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Excavations of Kuaua Ruins at Coronado Historic Site, 1938.
Photo credit: —Museum of New Mexico Negative No. 045354.

Make history———Join Dig Kuaua

~Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager, Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites

Beginning on May 15 and running until June 30, the Office of Archaeological Studies will be performing archaeological investigations at Coronado Historic Site. This project, entitled Dig Kuaua, will include hand-excavation of test units throughout Kuaua Pueblo and the surrounding refuse piles (middens). It has the potential of yielding hundreds if not thousands of artifacts. Architecture dating to the 1500s will also be unearthed.

To see the dig, visit the Coronado Historic Site. Docent led tours of the archaeological excavation and the painted kiva will occur on the hour. This is an opportunity for visitors to interact with archaeologists on an active dig. Come back regularly and watch the interpretations of the site change as more is uncovered. Learn what makes Coronado Historic Site such a remarkable place.

If you want to be involved, join the Friends of Coronado Historic Site. As a member you will receive free admission to Coronado Historic Site and many activities, such as demonstrations and lectures. You will also receive Friends’ quarterly newsletter and email notices of programs, trips, and other special events. Most importantly, Friends of Coronado Historic Site members are invited to participate in Dig Kuaua. Tasks available to volunteers include sorting artifacts, screening sediments, ceramic analysis, and light digging under the supervision of a professional archaeologist.

If you are interested, join the Friends of Coronado Historic Site by filling out the form available at Then contact Dig Kuaua Coordinator Ethan Ortega and get your email address added to the volunteer list. This list will keep you up-to-date regarding the dig and opportunities to work at the site. Coordinator Ortega can be reached at 867-5351 or

“New Mexico before Columbus”

On April 16, at 2:00 p.m., Friends of Coronado Historic Site will host a lecture titled “New Mexico Before Columbus." Alan Osborne, a New Mexico Humanities Council Chautauqua Speaker, will present a short history of New Mexico prior to the European Age of Discovery.  Osborne is a co-founder of Southwest Seminars of Santa Fe. 

Life in North America before Columbus is a long and fascinating story that is often overlooked or condensed in our history books in favor of the colonial explorations, exploits, settlements and stories. We now have the advantage of more than a half century of state-sponsored archaeological investigations and more than a century of anthropological interaction with New Mexico and the Southwest. We live in one of the most studied cultural areas in North America, north of Mexico, with more than one hundred thousand identified historical sites cataloged from the long span of human habitation here. The talk will include a look at Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Classic ancestral cultures as we understand them today.

Held at the Sandoval County Historical Society Museum (DeLavy House), Highway 550 and Edmond Road, in Bernalillo. Adult admission is $5 (Friends of CHS are free). For more information, call 771-9493, or visit Coronado Historic Site is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A combination ticket, good for admission to both Jémez and Coronado Historic Sites is available for $5. First Sunday of the month admission for New Mexico residents with ID is free.

Adobe-making workshop offered

On April 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Corrales Historical Society (CHS) will host an “Adobe Architecture and Construction Workshop” held at Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road, in Corrales. The instructor is Franciso Uviña, Director of the Historic Preservation and Regionalism, School of Architecture and Planning, at the University of New Mexico. Register on the CHS website at by April 21.

Mudding and Maintenance Day at the Old San Ysidro Church is the next day, April 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Workshop participants can come and help demonstrate mudding techniques they have learned and help with various other projects.

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