Dig Giusewa

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through October 6

September 14, 2018 09:00 am
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September 16, 2018 03:00 pm
Historic Sites

Explore the ruins of Giusewa Pueblo with archaeologists from New Mexico Historic Sites and Native American tribal members from Jemez Pueblo. Watch as they sift through the earth finding artifacts and features more than 500 years old. Ask questions and learn what makes Jemez Historic Site such a remarkable place. Ranger led tours of the archaeological excavation and the historic site will occur at 10AM and 2PM daily, self-guided tours are available at any time.

Jemez Historic Site, 18160 Hwy 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025.


Over the past one hundred years, the majority of the archaeological and historical research at Jemez Historic Site has focused on the Spanish mission. Much less is known about the Jemez peoples living in the surrounding Pueblo of Giusewa. Yet, Giusewa is among the earliest and longest occupied villages in the Jemez Mountains. It is an ideal place to explore Jemez settlement and origins. Moreover, as a mission site, Giusewa represents the location of direct and prolonged contact with European religion and culture allowing researchers to explore themes of accommodation and conflict.

Many questions regarding the village and the people living there remain. Did the people of Giusewa originate in the Rio Grande or the Four Corners? Or do the Jemez represent a mix of peoples from both areas? How does this fit within Jemez oral history? Did the village burn, along with the Spanish Mission, during the Jemez Revolt of 1623? What European products were adopted by the Jemez at Giusewa during the early 17th century? These are some of the questions set to be addressed this August.

In partnership with the Friends of Coronado Historic Site and the Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico Historic Sites is pleased to announce a new program at Jemez Historic Site, entitled “Dig Giusewa.” Running every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between August 16 and October 6, archaeologists, tribal members, and volunteers will work to systematically excavate a five-by-five meter area just north of the Visitor Center. The goal will be to document and preserve a series of pueblo rooms for public interpretation at the historic site, while recovering thousands of artifacts and material for analysis.

Visitors can tour the excavations on their self-guided visit through Giusewa Pueblo and San Jose Mission or opt for a more structured experience with ranger-led tours at 10 AM and 2 PM daily. Notable cultural materials, such as complete vessels and projectile points, will available for public viewing inside the visitor center. Regular admission rates apply.

Afterwards, the architecture and artifacts will be put to work answering questions of Jemez origins and acculturation. These investigations will guide new interpretative exhibits both inside and outside the visitor center at Jemez Historic Site, including a fully restored portion of the village. The results will also be published in a number of public interest articles and a special report from New Mexico Historic Sites.

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