Mystery of the Gallina People

Field Trip

Saturday, March 31, 2012, 7:30 am–5:00 pm

Nogales Cliff HouseNogales Cliff House

The obscure ancient culture known as the Gallina occupied a remote region of northwestern New Mexico around AD 1100. The culture suddenly vanished around 1275, as the last of its members either left or were “wiped out.” Many of the Gallina burials show signs of violent death, as if their culture was being systemically extinguished. The mystery is why? Was it cultural genocide, tribal competition brought on by severe drought and limited food supplies, or something entirely different? Scientific research has been sporadic and little is known about these people and their relationships to the larger Ancestral Puebloan communities of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde.

US Forest Service archaeologist Mike Bremer will be our expert guide on this back road adventure through the beautiful, remote canyon and mesa country of Llaves Valley, northwest of Abiquiu, New Mexico. We will visit several small Gallina settlements, including some that are noted for their stone towers, cliff homes, and terraced gardens with water-control systems. Our stops include Rattlesnake Ridge Ruins, which features an excavated stone tower built along a high mesa, and the Nogales Cliff House, a 30-room, two-story dwelling situated in an inaccessible alcove formed by sandstone cliffs.

Preference in registration for this trip will be given to those members who had confirmed reservations on the November 2011 trip to Gallina, which was cancelled due to winter weather. Please contact SAR to reconfirm your reservation for this new trip date.

Activity Level: Moderate, includes walking into archaeological sites, some with steep grades and uneven surfaces, over distances up to one mile.

Cost (per person): $75, includes 4WD transportation from Santa Fe and a picnic lunch.

Trip Registration—New Policy: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR has adopted a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 590 KB) by mail (postmarked no later than January 2, 2012). A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by January 12, 2012. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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