This is the Guadalupe Mesa on the edge of the Cabezon Wilderness Area, approximately 30 miles off New Mexico highway 550, between San Ysidro and Cuba, NM. Atop this mesa lie the ruins of a Chacoan Outlier community that was established sometime between 800 – 1000 AD. Outlier communities are believed to have been under the sphere of influence of the Chacoan civilization headquartered at Chaco Canyon. According to conventional wisdom, the folks who lived here would have paid crop taxes to the Chacoan aristocracy in Chaco Canyon, and would have traveled to Chaco for important ceremonies and feasts during the equinox and solstice. Guadalupe Mesa is in the Rio Puerco Valley, which is notable for the many volcanic necks located here. In this photo, the darker patch of rock near the crest of the hill is of volcanic origin. Pentax K20D, 1/25 @ F18, ISO 200.