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Anthropology Class Visits Coronado Monument and Learns About Extinct Kuaua Pueblo

April 4, 2017 -- Fourteen students in Anthropology Instructor Jessica Craig’s Southwest Archeology class got a special tour of the Coronado Historic Site Sunday, once home to the now extinct Kuaua Pueblo.
Anthropology Class Visits Coronado Monument and Learns About Extinct Kuaua Pueblo

Apr 04, 2017

“What a great experience it was,” Craig said. “We got a special tour of the painted kiva, and then the ranger, Ethan Ortega, let us handle some of the artifacts they have recovered at the site.”

The Kuaua Pueblo was settled about 1325 and abandoned toward the end of the 16th century. It was one of several Tiwa-speaking pueblos in the area when the conquistador Vasquez de Coronado arrived, and the village was believed to be abandoned due to the after effects of the Tiguex War in February 1541. The ruins of Kuaua Pueblo, now the Coronado Monument, were excavated in the 1930s.

The CNM students got to see a series of pre-1541 murals that were recovered from a square kiva in the pueblo's south plaza. These murals represent some of the finest examples of “pre-contact” Native American art to be found anywhere in North America. Fourteen of the restored murals are displayed in the Coronado Historic Site's visitor center. Most of the images are of rain, agriculture and fertility.

Craig said that many of the original adobe rooms are visible on the surface, so you can get a feeling of how the pueblo was laid out.

“This is an online class, so this provided a unique opportunity to get together,” Craig said. “The students loved it. I think they especially enjoyed getting a hands-on tutorial about the pottery from the ranger. They had lots of good questions for him about the artifacts.”