We assume that most of the petroglyphs at Three Rivers were made by the same people who inhabited the nearby village on the banks of the Three Rivers creek. This agricultural village was occupied for about 400 years. An easy walking trail from the east side of the campground takes you down to where you can see the foundations of three types of prehistoric dwellings.
Prehistoric occupation of the Tularosa Basin, the expanse between the San Andres Mountains on the west and the Sacramento Mountains on the east, began at least 10,000 years ago when nomadic hunters populated most of North America. These people lived by foraging and hunting now-extinct megafauna such as mammoth and bison. Environmental changes eventually resulted in the exctinction of these animals and in most places in he New World, people began to hunt smaller game and depend more on plant resources.
Possibly in response to population pressure, the Southwestern inhabitants began to produce food by farming corn, beans, and squash. Archaeologists refer to the agricultural prehistoric inhabitants of southwest New Mexico, southeast Arizona, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico as the Mogollon. The mountain-dwelling Mogollon people are referred to as the Mimbres Mogollon and the desert branch are referred to as the Jornada Mogollon.
Villages, like the one here at Three Rivers, were established along dependable water sources. The first homes were simple pithouses,
constructed by digging a pit, then roofing it with beams covered with branches, mud and grass. Later homes were built with adobe walls.
The Three Rivers village was partially excavated in 1976. Usually excavations are backfilled, but here three structures were stabilized to illustrate different prehistoric building types.
Text from Guide to Three Rivers Petroglyph Site - Las Cruces Field Office of BLM..