, I’d rate the site as a solid “meh”. Nothing to get excited about, but more interesting than seeing bare forest land.

It’s located near the edge of a nicely forested mesa near 7,600 feet. It’s pretty far in and requires a lengthy 4wd jaunt to get to.

There is a cliff face below the ruin with a number of interesting petroglyphs. Emphasis is placed on the word “below”. I considered access just a bit hinky in terms of the down climbing required, but managed to do it without incident. Jeri decided to oversee operations from above. Good choice. The presence of the petroglyphs does add a bit to my overall rating of the site.

One of the petroglyphs was of a figure (god or human, otherwise anthropomorphic). I hadn’t seen anything like that before. It was probably about 4 feet tall, not quite life-size. Unfortunately the photos don’t provide a good sense of scale, and I wasn’t able to get anything into the image that would show a scale. The petroglyphs were located above a ledge I didn’t feel like climbing to, as I had already tempted fate by down climbing. I always try and recognize when the odds favor the house. The Jemez are better folk then moi.

FS 18 Ruins (Adapted from “Overview and Synthesis of the Archeology of the Jemez Province, New Mexico, by M. Elliot, 1986

Approaching the FS 18 site. This is what these things look like from a distance. Not very noticeable.

An overall view of FS 18 to give a feel for it’s expanse. And this is a modest site.

A typical kiva depression, which doesn’t show well in a 2D picture. But trust me, it is a hole.

Jeri on a typical mound created by a collapsed roomblock.

One of the plaza areas of FS 18. Nice place for a tree.

Interesting deep grooving in rock at very edge of cliff. The purpose isn’t apparent, as they don’t appear to be petroglyphs. That’s a long way down in the background.

Some of the petroglyphs below the site.

More petroglyphs on this face. There’s a LOT going on here.

A close up of the previous rock face.

Very cool! An anthropomorph petroglyph!