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KUAUA (Coronado) & JEMEZ

Links are available to watch most recorded lectures online.



Hayward in lab_edited.jpg

What is black and white and red and tells the story of Kuaua? 

Hayward Franklin is the foremost local expert on pueblo pottery at the Kuaua Pueblo—known to most of us as the Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo

In 2018-2019 archaeologist Franklin undertook a systematic gathering of about 2000 pottery sherds found around the perimeter of the 900-room ruin, with the help of a team of trained volunteers.  With these sherds Dr. Franklin, along with his many photographs of the painted fragments, will talk about how these provide clues into how many people lived there, which parts of the pueblo were used during what time periods, and who the inhabitants of Kuaua interacted and traded with.

Hayward Franklin is a local archeologist well known for his analytic work and writings on ceramics found at such sites as Salmon Ruin and Pottery Mound from the 1970’s to the present.  Followed by a career teaching at the university level until retirement in 2005, his projects included working with data from many sites in the Middle Rio Grande region, with a special interest in pueblo glazeware pottery. At Kuaua Pueblo in Bernalillo N.M. in 2018 he began a project with the assistance of a crew of trained volunteers which focuses on revealing the ceramic history of the site’s occupation for three centuries.

This kiva was built in the late 1930s as part of Coronado Historic Site. It was intended to be a replica of a prehistoric kiva that was discovered during WPA-sponsored excavations that also unearthed remarkable Pueblo IV mural paintings.


Ma-Pe-Wi was engaged to replicate the prehistoric kiva mural paintings in true fresco in 1938. This was his first important mural painting commission.  Connie arrived at Coronado Historic Site in 2002 to restore the murals of Ma-Pe-Wi.

Constance S. Silver is a fine arts and architectural conservator.  She was the principal of Preservart, Inc. for 23 years, an award-winning company that Constance S. Silver is a fine arts and architectural conservator. undertook major conservation and historic preservation projects in the United States and internationally.She will share with us the details of cleaning, conserving and restoring the frescoes of our unique murals. Conservation and restoration of the kiva and frescoes were largely completed in 2013, following many years of work.


The Excavation of Kuaua Pueblo and the Creation of Coronado State Monument

Sunday, February 21, Zoom -- Presented by Gail Stephens 

When Dr. Edgar Hewett, the famed Southwest archaeologist, unearthed the kiva paintings at Kuaua Pueblo in the 1930’s he exclaimed that they were the “most important find of archaeological and historical character ever made in the Rio Grande Valley.”  Almost 90 years later, Gail Stephens, an award-winning author, has researched Hewett’s excavation and how it led to the creation of the Coronado State Monument. At her presentation, Stevens will discuss the excavations, the recovery of the murals, the establishment of the monument and its relation to the Coronado Cuarto Centennial celebration.  And, of course, she’ll highlight the cast of characters involved in these efforts.

>Use this link to watch the programThe Excavation of Kuaua Pueblo



“Ask an Archaeologist",  September 24, 2020 -- The Murals of Kuaua in Their Historical Context

Helen Crotty, PhD - September 24, 2020


Six kivas of various shapes and sizes and three large rooms with kiva features were occupied during the long life of Kuaua, estimated to have lasted from 1300 to about 1700, but mural paintings were found in only two of them, both relatively small and rectangular and in use during the late stages of the pueblo’s occupation.  Because it was possible to remove the painted walls from the excavated site and to separate the layers in the laboratory for preservation, several of the actual paintings can still be viewed in the Visitors Center at Coronado State Monument. 


The problematic dating of the Kuaua murals will be discussed, and the entire cycle of the Kuaua paintings will be illustrated and compared with earlier and contemporaneous mural art from Awat’tovi in the Hopi area, Pottery Mound near Las Lunas, and Las Humanas Pueblo at Gran Quivira and some lesser-known sites.  Kuaua’s murals have stylistic similarities to the paintings from the other sites, but their imagery is distinctive and far more overtly concerned with prayers for water than are those found elsewhere. 


“Ask an Archaeologist” – with Hayward Franklin, PH.D., a specialist in Southwestern ceramics - "a discussion of the 2017 data recovery project at Kuaua,  and the ceramic sherds recovered during the testing",  Date:  July 16, 2020

Since February, Dr. Franklin has lead the Pottery Analysis Project at Coronado Historic Site for the Kuaua Pueblo, overseeing a group of about a dozen “pottery researchers” cataloging pottery sherds. For this project, quick processing by the field and lab crews allowed the pottery analysis group to begin working on the ceramics in a short period of time. 

Our results of counting over 2000 sherds include frequencies by Southwestern pottery type, by vessel form and vessel part.  As the most modern and largest ceramic identification in recent times, these results yielded some reliable sample statistics from around the site.  Two major conclusions are:

1)  Based on ceramic known dates for the Rio Grande Glazeware types, Kuaua used and produced quantities of glazed pottery continuously from about AD 1325 to as late as the Revolt of 1680. 

2)  The sequence of plaza occupation went from South Plaza to North Plaza to East Plaza in terms of dated ceramics, confirming that order based on the few tree-ring dates."


You may watch and listen to this in-depth conversation about the research and discoveries that have come from the Kuaua site and its volunteers since 2017 by clicking the following link.  - Hayward Franklin, PH.D.  


“Ask an Archaeologist” – with Marlon Magdalena


Jemez Historic Site Education Specialist, Marlon Magdalena discusses his experiences working with archaeologists at Jemez Historic Site.

You may watch and listen to this conversation by clicking the following link:  Marlon Magdalena

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