PUEBLO BLANCO SURVEY

In October 2005, the Office of Contract Archeology conducted an archeological survey of 435 acres of State Trust land located within and around the ruins of Pueblo Blanco in the Galisteo Basin, Santa Fe County, New Mexico. Archeologists Alex Kurota, Adrienne Actis, Catherine Heyne, and Colleen Strange documented 35 new and 4 previously found archeological sites and 75 isolated occurrences. While all sites are affiliated with Pueblo IV Anasazi occupation dating to AD 1300-1600, some also exhibit a historic period component and a small number of sites may also have an Archaic component. The prehistoric sites are mostly typified by small agricultural loci, although some camps, limited use sites, or possible hunting locales were also found.

This was an exciting project during which a variety of agricultural fieldhouses, grid gardens, terraces, check dams, small rockshelters, hunting blinds, and numerous rock art panels were discovered. Given the fact that the ruins of Pueblo Blanco are only several hundred meters away from the sites documented on this project, we believe that these agricultural locales were an important part of the pueblo’s economy during its occupation. This pattern and land use around large PIV pueblos (characterized by numerous small, presumably seasonally used agricultural, hunting, resource extraction, and ritual sites) has been noted elsewhere in the upper middle Rio Grande region but has not been firmly documented in the Galisteo Basin before now.

A portion of the late 19th - early 20th century O’Mara Mine is also located in the project area. We documented various features associated with mining operations, such as prospect holes, mining shafts, old roads, tailings piles, and masonry or milled lumber structures.

We thank Mr. Patrick Lyons, Commissioner of Public Lands, for funding this project as well as Mr. David Eck, Trust Land Archaeologist for the New Mexico State Land Office, for coordinating fieldwork and reviewing the project report.

Alex Kurota                   Richard Chapman

Field Supervisor             Principal Investigator






Stone tools from project area