In many Southwestern homes, Lewis Binford, James Judge, and J. J. Brody are household names. Their scholarly pursuits have added many pieces to the complex puzzle of New Mexican prehistory, and their work has enriched our understanding of those who came before us. Among their many accomplishments, however, is one that goes almost unnoticed. In the winter of 1972, the three of them struck an agreement with two of their graduate students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Sometimes a mentor has to make a decision that requires a leap of faith, and in February of that year each did just that.
With help from their friends and cohorts, Mark Wimberly and Peter Eidenbach were inspired to create a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation dedicated to the pursuit of basic research in anthropology and related fields of science. The founders chose a descriptive, scientific name - Human Systems Research, Inc. (HSR) - for their enterprise. Using the School of American Research, in Santa Fe, as an organizational model, HSR appointed to its first board of directors none other than Binford, Judge, and Brody. Brought into existence during the dawn of salvage archaeology, HSR matured in the world of cultural resource management. Curiosity for exploration, wonderment of discovery, and passion for the preservation of southern New Mexico's cultural heritage fueled its endeavors.
Preservation began at home. After working outdoors through harsh winters, the HSR crew moved its base of operation from Three Rivers to an office in Tularosa. Thirty years later, that office remains the heart of HSR's financial operations. In 1994 came the acquisition of the historic Ladies Earnest Working Club, better known as the Tularosa Women's Club. Established in 1901, the building is a prime example of early Tularosa architecture and is a contributing property to Tularosa's Historic District.
In 1988, HSR purchased a 5-acre parcel in La Luz on which a portion of LA Site 457 is visible. LA 457 is a large, Jornada Mogollon (200 AD - 1400 AD) residential complex with numerous features and portions of an El Paso Phase room block with multiple occupation floors. HSR has worked cooperatively with its neighbors during the past 14 years to ensure the preservation of this significant site in the face of encroaching development. Now we have transferred this extraordinary property into the hands of the Archaeological Conservancy.Continue to Pg 2.