Beneath the City Different: The Archaeology of Santa Fe

Sponsored by SAR and Friends of Archaeology

Symposium, The New Mexico History Museum

Saturday, November 7, 2009, 1:00–5:00 pm

Timothy MaxwellTimothy MaxwellTimothy Maxwell Stephen S. PostStephen S. PostStephen S. Post Cherie ScheickCherie ScheickCherie Scheick Douglas W. SchwartzDouglas W. SchwartzDouglas W. Schwartz Cordelia Thomas SnowCordelia Thomas SnowCordelia Thomas Snow Ron WintersRon WintersRon Winters Jessica BadnerJessica BadnerJessica Badner Jason ShapiroJason ShapiroJason Shapiro View of a portion of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo during excavations in 1971.View of a portion of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo during excavations in 1971.Photo by Alan Stoker. View of a portion of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo during excavations in 1971.Photo by Alan Stoker. 

One hundred years ago, as Edgar Lee Hewett founded the Museum of New Mexico and established the School of American Archaeology (now the School for Advanced Research) he was unaware of the wealth of archaeological information lying under the Santa Fe streets that he walked daily. Within a few years, though, in the course of constructing the Museum of Fine Arts, Hewett uncovered the partial remains of a large prehistoric pueblo. This was perhaps the first modern glimpse of people who lived in the city before Spanish colonists arrived. More archaeological discoveries were made as the city grew. The pace of archaeological research intensified after 1987, when the City of Santa Fe passed an archaeological protection ordinance that may have been the first one in the United States. More recently, major construction projects in the downtown area have uncovered evidence of the wide extent and complexity of prehistoric and early historic life in the city.

Now Playing: Timothy Maxwell



Introduction to the Symposium
by Timothy Maxwell
6,500 Years of Living Light on the Landscape: Archaic Hunter-Gatherers and the Dawn of Agriculture in the Santa Fe Area
by Steven S. Post
The City Different: Variety and Change in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
by Cherie Scheick
The Big Pueblo at Arroyo Hondo and What It Tells Us About the Classic Pueblo Period
by Douglas W. Schwartz
The Archaeology of Early Colonial Santa Fe
by Cordelia Thomas Snow
Getting Into a Rut: Recent Archaeological Work on the Santa Fe Trail
by Ron Winters
Really Big Stuff Underground: Railroad Archaeology in the City Different
by Jessica Badner
Chain of [Cultural] Custody: The Identifiers, Promoters, and Keepers of Santa Fe Archaeology
by Jason Shapiro

Now, the two institutions founded by Hewett are organizing a look at what is currently known about Santa Fe’s past. The Friends of Archaeology (part of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation) and the School for Advanced Research are bringing together archaeologists who have spent many years studying the archaeology of the city for a public symposium. These researchers have given us new information about a recently discovered past—a past not yet covered in history books. Seven archaeologists will give presentations on different periods of Santa Fe’s history, from ancient to modern times during an afternoon series of talks titled Beneath the City Different: The Archaeology of Santa Fe. The speakers will begin with a look at Santa Fe’s first seasonal residents—nomadic hunters and gatherers who came to pick wild plants and piñon nuts. Then they will talk about the later Pueblo people who built several large villages and survived by farming. The severity and luxury of Spanish Colonial life will be discussed as well as the economic and changes brought by the Santa Fe Trail. Finally, the archaeologists will examine the agricultural and later industrial use of the recently developed Santa Fe railyard area.

This will be the second symposium co-organized by the Museum of New Mexico and the School for Advanced Research. The first was a highly acclaimed look at the historical use of water in the Southwest. Beneath the City Different also promises to offer new and exciting views of the past in New Mexico’s capital city. Much of the research is still being prepared for publication, so this will be the public’s first chance to hear it.

Thank you to the Symposium Planning Committee: John Kantner, Timothy Maxwell, David Grant Noble; Volunteers: David Brewer, Janie Miller, Joy Spaulding, Robert Vigil; and to Jason S. Ordaz for the audio recordings and photographs that appear in this webpage.

Symposium Schedule

1:00pm Introduction to the Symposium
  Timothy Maxwell, Director Emeritus, Museum of New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies
1:20pm 6,500 Years of Living Light on the Landscape: Archaic Hunter-Gatherers and the Dawn of Agriculture in the Santa Fe Area
  Stephen S. Post, Deputy Director, Museum of New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies
1:45pm The City Different: Variety and Change in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
Cherie Scheick, Program Director and owner of Southwest Archaeological Consultants
2:10pm The Big Pueblo at Arroyo Hondo and What It Tells Us About the Classic Pueblo Period
Douglas W. Schwartz, Senior Scholar, School for Advanced Research
2:35pm Break
3:00pm The Archaeology of Early Colonial Santa Fe
Cordelia Thomas Snow, Historic Sites Archaeologist and Historian
3:40pm Getting Into a Rut: Recent Archaeological Work on the Santa Fe Trail
Ron Winters, Independent Contract Archaeologist
3:25pm Really Big Stuff Underground: Railroad Archaeology in the City Different
Jessica Badner, Archaeologist, Museum of New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies
4:15pm Chain of [Cultural] Custody: The Identifiers, Promoters, and Keepers of Santa Fe Archaeology
Jason Shapiro, Chair, Archaeological Review Committee, City of Santa Fe
4:40pm Discussion
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