Site type and location: Site 5MT264 (The Gallery, Serpent Quarters Pueblo). Cliff dwelling with an isolated tower outside the alcove. Most of the site is located within a sandstone alcove against a cliff face on the first terrace in the west of East Fork of Rock Creek Canyon. A portion of the site—the tower located on the small butte with the possible associated structures (Site 5MT1842) is near the middle of the canyon. The site faces southeast and east; elevation: 1707 m (5600 ft) above sea level. The vegetation around the site is dominated by pinyon-juniper woodland, mountain mahogany, yucca, and prickly pear.
Dating: Mostly Late Pueblo III period (1225–1280 A.D.), although some rock art (paintings/pictographs) should be dated much earlier, to the Basketmaker II/III period of the Ancestral Pueblo (possibly ca. 3th-5th century A.D.). This rock art is the example of the eastern variant of the so-called San Juan Basketmaker style (Palonka 2019, 2021).
Description of the research: The investigations of the site, the nearby tower, and surrounding landscape were carried out periodically between 2012 and 2018 with focusing on non-invasive documentation: drawing of all standing architecture (in the millimeter paper in the scale 1:20), preparing map of the site, survey and recordation, collection of artifacts, and geophysics studies (mainly electrical resistivity) in 2012 and digital 3D documentation in 2014-2016 and using photogrammetry from the UAV/drone in 2019. Digital documentation included mostly photogrammetry as well as laser scanning of the entire alcove and all the rooms and features, rock art panel, murals and plasters at Room B, historical inscriptions and a part of the canyon and surroundings.
Rock art research included documentation of the Ancestral Pueblo pictographs and petroglyphs and several historical inscriptions/”modern graffiti”. Additionally, in 2019-2020 new research and digital analysis in DStretch software (mostly by Jakub Śliwa, M.A., photographer) and using RTI/Reflectance Transformation Imaging method revealed new images (mostly anthropomorphic figures) previously not seen by the „naked eye” and even through digital photography (e.g., Palonka 2021).
Digital recording technology: 3D scanning (TLS), photogrammetry, digital photography, hand drawing. Recording equipment: Electronic tachymeter Topcon OS-103, Trimble GPS, Faro Focus 3D S120, Nikon D7100 (f/5.6, ISO-400, 35mm with Nikkor lens: 17-55 f/1:2.8G). Software: Faro Scene, Agisoft Metashape, Blender, RTI (for acquiring better resolution of architectural structures, mainly sandstone walls and details of the rock art we have used Agisoft and RTI software). Record: Georeferenced DEM (Digital Elevation Model), georeferenced 3D models, georeferenced orthophoto plans.
© Sand Canyon–Castle Rock Community Archaeological Project, 2021