Chiles and Sherds

Chiles and Sherds

at San Cristóbal Pueblo

June 3, 2018
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Archaeology, Friends of Archaeology

The 2018 Chiles and Sherds event returns this year with a rare opportunity to visit an astonishing place. Generously, the San Cristóbal Ranch has given us permission to hold our Chiles and Sherds program (tours and lunch) at San Cristóbal Pueblo.

Just 25 miles south of Santa Fe, this archaeological site combines one of the largest Galisteo Basin pueblos with one of the most spectacular rock art sites in the Southwest. The human story includes dramatic responses to late twelfth-century climate change, village formation on a remarkable scale, the florescence of new religious ideas and institutions, Spanish colonization and the seventeenth-century mission system, the Pueblo Revolt, and ranching of the modern era. The Pueblo itself has an estimated 1600 rooms organized around a dozen plazas, and the rock art images are uncountable (estimated to be more than 10,000). Most of the images are pecked (petroglyphs), but some painted images are preserved in protected settings (pictographs).

The Chiles and Sherds event will consist of small group tours (16-18 participants each) of the rock art and pueblo itself, spaced at 30-minute intervals throughout the day. Each tour will last 2-3 hours and will cover about 2 miles of rough terrain, often up steep rocky slopes with cholla and prickly pear cactus. Tours will be scheduled around a long lunch period, with some participants touring then eating, others eating then touring.

Also included as part of the event will be a single, day-long, physically strenuous hike to Pine Canyon and its pictographs. These images are preserved in small alcoves in steep side canyons and arroyos away from the pueblo. This hiking option will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to 16 participants. The cross-country hike will cover more than 7 miles of extremely rugged terrain, requiring agility and stamina for a full day of back-country exertion and exhilaration. Many rattlesnakes have been encountered on Pine Canyon hikes and the heat will be extreme; participants are expected to carry a full day's worth of water and be in excellent physical condition. Participants will be provided a “box lunch” to carry along with their own water and snacks.

Cost for the San Cristobal event will be $100 per FOA member, $110 for non-members. Children 10-16 years old are encouraged to join the pueblo and rock art tour, with a reduced cost of $60. Cost for the Pine Canyon hike will be $130 for all participants.

The voice mail system of the Friends of Archaeology hotline will take orders on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations open at 7 am, starting February 20, 2018. Call (505) 982-7799, ext. 7, and leave your name, phone number, and the number of participants you represent (the number in your party), and whether you are interested in the Pine Canyon or the general San Cristóbal Pueblo tour. An FOA volunteer will return calls, confirming your contact information and priority so that out-of-town visitors can make travel plans. Calls for payment and tour time assignments will made in late April based on sign-up priority. Detailed information packets and waivers will be distributed in mid-May.

Cost of trip: FOA members: $100, non-FOA members: $110, children 10-16 years old touring San Cristóbal: $60, and Pine Canyon for all participants: $130

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