In the Jemez language “FS 3” means “Place of the three FSs”. Oh wait…I just made that up. There isn’t an official name for the FS 3 ruins, that’s its Santa Fe National Forest designation. Sorta poetic in an official sort of way.
This ruin was only officially recorded in recent years. It was noted by Michael Elliot, an archaeologist who has done work for the Santa Fe National Forest, while flying over the area in a small plane. He then visited the site and recorded it.
Based upon his estimation, it was an establishment of about 250 rooms, and perhaps up to three stories based upon the size of the rubble mounds. Elliot says the occupational period was around 1350 AD to 1650 AD, based upon the type of ceramics present.
This was a friggin’ remote place to get to! A very long and convoluted 4wd crawl, then a substantial hike into the middle of nowhere. The annoyance of this was lessened a bit by stumbling onto four field houses along the hike in. Field houses are just small dwellings that would have been used during farming or hunting times by a family or other small group.
It turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant ruin to visit, with large quantities of ceramic sherds to gawk at. It’s in a very nice setting and highly pastoral. Despite it being in the middle of nowhere, there was evidence of pothunters hitting the site. So far, these yahoos have performed the only “excavations” on the site.