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June 28, 2004


The Pecos Pueblo (originally named Cicuyé) is located southwest of Santa Fe, NM. It was occupied from the mid fourteenth century until the early/mid nineteenth century, and hit its peak between 1450 and 1550. Franciscan Spaniards conquered the area of New Mexico in the late 1590’s, bringing with them the concept of a mission—converting Native Americans to Christianity and hence building physical structures through which this could take place. There are architectural remains of four adobe mission churches in Pecos. The first of these churches was completed in the early 1600’s.

Years of repression and forced religion resulted in the Pueblo Revolt of 1860, whereupon Native Americans in neighboring pueblos united to drive out the Spaniards. At Pecos, the priest and church were both destroyed, replaced with a forbidden kiva built within the mission. This freedom did not last long, however, and twelve years later Diego de Vargas returned to New Mexico. (It is said that the pueblo villages welcomed the Spaniards back, which I don’t really understand—I need to read up on that.)

The Pecos Pueblo has been the site of several important pieces of American history. It was a rest stop along the Santa Fe Trail that connected the Spanish frontier regions to the American expanse. There were also two Civil War battles there, as well as the final United States conquest during the Mexican-American War.

Even more notably, the ruins of Pecos were also one of the first sites to be dated through the analysis of trash striation. Alfred Vincent Kidder, a leading archaeologist in the early twentieth century, spent 12 field seasons studying the Pecos trash mound, where he found centuries worth of artifacts in exact reverse chronological order. Kidder’s work laid the foundation for Southwestern archaeology, which was a fledgling field at the time.

More Information
Pecos Pueblo at the Organization of American Historians
Pecos at the National Parks Service

More Images from Santa Fe
Santa Fe Images #1 (bobtrancho)
What Lies Before You (callalillie)
Santa Fe (callalillie)

Posted by callalillie at June 28, 2004 9:13 PM | History

Content & images are (c) 2003-2008 Corie Trancho-Robie | All rights reserved.