Upcoming Events

June 13, 2020

Galisteo Basin day hike: Pueblo Galisteo
CANCELED―The Galisteo Basin day hike: Pueblo Galisteo has been canceled
Saturday, June 13, 2020
Cost of trip: $90 for FOA members, $100 for non-FOA members

Galisteo Basin day hike: Pueblo Galisteo

June 13, 2020


Saturday, June 13, 2020
Cost of trip: $90 for FOA members, $100 for non-FOA members

The Galisteo Basin day hike: Pueblo Galisteo has been canceled.

Today, Pueblo Galisteo is a windswept forest of cholla, growing on melted roomblocks and plazas on the south side of Galisteo Creek. Sherds and flakes litter the ground amid bare remnants of collapsed adobe walls and traces of stone rubble. Nels Nelson’s descriptions from 1912 are similar, noting faint traces of buildings in some areas with more prominent buildings in others. An interesting contrast is his note of a complete absence of cholla a mere century ago. Faced with impending snows of winter, Nelson excavated only 25 rooms at the site. He was unable to locate any kivas and gained only equivocal information concerning the location of the Spanish mission.

Since Nelson’s brief and lackluster explorations, historic research and surface mapping has revealed a more complex history of Pueblo Galisteo. One of the northern Galisteo Basin pueblos, it was occupied during the Spanish entrada. A convento was established at the Tano village in the early 1610s, staffed more permanently after the arrival of seven new Franciscan friars between 1616 and 1617. No evidence has yet been found to support the characterization of the Galisteo Church as a “handsome temple,” but within the structure of the Franciscan system it waxed and waned as a center of regional mission organization. Tanos from Galisteo participated in the Pueblo Revolt, occupied the Native pueblo at the Palace of the Governors, and then dispersed to the Tewa pueblos after the Reconquest. In 1706, the Spanish governor resettled Tanos from Tesuque Pueblo back at Galisteo to help resist Apache and, later, Comanche raids from the south. The final abandonment was in 1794, when residents moved to Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo.

Nelson mentions a roomblock on a promontory on the south side of Galisteo Creek, but no archaeology was carried out there until the work of Bertha Dutton in the 1960s. Dutton was explicitly investigating possible migrations, and her work at Las Madres has been essential to understanding the pre-1400 archaeology of the Galisteo Basin.

The owners of this property have graciously granted access to Pueblo Galisteo on Saturday, June 13. FOA will hold two tours in the morning, and one or two tours in the afternoon, depending on interest. A strenuous tour option will include both Pueblo Galisteo and Las Madres, while a less strenuous option will include only Pueblo Galisteo. The less strenuous option will still include walking over uneven ground through dense vegetation, while the strenuous option will require hiking up steep arroyo banks with changes in elevation equivalent to multiple flights of stairs.

Tours will be $90 for members and $100 for non-members. The strenuous morning tour will meet at 8 am, while the less strenuous alternative will gather at 9 am. Afternoon tours will meet at 12:30 pm, and 1:30 pm. Further details will be provided to enrolled participants on June 2. The FOA reservation hotline will open at 7 am, May 12, 2020. Call (505) 982-7799, ext. 7, and leave your name and number. An FOA member will return your call within a day or two.

Please check back on this website and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation's Friends of Archaeology website for updates.