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This page lists New Mexico History and Beyond lectures for 2019 and 2020

New Mexico in the Twentieth Century

Coronado, Onate, and the Mixton War, 1540 - 1542

December 3, 2020

The Mixton War, which occurred between 1540 and 1542, was a rebellion by Native American peoples against the Spanish. It was a brutal war fought on the fringes of what was then northwest New Spain. Few New Mexicans have ever heard of it. Yet, the figures of the war and the events that occurred leading up to it, during it, and in its immediate aftermath factor very heavily in New Mexico’s history. This presentation explores the war in-depth.  >Link to recorded lecture: : Coronado, Onate, and the Mixton War

Urban Archaeology in the Capitol Complex Historic Neighborhood

Thursday, December 17

The Prohibition and Great Depression Eras represent a fascinating point in United States history. Recent archaeological investigations into the Capitol Complex Historic Neighborhood of Santa Fe, New Mexico examined the lives of New Mexico families living at eleven different structures during this period. Cultural materials collected from these investigations were utilized to examine ethnic, socioeconomic, contextual, and temporal differences in consumption and discard patterns among residents of the individual structures and how these differences (or similarities) characterized the neighborhood as a whole.  >Link to recorded lecture: :  Weird Artifacts in the Capitol Complex

New Mexico Central Railway

December 31, 2020

The New Mexico Central Railway, affectionately known to many as the “Bean Line,” was founded as the Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Pacific Railroad in 1900 and was in operation until 1926. Success of the railway was tied to agriculture in the Estancia Basin and to markets in Santa Fe, El Paso, and beyond. Recent archaeological investigations in Santa Fe, the northernmost stop for the New Mexico Central Railway, have unearthed much of the infrastructure which once serviced the line. Examining these archaeological phenomena provides evidence as to the speculative nature of the enterprise and the lack of capital investment which ultimately led to its demise.

 >Link to recorded lecture: New Mexico Central Railway

Histories that Defy Expectations

 Lesser Known and Unexpected Conquistadors

November 12, 2020

Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro are well known for their conquests of the Aztec and Inca Empires. However, the exploits of these men did not occur in a vacuum. Many other conquistadors came before and after them. They included the Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque in India and the Native American Ixtlilxochitl II in Central America. This presentation will explore some of these lesser known conquistadors and the impacts of their conquests on the early modern era. 

Lecture Series: The U.S. Army in the West  Matthew Barbour, Regional Manager: Coronado & Jemez Historic Sites

Part l: That Sink of Vice and Extravagance August 20, 2020

Established with the conquest of Santa Fe by General Stephen Watts Kearny on August 18, 1846, the Fort Marcy Military

Reservation served as the military and administrative center for the Territory of New Mexico throughout much of the

nineteenth century. Situated at the junction of three major trade networks—El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the

Old Spanish Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail—Fort Marcy transformed a preexisting dilapidated Spanish- and

Mexican-periods presidio into a symbol of a burgeoning imperial power.  The military post would go on to play an

important role in numerous conflicts, including various campaigns against the Navajo, the Taos Revolt of 1847,

the American Civil War, and the Spanish American War. 

Excavations conducted in recent years throughout downtown Santa Fe have revealed a plethora of archaeological

finds associated with the military reservation, such as foundations associated with the fort’s structures, plumbing/

sewage systems, and pits filled with kitchen and domestic refuse. Portable artifacts collected in association with

these features consist primarily of imported items such as European and Oriental porcelains, rubber combs,

children’s toys, medicinal products, and lots and lots of liquor bottles. In conjunction with archival research, these

materials have begun to paint a detailed picture of life at the military reservation and for Santa Fe as a whole. Fort

Marcy emerges not simply as a base from which war was conducted, but a testament to changes in regional trade

networks brought by United States control of the American Southwest.  >Link to recorded lecture:  Sink of Vice

Part II:  Battle of Glorieta Pass Confederate Mass Grave, 1862

Thursday, September 3 at 3:30 pm

The Battle of Glorieta Pass is referred to by many as the “Gettysburg of theWest.” Following early

victories by a Confederate Army attempting to conquer New Mexico Territory, the battle represented

a turning point in the war. Destruction of the Confederate supply train by Union forces led to the

retreat of the Confederate Army south, never to threaten Union supremacy in the American West again.

In 1987 while building his house, a New Mexico resident unearthed a Confederate mass grave associated

with the battle. This presentation examines the archaeological and forensic findings associated with the

soldiers buried therein.   >Link to recorded lecture: Glorieta Pass

Part III:  Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, 1862 - 1869

September 17, 2020

Fort Sumner was established in 1862 to enforce the confinement of rebellious Indian populations at the

newly minted Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, on the Pecos River. Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson

brought approximately 400 Mescalero Apaches and 7,000 Navajo people to Bosque Redondo.  However,

widespread pneumonia and dysentery resulted in the death of roughly a quarter of the population. In

November 1865, the Mescalero fled the reservation, but the Navajos remained until permitted to return

home under the terms of the Treaty of Bosque Redondo in June 1868. Deemed an absolute failure, the post 

was abandoned by the US Army in 1869. This is the tale of one of America’s most notorious concentration camps.

 >Link to recorded lecture:   Fort Sumner


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES/COLUMBUS DAY:  First Contact: The Taino & Their Legacy -- October 1 


The Taino of the Caribbean were the first Native American people to encounter Spanish explorers.

Historical accounts and the archaeological record indicate a dynamic culture rich with artistic

and religious expression and ideally suited for life among the islands. This lecture will provide an

overview of the Taino, examine their acts of accommodation and resistance to colonization, and

explore how their legacy has-and continues to influence peoples and cultures around the world.

Link to recorded lecture:  First Contact

The Era of Late Antiquity -- October 15 at 3:30 pm

Late Antiquity is a term used to characterize Europe, the Mediterranean, and Near East  between the 3rd and 8th

centuries AD. This era was a time of profound cultural, political, military, and religious change as old empires

evolved and new ethnic groups emerged to reshape the historical narrative. The lecture will provide a broad

overview of the period examining the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam. 

 >Link to recorded lecture: Era of Late Antiquity


The Portuguese Empire 1415 – 1668

By Matthew J. Barbour   

   >Click this link to open the program: Portuguese Empire

An Archaeological Perspective of Hunting in New Mexico

Hunting has always played a pivotal role in Native American subsistence and culture.  While much is made of the mega-fauna hunters of the Paleo-Indian Period, later agriculturalists created their own specialized hunting practices. This presentation explores the archaeology and history of hunting in New Mexico from the arrival of hunters and gatherers to the twenty-first century.    >
Link:  Hunting

Corn and Cotton: Archaic Life along Mimbres River

In 2011, the Office of Archaeological Studies conducted data recovery on an archaeological site along the Mimbres River, just north of Deming, New Mexico. These efforts resulted in the documentation of 25 features and the collection of 2,091 artifacts and samples. Analytical results suggest that the principal occupation of the site occurred during the Late Archaic/Early Agricultural Period with an emphasis on corn and cotton production. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the archaeological investigations while substantiating and improving our knowledge of early human habitation in the Mimbres Basin.  >
Link: Corn and Cotton

History of Jemez Province

Located along the southern flanks of the Jemez Mountains, the Hemish of Jemez Pueblo have always represented a distinct cultural group among the Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande. Unlike their Keres neighbors who congregated in large farming communities along major rivers and produced distinct polychrome pottery, the Hemish historically lived in much more dispersed settlements high atop forested mesas and away from permanent water sources. They relied heavily on rainfall to sustain their agriculture and continued the manufacture of black on white pottery long after the practice was abandoned by other Puebloan groups. This presentation explores the unique history of the Hemish from their migration into the region in the 1200s to the present day.  >

Link:   Jemez Province

Agricultural Ingenuity & Expertise of the Jemez People

The Jemez Mountains with its forested slopes, narrow valleys, and rocky crags appear at first glance unsuitable for cultivation. Yet, some of the earliest evidence of maize (corn) in New Mexico is found there and a Spanish account from 1583 estimates that this rugged terrain may have produced an agricultural yield large enough to support a population of as many as 30,000 people. All Pueblo Peoples were masterful farmers, but the agricultural practices of the Jemez People are nothing short of extraordinary. This presentation will examine agriculture in the Jemez Mountains from its beginnings in the Archaic Period to its collapse in the eighteenth century.

Link: Agricultural Ingenuity

Religion and Rebellion in 17th Century New Mexico

The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 did not occur in a vacuum. It represents the nexus in a broader century of religious and political conflict between the Spanish and Native Americans in New Mexico. This presentation will discuss the arrival of the Franciscan missionaries and the impacts Catholicism had on Pueblo culture resulting in both conflict and accommodation. Underlying these interactions is a lesson of tolerance, which remains relevant to this day.

>Link to recorded lecture:  Religion and Rebellion in 17th Century

"A Social Diagnosis and Prognosis for COVID-19" 

with James A. Trostle

In this online salon, James A. Trostle, t Scott M. Johnson ’97 Distinguished

Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and SAR

Weatherhead Resident Scholar, will consider the social dimensions of

COVID-19 and their relationship to the pandemic’s epidemiological characteristics. Among the issues he discusses are the pandemic’s likely long-term social effects and changing attitudes toward the risk of infection.

Use this link to open his program:  Diagnosis-Prognosis 

Use this link to access and download Dr. Trostle's handout.  Trostle Handout 

Covid-19 Trostle.jpg
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