Upcoming Events

March 2, 2024

Education Outreach at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd, 2024, 9 am until 4 pm, cost: $20

March 6, 2024

Chasing the Plumed Serpents of the Southwest
OAS Brown Bag talk by explorer and engineer Ron Barber at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

March 8, 2024

Education Outreach at the El Rito Library
Friday, March 8th, 2024
1 pm until 4 pm, free!

March 14, 2024

Education Outreach at the Grants Public Library
Thursday, March 14th, 2024
10 am until 2 pm, free!

March 16, 2024

Education Outreach at the Santa Fe Children's Museum
Saturday, March 16th, 2024, 12 pm until 4 pm, free*!

Into the Dinetah Labyrinth: Exploring Pueblo I and Navajo Archaeology

October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8, 2017
Cost of trip: $255 for FOA members, $290 for non-FOA members

The region between Bloomfield and Dulce, New Mexico—best known as Dinetah, the homeland of the Navajo, or Diné, people—has a complex archaeological history. Here, elaborate defensive sites within dispersed communities and rock art depicting the origins of Navajo culture are scattered throughout the narrow canyons. Less appreciated, by both archaeologists and the public, is the area’s AD 600–1000 record of ancestral Puebloan farming communities. These early farmers of the Dinetah region are distinct from their contemporaries in the better known Chaco area a few miles to the west, and the communities themselves appear to represent the ancestors of today’s Jemez people. Join archaeologists Chuck Hannaford, Dean Wilson, and Eric Blinman on Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8 for three days of site visits along the back roads of the Dinetah.

Most archaeological enthusiasts venture north along US 550 on their way to explore the Ancestral Pueblo world, and most turn to the west, conscious only of the Great Houses of Chaco Canyon, Salmon Ruins, and Aztec Ruins. Few travelers turn to the east and take the less traveled path into the Dinetah, known best as the traditional homeland of the Navajo. The labyrinth of canyons, mesas, and dirt roads characterizing this region can be intimidating, and this sentiment may have extended deep into the past. In addition to the better known Navajo presence, the region was the home to a strong early Puebloan population, but the Chaco people did not seem to venture much east of the Great North Road. Why?

The Dinetah extends from Bloomfield in the north to Dulce in the south and is sandwiched roughly between US 64 on the east and US 550 on the west. The majority of the region is administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Dinetah may be the richest federal archaeological land holding in the United States, however, the archaeological sites are subtle, not developed for the visiting public, and effectively unknown to most of the world. Hiking is not strenuous, but some rock climbing will be involved. High clearance vehicles are recommended and carpooling is highly encouraged.

Spaces are limited. To reserve your place for this event call (505) 982-7799, ext. 7 after 7am starting Tuesday, August 29. The cost of the trip is $255 for FOA members and $290 for non-FOA members, $75 of which is tax deductible.

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


Dinetah rock art