Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Visit to Apache Wells

The site known as Apache Wells is located north of Hwy 10, about mid-way between Las Cruces and Deming. About one mile north of Apache Wells is the old route of the Butterfield Overland Stage. The Apache Wells site is marked here:
Apache Wells Map - New Mexico
As a source of water, the site was used by Native Americans and later visitors and settlers.

A scratched stone at the location memorializes the killing of Jon Faulkner in 1894. It is known that this stone is not at its original location, which is presumed to be nearby, so it does not mark an actual grave site. A search of various sources reveals no information about the killing of a Jon (or more likely John) Faulkner in 1894 (anyone know more?).
Jon (John) Faulkner Gravestone
At the top of the stone is scratched “MAID 29 DE 96,” i. e., made 29 December 1896.
Jon (John) Faulkner Gravestone


Also at the site are many Petroglyphs. Here are a sampling:
Petroglyph figure and horse - New Mexico
Figure and horse. The horse may have a saddle.
Petroglyph soldier
The wide stride and the over-the-shoulder stick with the bag strongly suggests a soldier.
Petroglyph Man Cat
A beautiful Petroglyph, evidently a man cat. Behind it is a much smaller animal, which could be canine or feline:
Petroglyph animal
Here we have a Petroglyph and a modern scratching:
Petroglyph plus Deming
The Petroglyph is made by tapping with a rock, the letters by scratching. You can see the clear difference in making technique here:
Petroglyph closeup
A mysterious petroglyph, partially buried:
Also in the area are many grinding (mortar) holes:
grinding (mortar) holes
These holes were used by to grind various seeds into meal. The longer the period of use, the deeper the hole. One interpretation of the size variation is that different seeds ground better or easier in different sized holes. So many holes together might also be a sign that grinding was often a group activity.

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