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Matthew Cuba, cultural resource manager for the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, brushes off the remnants of a recently uncovered Paleo-Archaic hearth at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024.

Matthew Cuba, cultural resource manager for the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, brushes off the remnants of a recently uncovered Paleo-Archaic hearth at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024. (Isaiah Pedrazzi/U.S. Air Force)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — 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 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 the 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.

The remnants of an 8,200-year-old hearth recently uncovered at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024.

The remnants of an 8,200-year-old hearth recently uncovered at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024. (Isaiah Pedrazzi/U.S. Air Force)

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 six miles southwest of Alamogordo in south-central New Mexico.

Fragments recovered from a recently discovered Paleo-Archaic site at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024.

Fragments recovered from a recently discovered Paleo-Archaic site at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 7, 2024. (Isaiah Pedrazzi/U.S. Air Force)

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