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Funded Projects

2022 - 2023

No awards were issued in 2022-3

2021 - 2022

Thatcher Seltzer-Rogers     University of New Mexico, Archeology

Thatcher’s award will be used to fund AMS 14 C radiocarbon dating of four macrobotanical specimens from the Chamisal Site (LA 22765), a Classic period (A.D. 1300-1600) Middle Rio Grande village located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. The current understanding of patterns that define the Classic period within the Middle Rio Grande predominately come either from sites that are almost exclusively large sites and come with their own issues of partial data collection (e.g., Piedras Marcadas, Pottery Mound), problematic initial excavations resulting in missing artifacts (e.g., Pottery Mound, Kuaua), or limited excavations as part of modern development (e.g., Alameda School, Montaño Bridge).

The four selected macrobotanical specimens will come from separate strata within Area A between Levels 5 and 13. All specimens will be maize cupules or other non-wood, annual plant species to provide highly accurate dates that cannot be attributed to old wood or other issues. AMS 14 C radiocarbon dating will be undertaken by the Center for Applied Isotope Studies, a leading expert in processing of radiocarbon specimens at an affordable cost. Dates will be corrected for isotopic fractionization, providing more accurate dates than other radiocarbon labs and the full results will be provided for future researchers.

The analysis will be completed during the summer of 2022 and the complete project will
be finalized by December 2022. A report including the results of the radiocarbon dating and their significance will be curated at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology and with the Friends of Coronado Historic Site, who will also be afforded the opportunity for several presentations discussing the results for this project and for the analysis of the Chamisal Site as a whole. A report detailing the entire excavation results is anticipated by 2023 with a guaranteed copy provided to the Friends of Coronado Historic Site.

2020 - 2021

Jana Valesca Meyer    University of New Mexico, Anthropology


Jana is in the first stages of measuring the lifetime changes to bones of the hand to quantify how their use demonstrates cultural changes within a site and intra-sites. Initially, she is comparing bones from historic New Mexicans with an early medieval cemetery in Germany as proof of concept prior to applying the concept to prehistoric people that lived at Kuaua, Tijeris, and from a Pottery Mound. In addition to providing information on sex-specific differences in activity, variation in manual activity patterns, and differential health outcomes, this FOCHS Academic Award Candidates & Recommendations, 2021-22 Page | 1 information will also help demonstrate Kuaua’s and Tijeris’ role within the network of trade and cooperation among other Pueblo IV MRG sites. She will be in Germany this summer. This fall, analysis of results from German will take place, permissions will be requested from the tribes, and data collection will begin. Collection of data from Kuaua will take place during the Spring of 2022. In Summer-Fall 2022 she will begin data collection at Tijeras and have her analysis complete at the end of this time period.

Thatcher Rogers.   University of New Mexico, Archeology


Thatcher is working on the radiocarbon dating of the Chamisal site, likely a U-shaped medium-sized village, located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. The site has had some previous excavations which determined that the site was in use from the late thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries, but no details from these excavations have ever been published. He hopes to identify, through his review of the strata, the exact occupation dates of the group that lived there. Dating of strata will be a significant aid to improving our understanding of the site as well as the late prehispanic through early historic periods in the Rio Grande valley. He will formally publish his findings. The analysis will be completed this summer and finalized by December 2021.

Javier Eli Astorga Viliarroei     University of New Mexico, Historical Geography

Javier’s project focuses on the review of colonial fortifications – specifically Spanish Colonial presidios - for their historical and cultural uniqueness. He is interested in how the structure and representation (through the maps and drawings) of the presidios at different times demonstrated the progress of the society they protected. He has developed a coding structure for charting this progress and needs special programs to use this data to identify the changes. The project is expected to be complete by January 2022,

2018 - 2019

Jonathan Dombrosky       University of New Mexico, Anthropology

Why are wild food resources (fish) that are rarely pursued by farmers, later added to seemingly well-established agriculturally-focused foodways? 

I will use three lines of evidence to evaluate if PIV MRG fishes were a more attractive source of calories than in the previous Pueblo III (PIII) period. I will 1) radiocarbon date fish remains to establish the timing and tempo of fish exploitation; 2) estimate the body size of PIV MRG fishes and compare them to a modern PIII analog to assess if fishes were larger than usual during the PIV period; and 3) analyze the stable isotopic composition of fish bones recovered from these sites to determine if fishes had more variable diets during the PIV period. If fishes could rely on many different food resources (measurable with stable isotope analysis) then their communities would have been more stable and less risky to pursue by Ancestral Puebloan groups.


Use this link to learn more about Mr. Dombrosky’s research:

Alexis O'Donnell      The University of New Mexico, Archeology

How does migration impact immigrant and host population health?

My research examines how migration impacts immigrant and host population health through the bioarchaeological study of pre-contact New Mexican communities. While this research will help to frame our understanding of the health impacts of migration on peoples in the past, it may also provide insight into the health of modern migrant and refugee populations.

Use this link to learn more about Ms. O’Donnell’s research:

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