We have taken several hikes to one site with bedrock mortars not far from the FMSP trailhead at Chuck Heinrich Park in NE El Paso. Fort Bliss archaeologist, Sue Sitton, dates the site between A.D. 1000-1450 as part of the Dona Ana/El Paso phase. Her basis for dating is that Chupadero B/w (a style of black and white pottery) was found on it.
I asked Marilyn Guida, the Curator of Education at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, to give me more details and here is what she emailed me:
“Chupadero is a type of pottery with a distinctive design. Archaeologists have been able to determine the time period and geographic area within which certain types of pottery occur. Chupadero is associated with the time period she indicates in our area - the Jornada Mogollon. Chupadero was traded into what we now call the El Paso area. It wasn't made here.
“We have an exhibit case at the museum showing whole pots which are examples of pottery traded in the Jornada Mogollon area.
“Dona Ana/El Paso phase is a time period and the name of a cultural phase within the Jornada Mogollon culture area.
“Archaeologists look for specific kinds of artifacts, architectural styles, physical features left behind by people, and the types of food they ate, etc. to distinguish cultural phases. They give names to these cultural phases. Dona Ana/El Paso phase is a time with characteristics which overlap between the two distinct phases of Dona Ana Phase and El Paso phase.
We have an inexpensive booklet [Prehistoric Indians of the El Paso Area by Lora Jackson] for sale at the museum which explains all the phases in more detail.
“Archaeologists are always working to try to pin these phases down more precisely. Sometimes the evidence simply does not present itself, so things aren't real clear cut. Archaeologists live with a lot of uncertainty.”
Lora Jackson added:
“Chupadero B/w was made in two areas: Chupadera Mesa in the Gran Quivira area, so it was made at those mid New Mexico pueblos, and in the Capitan area of the northeastern Jornada. So, it is both an intrusive and local type. The pottery is northern technologically and stylistically. I think a good way to look at this is not so much from the pottery stand point, as from the people perspective. What probably happened is that some people who made Chup moved south into the Capitan region of the Jornada and continued to produce it there. So that pottery is local, but the people who made it were not.”