Chiles and Sherds

Chiles and Sherds

Sights Unseen

May 31, 2020
Archaeology, Friends of Archaeology

This Year’s Event Features a Whole New Look at the Galisteo Basin

This year’s fundraising event, on May 31, 2020, will target an area of the Galisteo Basin that FOA has not visited before. In past years, tours have highlighted the remarkable fifteenth through seventeenth century pueblos and rock art that have made the Galisteo Basin a world class archaeological preserve. This year, the event will focus on the usually neglected twelfth through fourteenth century sites in the Basin.

The large pueblos resulted from a process of immigration, population growth, and community reorganization that started with households and ended with hamlets. This process began earlier than expected, with some sites appearing to date just before AD 1100, contemporary with the construction of the great houses at Chaco Canyon. Migrants came from all directions, with many joining in the growing community in the thirteenth century. Black-on-white pottery dominates these sites rather than the later red and yellow glaze wares, and trade wares at the sites provide clues to migrant origins and connections.

Unlike the broad vistas of many of the large later pueblos, these earlier sites are nestled into a dissected landscape of cliffs and arroyos that spill out onto local alluvial fans and floodplains. The setting is beautiful and undeveloped, reflecting the transition from ancient farming to the ranching of today.

The day’s events will consist of small group hikes organized around a catered lunch. Some hikes will be rugged, but there will be less strenuous alternatives. All hikes will cover 1.5 miles or more and will visit many sites that can be spaced only tens of yards apart. There is little rock art associated with this time period, and most attention will be paid to interpreting house mounds and artifact scatters.

FOA will start taking reservations at 7 a.m., Tuesday, February 25, 2020, using the FOA reservation hotline 505.982.7799, ext. 6. Please leave your name, a call-back number, and the tentative number of people in your party. An FOA representative will call back to obtain e-mail or mailing addresses. Details of the day’s itinerary will be distributed by e-mail or mail. Participants will sign up for the hikes at a later date, in the order original reservations were received. Payment will be requested at sign-up.

Chiles and Sherds is one of two major fundraising events that FOA organizes each year as part of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Cost for the tours and lunch is $105 for FOA members and $115 for non-members. Money raised supports the education and research programs of the Office of Archaeological Studies of the Museum of New Mexico, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.