Upcoming Events

April 24, 2024

Journey to the Stone Lions
FOA Brown Bag talk by OAS graphic artist Scott Jaquith at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

May 4, 2024

Comanche Gap tour, Part 2
May 4th and 5th, 2024
Cost of trip: $85

May 15, 2024

It’s a Hard-Rock Life: Women and Children at Historic Mines in Southern New Mexico
FOA Brown Bag talk by OAS's Executive Director, John Taylor-Montoya, at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

2023 Chiles and Sherds at Pueblo San Cristóbal (POSTPONED!)

May 20, 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023, all day

Cost of trip: FOA members: $95, non-FOA members: $105

Link to the Eventbrite page for the rock art and Pueblo tour

Link to the Eventbrite page for the Pueblo tour, only

Inclement weather forecasted for this weekend has caused the delay of the 2023 Chiles and Sherds event at San Cristóbal Pueblo. Access to the site is over a short road, which is all but impassable when wet; passage across the creek is also difficult when the flow is high. Realizing that discretion is the better part of valor, the event organizers opted to postpone Chiles and Sherds until the forecast improves and the area has a clearer and drier weather window. Details will follow.

After a several year hiatus, the San Cristóbal Ranch has generously given us a rare opportunity to visit an astonishing place...Pueblo San Cristóbal. The Office of Archaeological Studies has been granted permission by the ranch's owners to hold our Chiles and Sherds program (tours and sack lunch provided) at Pueblo San Cristóbal on Saturday, May 20th, 2023. This is a fundraiser for the Friends of Archaeology of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation as well as for the research and education programs of the Office of Archaeological Studies.

Just 25 miles south of Santa Fe, this archaeological site combines one of the largest Galisteo Basin pueblos with one of the most spectacular rock art sites in the Southwest. The human story includes dramatic responses to late twelfth-century climate change, village formation on a remarkable scale, the florescence of new religious ideas and institutions, Spanish colonization and the seventeenth-century mission system, the Pueblo Revolt, and ranching of the modern era. The Pueblo itself has an estimated 1600 rooms organized around a dozen plazas, and the rock art images are uncountable (estimated to be more than 10,000). Most of the images are pecked (petroglyphs), but some painted images are preserved in protected settings (pictographs).

The Pueblo of San Cristóbal grew out of a pre-AD 1400 settlement, expanding over the next three centuries to include more than 1,600 rooms arranged around at least 14 plazas. A Spanish mission and convento were established at the Tano-speaking Pueblo in the early seventeenth-century, and portions of the mission walls still stand today. A reservoir adjacent to the Pueblo was created at least once after colonization. San Cristóbal Pueblo residents participated in the successful Pueblo Revolt of 1680, but by the time of the Spanish Reconquest in 1692–1694, the village was abandoned. During the period of the revolt, Pueblo San Cristóbal residents are credited with contributing to the construction of a new pueblo at the site of the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe and with establishing other late seventeenth-century villages north of Santa Fe.

In addition to building one of the most dramatic and best-defined of the Galisteo Basin Pueblos, village residents took advantage of the local geology to create one of the most remarkable rock art sites in the Southwest. Literally thousands of petroglyph images were carved into weathered sandstone surfaces overlooking the pueblo, and in a few protected places, multi-colored pictographs have survived. Although some images are believed to predate the fifteenth-century, most were created within the AD 1400–1700 period.

Each tour is 3 hours long (roughly 1.5 hours at the rock art and 1.5 hours at the Pueblo). The hike through the rock art is strenuous, equivalent to climbing six flights of stairs. There is an optional 1-hour long, very strenuous hike (equivalent to climbing an additional 12 flights of stairs) to the "watch tower", following the main 3-hour tour. All hiking segments will be over uneven ground, with all of the normal risks of encountering dangerous plants and animals in the undeveloped backcountry. This event will include a sack lunch (hikers can choose from gluten-free, vegetarian, and meat-eater options) and lunchtime beverages. Several shade canopies will be set up, but there will be NO big tent. Portable toilets will be provided on-location.

Cost for the Pueblo San Cristóbal event is $95 per FOA member and $105 for non-members. Partcipants should check in at least 15 minutes before their scheduled tour time and will be asked to sign a San Cristóbal Ranch waiver on-site, as a condition of participation. To reserve tickets for one of the rock art and Pueblo tours, please follow this link.

One tour at 9:20-11:20am will be led for ONLY the Pueblo. This is to accomodate our guests who are mobility-challenged. That tour will still be a hike over uneven ground, with all the normal risks in the undeveloped backcountry. To sign up for that tour please follow this link. Space on this tour is very limited and is intended for mobility-challenged folks. This tour is not wheelchair accessible and will still require participants to be able to walk and stand for nearly 2 hours.

Please check back on this website and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation's Friends of Archaeology website for updates. A full introduction to the 2023 Chiles and Sherd event is available in the February 2023 FOA newsletter, accessible on our FOA newsletter webpage and on the Friends of Archaeology's Facebook page.


Pueblo San Cristóbal overview