The Village Origins of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, Stephen Post

Stephen S. Post

Steve Post is an archaeologist and the Project Director of the Office of Archaeological Studies at the Museum of New Mexico.

An Appraisal of Historical Conditions Preceding and Leading up to the Settlement of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo

Arroyo Hondo Pueblo’s appearance in the early years of the fourteenth-century and its meteoric growth into a 1200 room multi-room village by the 1330s has intrigued archaeologists for more than 40 years. Established at a time of considerable social and demographic change in the American Southwest, it stands out in a cluster of villages in the Santa Fe River basin that grew rapidly and like Arroyo Hondo Pueblo was essentially disbanded and empty of people by the third decade of the fifteenth century. The volume of scholarly material generated from the extensive excavations conducted at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo between 1971 and 1974 is impressive and has added significantly to our understanding of life in a large fourteenth- century village. However, with the exception of D. Bruce Dickson’s study of the relationship between settlement patterns and demographics and environment and ecology only limited attention has been given to the historical considerations that led up to Arroyo Hondo’s founding that defined and influenced its early years (1979). This essay is an appraisal of historic conditions leading up to the founding and first years of Arroyo Hondo as represented by archaeological settlement patterns, site structure, and material culture information. My deliberations are informed by more than 120 years of study in the Santa Fe River Valley, the southern Tewa Basin, and the Northern Rio Grande region.

When considering the sudden appearance and rapid growth of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo in its comparatively marginal environmental setting, the source or origin of the village’s residents is historically important. While the conditions and decisions that led to its founding are relatively unexplored, the causes of the equally sudden collapse of the village and the shifting of its residents to new homes are largely attributed to its large population that quickly outgrew the carrying capacity of the surrounding environment village (Rose et al 1981; Creamer 1993; Habicht-Mauche 1993). Evidence of internal dissension leading to violence is also present (Palkovich 2015). Arroyo Hondo’s collapse was so complete that regardless of their social and economic status, all villagers had left by the 1350s, scarcely two generations removed from founding and initial village construction. Following a 15- to 20-year hiatus, the generally accepted narrative is that Arroyo Hondo was resettled by a smaller group of former residents and or their families. New rooms and a kiva, and plaza were built on top of the former village wall stubs (Creamer 1993). Bioarchaeological evidence suggests the returning settlers’ lives were not easy (Palkovich 2015). Between 1420 and 1430, preceded by a fire and after forty years of trying to make it work, the village was disbanded and emptied for a second and final time. Accompanied by similar terminal episodes at LA 2 and LA 1051, the upper Santa Fe River and Arroyo Hondo drainages emptied and were never permanently resettled. Whatever happened ended 400 years of residency within the Santa Fe area. A void remained until the Spanish colonists scoped out the Santa Fe area for settlement in the first decade of the seventeenth century.

In this paper, I examine the pre-existing conditions and contingent histories from which Arroyo Hondo Pueblo arose. A few of the many questions that can be asked include: What was the settlement history of the Santa Fe River valley and the southern Tewa Basin that formed the backdrop for the founding of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo? What does the material evidence from the earlier sites say about the direction and nature of the relationships between the Coalition period settlements the Santa Fe River, southern Tewa Basin, eastern Galisteo Basin, and the Upper Pecos River Valley? If the founding populations were local, then why do we think so? In accepting and acting on the decision to aggregate, what were the choices made by its first builders/residents and what pressures or stresses were they responding to in the early fourteenth century?

Cultural and Temporal Frameworks

The Rio Grande Sequence was proposed as an alternative to the Pecos Classification system that was developed for the eastern and western Ancestral Puebloan areas during the early part of the twentieth century (Wendorf and Reed 1955; Dickson 1979; Boyer and Lakatos 2000). The cultural historical sequence espoused by Wendorf and Reed (1955) drew from the work of H. P. Mera, Stanley Stubbs and W.S. Stallings, Alfred V. Kidder, Nels Nelson, and their own considerations of archaeological sites and material culture and their bearing on historical developments within the Northern Rio Grande prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The sequence implicitly mirrors the Pecos Classification, while explicitly proposing and describing a conceptually and physically more complex and heterogeneous archaeological landscape. Within the Rio Grande Sequence were the Developmental, Coalition and Classic periods, which encompass and cross-cut the Pecos Classifications Basketmaker III and Pueblo I through IV. Several researchers have proposed further subdivision of the Rio Grande Sequence into subphases with shorter date ranges. Most pertinent to this essay is Dickson’s (1979:9-10) chronological scheme which he adopted primarily from Wendorf and Reed (1955) and Wetherington (1968). In his scheme, the Developmental, Coalition, and Classic periods are divided into three subphases with 50- to 300-year temporal resolution. When offering this more “refined” temporal sequence, Dickson states that, “

However, it is important to stress in this connection that although cultural morphology through time is discussed in the work, I do not define the phases and periods listed below in cultural terms. Instead, periods and phases are here considered to be “units of time, or more specifically, units of contemporaneity” (Rowe 1962:40). That is, they are defined strictly in temporal terms. If two sites in an area were occupied in the same year, they both date to the same period, regardless of whether or not their cultural inventories were identical (1979:9-10).

Dickson’s wise approach to placing sites into broad temporal spans reflects the simple fact that a wide range of variability in settlement patterns, architectural and material culture diverged from or defied simple unilineal cultural evolutionary schemes. Dickson was more interested in the relationships between settlement patterns and demographics and ecological zones. This same variability in the major “traits” by which “cultures” were, and still are, traditionally defined and examined relative to complexity, influence and migration in the Northern Rio Grande have been central to debates within the archaeological community since Dickson’s study was published.

Early investigators like H. P. Mera (1935), and Stanley Stubbs and W. S. Stallings (1953) acknowledged the influence of Chaco and Mesa Verde in the Santa Fe River Valley and Southern Tewa Basin and they varied in their opinions on the scale and effect of those outside influences. In the 1100s there was a ripple from the tsunami of collapse, some movement of people, and a change in decorated pottery designs that incorporated Cibola elements, but also those from the middle Rio Grande and Southern Tiwa and Northern Piro of the Salinas (Mera 1935; D. Wilson 2013; Lakatos and Wilson 2012). That which was Chaco was absorbed, integrated, and undoubtedly remembered, but NEVER emulated. I would say this is true of the great diaspora of the latter half of the thirteenth century, as well. The people living in the Northern Rio Grande knew of the conflict and decimation and the villages and communities were prepared for and responded to the influx of people. The refugees of the middle to late thirteenth century were absorbed or redirected into “open lands” where they were encouraged to resettle within limits defined and enforced by the resident populations. The healthy and abundant resident population of the Santa Fe River valley was well acquainted with conflict and warfare and capable of waging fights and defending against incursions from the weaker refugee populations moving into and through their lands. Any accommodations made in collaboration with new populations were layered on top of deep traditions and norms that were the foundation of NRG people’s identity forged out of three hundred years of living their lives, adhering to their customs, and interacting with the outside world on their own terms. So what was going on in the Santa Fe River valley for the three hundred years leading up to the settlement of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo?

Late Developmental Period (1000-1175/1225 CE)

Recognition by early Rio Grande archaeologists of integration and interaction with the social and economic influences of the Chaco world was partly based on the occurrence of decorated pottery resembling Red Mesa, Escavada, and Gallup black-on-whites on sites presumed to date to the late tenth or eleventh century. Wiseman and Olinger (1991) and Lakatos and Wilson (2013) and others have shown that this early pottery, exemplified by assemblages recovered from the Pojoaque Grant site, LA 835, (the posterchild for Chaco influence and some semblance of western-style material culture and architectural sensibilities), other sites along the Tesuque Creek recorded by Mera (1935), and the Diker site (Scheick 2003) on the terrace above the Santa Fe Plaza at Fort Marcy, came from the Eastern Red Mesa Valley, Upper Rio Puerco of the East, and was made locally, too. Some of the pottery was traded in. Maybe some of women from those areas married into the local communities, but there was a definite local flavor to decorated wares early on and by the 1100s production of Kwahe’e Black-on-white, and practically all of the utility wares was local. To early and a few recent archaeologists, the architecture, material culture, and community and village patterns did not fit the developments and changes seen in the west (Wendorf and Reed 1955; Scheick 2007; Boyer et al. 2010).

During this time the local communities consisted of dispersed, clusters of suprahousehold residences with pit structures and rows of jacal surface rooms (Cordell 1989; Crown, Orcutt, and Kohler 1996; Boyer et al. 2010). Later in the period (1100s) multihousehold hamlets had multiple rows of coursed-adobe linear roomblocks with associated pit structures that had residential and ritual functions, as suggested by distinctive layout and intramural features. In the Santa Fe River Valley, the former residential pattern is exemplified by excavated sites on Fort Marcy Hill above and to the east-northeast of downtown Santa Fe (Scheick 2003), at the Federal Courthouse Alcove Site (Scheick 2005), and El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051 [Lentz 2011]) near the foot of the Fort Marcy terraces. Similar residential patterns are present at a series of sites recorded by H.P. Mera and partly excavated by OAS along the Tesuque River near Tesuque Pueblo and Cuyamungue, including LA 835 (Mera 1935; Boyer and Lakatos 2000; Akins et al. 2003). Estimated momentary household numbers in the Tewa Basin including the Santa Fe area range from 600 to 900 for this period (Boyer et al. 2011:291).

Pit structures are modest in size 4 to 8 m diameter, with the suggestion that larger diameter structures were used for residential and ritual or integrative activities (Lakatos 2007). Pit structures lack benches or pilasters, are supported by a four-post system with cribbed or crossed-patterns of beams or vigas and latillas, and soil-capped roofs. For the majority, floor features include a ventilator opening in the east or southeast wall, at or slightly above the floor, following in an alignment from east-to-west a deflector slab or adobe baulk, ladder holes on each side of an ash pit, which precedes a deep circular or subrounded adobe-plastered hearth. West of the hearth is one or more narrow diameter holes referred to as sipapus, and sometimes prayer feather divots in the floor, and above-ground niches in the wall. As described by Dick (et al. 1965), Lakatos (2006; 2007), and Scheick (2007) among others.

Having characterized the general architecture and decorated ceramics from the period. Let’s look at sites within the Santa Fe River valley from this time in more detail. Obviously, the level of detail is dictated by the extent and quality of excavation and survey recording. I would note that at this time there is no settlement in evidence at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. Downstream, the Mocho Site was initially settled in the 1100s. The site summaries are organized by drainage or valley including Arroyo Hondo, Santa Fe River, and Cañada de los Alamos. Figure 1 provides locations of the major sites or clusters.

Mocho Site (LA 191). Late Developmental occupation is indicated for the Mocho Site, LA 191, which is 5 miles downstream from Arroyo Hondo Pueblo on a low terrace on the north side of the floodplain. Its relatively isolated location afforded a wide area for farming with limited potential competition or dispute with neighbors. Mocho was established at an interval of high spring and annual precipitation and settlement continued throughout a period of fluctuating precipitation (Rose et al. 1981). The little bit we know about the pit structure occupation at LA 191 suggests that between two and six structures may be present. A search of the Laboratory of Anthropology archives for notes or photos yielded no additional information. W.S. Stallings tested at Mocho in the early 1930s recovering dendrochronological samples for tree-dating. The roomblock, which also appears to date in part to the Late Developmental period, may have 30 to 50 rooms and likely experienced multiple building episodes. Tree-ring dates include an 1122 CE cutting date from one of the pithouses and dates from bark or cutting dates from adobe rooms ranging from 1164 to 1192 CE (Smiley et al. 1953). Decorated pottery included Kwahe’e and Santa Fe black-on- whites and a 25 sherds of Cibola white ware. Socorro and Escavada black-on-whites accounted for 52 percent of the decorated pottery suggesting relationships with communities to the south and west. Assemblages consisting of Kwahe’e, Socorro, and Cibolan black-on-whites are well documented in the Albuquerque area (Hammack 1966; Sullivan and Akins 1994, for example). With tree-ring dates from the latter half of the twelfth century, Mocho may be the earliest multihousehold hamlet or small village in Arroyo Hondo Pueblo’s ancestral territory. If Mocho’s descendants settled Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, they could have made early tenure claims to a long stretch of land upstream and downstream from the village.

Pindi Pueblo (LA 1). Pindi Pueblo is located at the edge of the north side of the Santa Fe River floodplain 4 miles west of downtown Santa Fe. Excavations in 1933 and 1934 by Stanley Stubbs and W. S. Stallings (1953) identified three major occupation components from the Late Developmental-Very Early Coalition (1150 to 1220 CE); Coalition (1250-1295 CE), and Late Coalition-Early Classic (1305-1350 CE) periods. Because the excavation was relatively early in the twentieth-century and incorporated a large sample of the site, it is a “type site” for residential settlement architecture, size, layout, and ritual structures in the Santa Fe River valley.

Small-scale evidence for a Late Developmental occupation at Pindi Pueblo consisted of a pit structure and jacal room, associated with low frequencies of ceramics and other debris represented by a consistent sheet midden deposit, especially around Kiva C near the center of the post-1270 CE village (Stubbs and Stallings 1953:24-25) (Figure 2). The pit structure and jacal room were occupied in the late 1100s or early 1200s (Ahlstrom 1989: 366-368). The superpositioning of central buildings of later components on top of the Late Developmental structure is intriguing. While their overlapping placement could be coincidental, it is possible the superpositioning marked a historical claim to leadership, land ownership, and critical and specialized resources.

Arroyo Negro Site (LA 114). LA 114 is perhaps the best mapped and least described of the Santa Fe River Late Developmental sites. Located on a high ridge above the north Santa Fe River floodplain, its nearest neighbor is LA 15969 located 3⁄4 of a mile to the east on the same side of the floodplain (Wiseman 1978). Peckham’s 1972 map of the excavated roomblocks and kivas shows 7 room blocks containing 60 to 65 rooms, 5 kivas and 10 possible pit structures (Figure 3). His survey collection ceramic tabulation identified Kwahe’e Black-on-white as the most common decorated ware with lesser numbers of Red Mesa, Gallup, Puerco, and Cebolleta black-on-whites. Similar to the Mocho site, a noticeable contribution was made by Cibola white wares. The L- and C-shaped roomblocks are arranged from southwest to northeast following the ridge line with the kivas on the east-southeast side of the of the room alignments. As depicted by Peckham, each roomblock has an associated kiva.

I could not locate notes for the LA 114 excavations, but Stallings’ photographs on file at the Laboratory of Anthropology archives show at least 4 kiva/pit structures with hearth, ash pit, and ventilator deflector complexes similar to those at contemporaneous hamlets in the Tesuque/Pojoaque valley and throughout the Northern Rio Grande region. Unfortunately, the photos lack north arrows, so the orientation of the features could not be determined.

Bark and cutting tree-ring dates range from 1051 to 1145 CE. Kivas A, B, and C exhibit relatively tight clustering of dates between 1125 and 1145 (Smiley et al. 1953). This village is important because it exhibits pit structure residency preceding or contemporary with suprahousehold living quarters and storage rooms made from puddled adobe and kivas. In effect it encapsulates the architectural variability and village layout for the time. Arroyo Negro also fits a pattern of village locations above the floodplain for the larger sites and site complexes from the period. The unit house construction is very similar to Pueblo II hamlets in the central and northern San Juan Basin.

Fort Marcy Hill Sites. LA 111 (Fort Marcy Hill), LA 46300 (KP site), and LA 21963 (Diker site) are representative of the residential site cluster that dots the slopes and top of the terrace east and northeast of the floodplain of the Santa Fe River and Arroyo Mascaras on the northeast edge of downtown Santa Fe. Partial excavations at the KP (Wiseman 1989) and Diker (Scheick 2003) sites revealed pit structures and recovered considerable material culture and subsistence remains. LA 111 was test-excavated yielding corroborating evidence about the intensity, length and timing of the Late Developmental settlement of Fort Marcy Hill (Acklen et al. 1994).

The Fort Marcy Hill site explorations provided a slightly different perspective than the other sites on the settlement history of the terrace. The limited subsurface tests consistently produced more Red Mesa Black-on-white than later Cibola White Wares and Kwahe’e Black-on-white (Acklen et al. 1994:30-32). The widespread and persistent presence of Red Mesa Black-on-white strongly indicates a poorly known, but indisputable 1000 to 1100 CE settlement of the terrace. Settlements occupying the terrace and slopes in the upper Santa Fe River drainage coincide with the eleventh-century settlement expansion in the southern Tewa Basin. Obviously, systematic excavation of one or more residential site locations from this early period would add a critical piece to our understanding of the timing, distribution, and nature of initial settlement of the area. The presence of later pottery types, Santa Fe Black-on-white and Biscuit ware pottery, indicates the terrace was important for at least 300 years.

Excavations at the KP and Diker sites recovered low frequencies of Red Mesa Black-on-white and greater numbers of Kwahe’e Black-on-white and later Cibola White Wares suggesting occupation continuity and a substantial residential component throughout the 1100s. Diker site excavations documented one complete pit structure and a small portion of a later superimposed pit structure (Scheick 2003). Surface indications reported from survey suggest one or more pit structures were associated with jacal or adobe surface structures. Pit structure size and layout suggest a “permanent” occupation. Deviating from the common east-southeast orientation for pit structure orientations, Feature 14 was oriented to the south. Only a small portion of the KP site pit structure was excavated catching part of the intramural hearth, but no indication of orientation. The KP site pit structure suggests a semi-permanent residential occupation generated large amount of ceramics, flaked stone and tools, faunal remains, and ethnobotanical remains (Wiseman 1989). Both excavations yielded faunal remains suggesting reliance on small mammals, such as cottontail rabbit, but also a consistent presence of deer and antelope bone, and even bison bone from the Diker site. The overall diversity of fauna indicates that residents had relatively unrestricted hunting access to a broad spectrum of montane, foothill, riverine, and plains ecozones. Based on chronometric and relative ceramic assemblage manufacture dates both sites were occupied from the late 1000s throughout the 1100s. These sites were not continuously occupied for 100 years, but the residential sites spread across Fort Marcy Hill and terraces indicate continuity into the early Coalition period. From the excavation data, there is little doubt that the residents of these settlements were well provisioned, very likely quite healthy, and even prosperous.

El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051). Below Fort Marcy Hill, a cienega and spring formed a riparian setting with a penchant for occasional violent floods, regular gentle low energy flooding, standing water, and patches of deep soils. Not occupied as intensively as the terraces, there are indications that during the 1000s and 1100s settlement spilled into this area. At El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051), archaeomagnetic dates for a pit structure hearth suggest use in the 1000s or 1100s (Lentz 2011). The hearth remnant is at the lowest level within a reused central hearth for Pit Structure 2, a later ritual structure based on its specialized floor features. If the excavators were correct, the lower level of the Pit Structure 2 hearth was used outdoors 100 to 150 years earlier and the residents of LA 1051 in the 1200s enshrined a historical claim by incorporating the early hearth into a religious structure.

Pueblo Alamo (LA 8). Pueblo Alamo, located along the Cañada de los Alamos, had a small-scale Late Developmental component that preceded initial major construction and settlement (J. Allen 1973). The elongated, subrectangular housepit was located beneath Room 62 within Roomblock B (Figure 4). Roomblock B was centrally located within the Coalition village layout and may have been one of the first constructed at the site. Two burials within or near the housepit consisted of adults (sex not specified in the report). These individuals were the only ones found with associated grave goods at Pueblo Alamo. One burial had two large blades and the other a small quantity of disk beads from a necklace. The blades were fashioned in the Plains tradition with diamond cross-sections implying the individual had relations with groups living to the east or relations with groups who interacted with Plains populations (Wiseman 1999). The central location of this early structure beneath the later multihousehold hamlet suggests similar place- making practices to those at Pindi Pueblo.

Summary. During the Late Developmental period variability is the norm in material culture, site structure and architecture, site setting, and the direction and scope of extra-local relations. In at least four examples small single-family pit structure residences were established in lowland settings along the Santa Fe River and its southern tributaries. At these locations, small-scale in the middle to late 1100s settlement was followed by roomblock style hamlet/villages ranging from 30 to 50 rooms in the 1200s. At two sites, Pueblo Alamo and Pindi Pueblo, the center of a later village is built over the early residence. At El Pueblo de Santa Fe, an extramural or jacal structure hearth was incorporated into a later ritual structure/kiva. The residences on the terrace and terrace slopes do not show this kind of site specific place-making, except for the La Garita site (LA 608), which may have had a Late Developmental residence overlain by a later Coalition period hamlet/village. These site structure and occupation sequence characteristics may represent the establishment of historical or ancestral claims to locations adjacent to prime farm land, water resources, and traditional foraging and hunting territories. In the case of El Pueblo de Santa Fe, the village was placed within or immediately adjacent to the wettest and best farm land. Pindi and Pueblo Alamo were located near springs.

In pit structure intramural features and layout, there is a tendency for hearth, ash pit, and ventilator orientations to trend to the east-southeast. This long-lived convention found in later kivas and specialized rooms reflects a localized continuity associated within Middle and Northern Rio Grande groups that has lasted for 1500 years (Dick et al. 1965; Lakatos 2006). It is a local architectural pattern that remains unchanged by the major shifts in social and ritual organization and layout of ancestral villages in the Galisteo Basin, Tewa Basin, Pajarito Plateau, Chama/Ojo Caliente areas after the 1400s.

Coalition Period 1175-1325 CE

Cordell (1989:314) introduces the Coalition period, relabeled “Reorganization” in the SAR Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory volume, as “ of regional heterogeneity in architectural and ceramic style and a time of pan-southwestern variation in settlement size, degree of aggregation, and system scale.” Essentially similar to the Late Developmental period, except for more and larger sites/villages, a preference for above-ground residential and subterranean ritual architecture, a shift to carbon-painted decorated pottery, and in the Santa Fe area, a settlement shift to lowland site settings for the most part. Region-wide during the early 1200s, village sizes range from 13 to 30 rooms, with smaller residential or seasonal sites present. Regional momentary household numbers are estimated at 1200 at the beginning of this period (Boyer et al. 2011:291). Locally, pit structures were commonly lived in into the late 1200s. After 1250 larger villages region-wide reach 100 rooms, while local villages, such as Pindi Pueblo, Pueblo Alamo, Mocho and Upper Arroyo Hondo range from 40 to 100 or more rooms. In the Galisteo Basin, small roomblocks and a larger unit pueblo dot the Lamy Junction site (Cabezon Consultants 2008). In the early 1200s, LA 3333 had small pit structures as the primary residences. Consideration of the source and cause of the increase in site frequency and size is attributed to a combination of factors including increased site visibility of surface architecture, intrinsic population growth, and gradual influx and assimilation of migrant populations from multiple regions. Establishment of Early Coalition villages at ancestral locations support their identification as a local expression. Other villages established in new locations reflect intrinsic population growth, movement of people out of a heavily populated southern Tewa Basin, and accommodation of an early influx of migrant populations. Usually lumped together in regional syntheses, the village histories are unique and important for examining potential intra- and inter- village dynamics that preceded the aggregated settlement pattern that emerged in the early 1300s. Let’s take a look at some local examples that have bearing on the founding of Arroyo Hondo.

Pindi Pueblo (LA 1). At Pindi Pueblo mixed Santa Fe and Kwahe’e Black-on-white assemblages and dendrochronological dates mark the 20-year transition from the early pit structure/jacal structure single- family or suprahousehold residence to the construction of the puddled-or coursed-adobe walled Coalition village marking Building Period 1. Stubbs and Stallings (1953:9) described the architectural layout of the first building phase as, ...long narrow, irregular building of approximately forty rooms, two to three wide, with circular subterranean kivas along the eastern side. ...Three kivas were found and we suspect the existence of a fourth. With the arrangement of the block in units of some ten rooms and an associated kiva, it is evident we have a “multiple unit type” of building, a type characteristic of the northern San Juan region and one which also was widely spread in the northern Rio Grande area.”

They also observed that Kiva C and its surrounding roomblock were built first and Kivas B and D were later additions (Figure 2). Many refuse-filled “clay pits” and the extent of refuse beneath the walls and floors of subsequent buildings suggested an extensive occupation. Building Period 1 was marked by an essentially pure Santa Fe Black-on-white decorated pottery assemblage. Kiva B, C, and D orientations are east-southeast with the traditional Northern Grande complex of hearth, ash pit, and deflector/ventilator found in Late Developmental period pit structures and kivas.

Dendrochronological samples that yielded bark or cutting dates from Kivas B, C, ad D indicated that Kiva C and its associated roomblock was built by the early 1270s (Stubbs and Stallings 1953; Ahlstrom 1989). Construction of the village center was followed soon after by Kiva D and then Kiva B in the early 1280s. Earlier dendrochronological dates are from inner wood and non-floor kiva and refuse levels. Certainly, these dates hint at pre-1260 woodcutting and burning, but we cannot be sure if the samples were hearth or architectural wood. Since it is likely the deposits were secondary refuse, the tree- ring dates suggest demolition or room-filling with deposits that predate the kivas or remodeling of the kiva roof and supports, which probably was needed if the occupation spanned more than 30 years. Unfortunately the initial settlement dates for Building Period 1 are not as unambiguous as we might wish.

The Pindi Pueblo Coalition period village was situated in a well watered area of springs and a broad floodplain, and shifting river channel. Arable floodplain land stretching for a mile up and down the river provided an estimated 750 acres for dry and irrigated farming. Pindi was founded following a period of below average spring and twelve month moisture from 1250 to 1265 CE (Rose et al. 1981). From 1265 to 1280, precipitation was at or slightly above normal levels, coinciding with Building Period 1. While farming in more marginal settings was limited, average annual precipitation and the benefits of a riverine setting attracted and supported a small community. Modern landowners surrounding Pindi Pueblo relate finding pottery, human remains, and other evidence of occupation presenting the possibility that early Coalition period roomblocks may have been left for the newer, more nucleated village. The Building Period 1 occupation spanned 30 to 40 years.

Agua Fria Schoolhouse (LA 2). Less than one-half mile west and downriver from Pindi Pueblo is Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo, LA 2. Limited excavation at LA 2 provides a sketchy view of its early Coalition settlement. From pottery types within refuse deposits, Lang (1989:190) suggests that LA 2 had a village occupation during the last quarter of the thirteenth century, contemporaneous with Pindi Pueblo (Figure 5). Ceramic analysis of pottery recovered from pit features located in a utility corridor south of Agua Fria Street support Lang’s conclusion. Survey documentation of the site identified four or five small roomblocks to the south of Agua Fria Street that may be remnants of the early settlement at LA 2 (Scheick et al. 2008). This early village component reached an estimated size of 50 to 100 rooms. Agua Fria Schoolhouse is rarely included in population estimates for the area because its history and extent have been poorly known until recently.

El Pueblo de Santa Fe (LA 1051). Upstream in the downtown Santa Fe area, excavations at El Pueblo de Santa Fe revealed a substantial thirteenth century occupation. Unfortunately, the only surviving architecture was pit structures and kivas (Lentz 2011). Three Early Coalition pit structure/kivas were excavated.

Structure 2 yielded 1175 to 1275 CE archaeomagnetic dates with associated Santa Fe Black-on- white and Wiyo Black-on-white pottery. Structure 7, a small pit structure not interpreted as a kiva because of its small size, yielded an archaeomagnetic date range from 1210 to 1250. It is slightly earlier than Structure 8, but possibly contemporaneous with Structure 2 and the pit structure located at the Federal Courthouse (LA 143460) to the north (Scheick 2005). Structures 2 and 7 represent early settlement or seasonal residency of the well-watered margins of the cienega focusing on the deep, well-drained soil accumulated from centuries of low-energy deposition from the Santa Fe River and Arroyo Mascaras. Seasonal occupation may have been staged from the La Garita Pueblo located on the terrace to the north and east.

A village similar in size and layout to Pindi Pueblo Building Period 1 was likely associated with Structure 8, which was similar in size and floor layout to contemporaneous kivas in the Santa Fe River Valley and the Cochiti Reservoir area to the south along the Rio Grande. Structure 8 kiva was an integral component of the ritual and ceremonial life of the Coalition period community. The central hearth within Structure 8 yielded a 1245 to 1275 CE archaeomagnetic date range. Decorated pottery from two floors was dominated by Santa Fe Black-on-white suggesting an occupation contemporaneous with Building Period 1 at Pindi Pueblo. The hearth, ash pit, and ventilator complex within Structure 2 was oriented southeast. The floor exhibited divot concentrations interpreted as a paho complex and the west wall contained a navel-like adobe niche above the floor in direct alignment with the hearth, ash pit, and ventilator. Directional niches were common in Northern Rio Grande kivas during the Coalition period (Lakatos 2007).

Based on a wide distribution of thick midden deposits containing numerous human burials and characterized by high frequencies of Santa Fe Black-on-white pottery, Deyloff (2003) and Scheick (2005) suggest that the floodplain extending from the Fort Marcy Hill and terrace extending to the south and west housed a number of now destroyed or washed out roomblock units similar to the cluster defined at the North Bank site, LA 6462, at Cochiti Reservoir (Bussey 1968). North Bank had four surface roomblocks with associated kivas on the east or southeast side of the roomblock. Eight pithouses were also present from the late Developmental or early Coalition periods. North Bank covered a 20,000 square meter area. The downtown Santa Fe complex covered an estimated 360 ha. While this projected settlement cannot be estimated in terms of population, it demonstrates that downtown Santa Fe was heavily settled by a local population during the latter half of the 1200s.

La Garita Pueblo (LA 608). Above El Pueblo de Santa Fe is the La Garita Pueblo, LA 608. Incidental to the excavation of a Spanish Colonial and Mexican period powderhouse and guard station, excavations exposed fourteen rooms of an adobe-walled pueblo and partial remains of two kivas. Evidence of superimposed rooms suggested two residential occupation episodes (Ellis 1978). Unfortunately the excavated kiva floor features did not include the hearth, ash pit, and ventilator complex. However, the kivas were integrated into the roomblocks similar to Pueblo Alamo, D-shaped kivas at Arroyo Hondo and later Kivas E and F at Pindi Pueblo. Decorated pottery was predominantly was predominantly Santa Fe Black-on-white. It is likely that LA 608 had more than the 18 excavated rooms (25 to 40 rooms possibly). Superimposed rooms are consistent with longer occupations evident at LA 1, LA 2, and LA 8. The La Garita Pueblo kiva/roomblock plan previewed the later architectural layouts of fourteenth-century pueblos.

Pueblo Alamo (LA 8). South of Arroyo Hondo is Pueblo Alamo located along the Cañada de los Alamos; a drainage with a long and multi-terraced floodplain that cuts through and drains low rolling hills and gentle juniper grassland plains. Pueblo Alamo is an important Coalition period site because it was occupied for close to 100 years; a long span when compared to neighboring Galisteo Basin village/hamlets. With its long occupation history, Pueblo Alamo is similar to Pindi Pueblo, El Pueblo de Santa Fe, and probably, Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo. The decision to reside in this location suggests it had a combination of desirable natural and geographical characteristics. The extensive excavation provides more architectural layout and sequence detail than is available for other contemporary sites, except for Pindi.

Pueblo Alamo consisted of an elongated arrangement of four or five coursed adobe roomblocks oriented southwest to northeast. The site attracted Nels Nelson in 1915, when he excavated 24 rooms in two of the roomblocks. Tree-ring samples were collected from room fill during Stallings’ 1932-1937 project. In 1972, Laboratory of Anthropology archaeologists led by Joseph Allen (1973) excavated 78 rooms in advance of the construction of Interstate 25 and the US 285 interchange (Figure 4). With limited funds and time, archaeologists and volunteers worked rapidly through the site, while documenting salient aspects of the architecture and associated features that related to construction techniques and occupation history.

J. Allen suggests that construction of the pueblo was accretional with walls abutting other walls without bonding. Rooms were added to existing rooms as needed. He describes a long transverse wall section to which enclosing room walls abutted in Roomblock B, which was the most compact and less elongated building (1973:5). From J. Allen’s site map it appears other long sections of wall were present in Roomblocks A and C, too. In Roomblock A, the southern north-south walls with abutting room walls may represent three or possibly four room suites of 6 to 9 rooms each. Roomblock C has a similar layout with three or four room suites also possible. The separation of these buildings makes it tempting to assign them to individual extended households, which either grew naturally or by the arrival of related families. Important to note is that many rooms showed evidence of burning, demolition, and reconstruction.

One finished and well-used circular surface kiva and one unfinished, lightly use D-shaped kiva were located at the north and south ends of Roomblock C. Roomblock C also had four specialized, square or D-shaped rooms remodeled from existing rooms. These specialized rooms had east-oriented hearth, ash pit, ventilator complexes (two lacked ventilators). They are similar to specialized rooms described for Pindi Pueblo, although it appears the Pindi Pueblo rooms are later. J. Allen notes the surface specialized rooms are similar to a square kiva found by Kidder at Forked Lightning Pueblo (1973:13). A fifth specialized, remodeled room was present in the central room suite in Roomblock A. In Room block B a surface kiva was remodeled into four rooms, J. Allen observes that the kiva may have deteriorated due to lack of maintenance resulting from temporary abandonment of the roomblock or possibly the site. Evidence of fire was found in all three roomblocks, but not the remodeled kiva. Burned rooms were razed and new rooms built on top of the rubble. There is no indication that the burned sections of the roomblocks were reoccupied by anyone other than the original residents or their descendants/relatives.

Excavations indicate that Pueblo Alamo was comprised of at least 100 single story rooms. Room construction and wall abutments suggest up to ten room suites were potentially present within the 78 rooms excavated by J. Allen and the 10 rooms excavated by Nelson may represent a single room suite. Tree-ring dates and decorated pottery dominated by Santa Fe Black-on-white and lesser amounts of Galisteo Black-on-white indicate Coalition occupations spanning 1240 to 1290s CE, with final disbanding of the population by 1300 (J. Allen 1973; Smiley et al. 1953). Two Coalition period construction episodes in the 1240s and 1260s are indicated by tree-ring dates and Snead and M. Allen (2011:14-15) suggest that all three roomblocks excavated by J. Allen were in use at the same time.

Pueblo Alamo has a number of characteristics relevant to initial settlement, integrative architecture repertoire, village dynamics, and access to critical resources. In terms of initial settlement and location of early roomblocks, first settlement of Pueblo Alamo was represented by the Late Developmental structure. Then, Roomblock B rooms were built on top of the pit structure; a pattern of superpositioning similar to the pattern seen at Pindi Pueblo. Roomblock B, which may have been one of the first houses built, is different from the other roomblocks because it is roughly square with a kiva attached to its northeast corner. The other roomblocks are more elongated. It is possible Roomblock B was built without anticipating substantial expansion. Remodeling of the kiva into living or storage rooms suggests as Roomblocks C and A grew the loci of ritual and knowledge shifted. This is further supported by the fact that kivas and specialized rooms were built in Roomblocks C and A, while the kiva in Roomblock was not replaced. A potential shift in ritual responsibilities and knowledge as suggested by the kiva and specialized room locations may have had important consequences for different families and their access to productive farm land and other critical resources.

Within the Pueblo Alamo integrative architecture repertoire, there is the full range of kivas or ceremonial rooms. If ritual knowledge and ceremonies were tied to privilege or authority, then residents of Roomblock C with two kivas and four specialized surface rooms may have been more influential in the village and region. Six ritual structures and spaces in a roomblock with 21 total rooms or enclosed spaces is a high proportion when compared to Pindi Pueblo or North Bank site. Even within the Pueblo Alamo village, Roomblock A including the rooms excavated by Nelson, had 36 rooms with only one room remodeled into a surface kiva. Pueblo Alamo exemplifies how all Coalition settlements of 50 to 100 rooms had complicated intra-village relationships and that shifting locations of ritual structures might be tied to changes in ritual leadership and family fortunes.

Finally, except for the circular kiva in Roomblock C, the other seven kivas or ritual rooms had hearth, ash pit, and ventilator/deflector complexes oriented to the east. While not ascribing this pattern of floor features to a particular linguistic or cultural group, its regional popularity suggests that Pueblo Alamo was settled by a local population with a long history of living in the Northern Rio Grande.

About the time that Pueblo Alamo disbanded, Chamisa Locita (LA 4) with its linear and plaza enclosing roomblocks was founded. Chamisa Locita is one-half mile west of Pueblo Alamo and undoubtedly relied on the same water, agricultural land, and access to wild resources. Located 5 miles south of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, it was a contemporaneous, neighbor/competitor/ally. Typically, Pueblo Alamo is considered ancestral to Chamisa Locita.

A site visit to Pueblo Alamo by Dr. Douglas Schwartz, Dr. Richard Ford, Dr. Jason Shapiro, and the author at the recommendation of Charles Hannaford of the Office of Archaeological Studies, focused on locating ground slicks at the site. We found three heavily ground angled and flat native rock surfaces in an area that was probably near the south end of Roomblock C. While it is possible these ground slicks were used during the residential occupation of Pueblo Alamo, it is also possible that they were created or enhanced and maintained by village descendants living at Chamisa Locita. As Chamisa Locita was grew, founding families advantageously maintained and perpetuated their claims to critical resources and, perhaps, a more privileged or influential status within the village.

Mocho Pueblo (LA 191). Mocho Pueblo, which was a Late Developmental period hamlet with tree-ring dates into the 1190s, may have been occupied into the 1200s based on the presence of Santa Fe Black-on- white and Socorro Black-on-white pottery. While none of the 74 dendrochronological dates extend into the thirteenth century, only 7 of the 30 to 50 rooms were sampled (Smiley et al 1953). The early and late 1100s exhibited precipitation patterns that would have been conducive to settlement and farming along the Arroyo Hondo. Without information on the roomblock layout, sequence of construction, and intramural feature configuration of the pit structures/kivas, Mocho Pueblo provides limited material information on settlement along the Arroyo Hondo during the thirteenth century. In terms of its location, it is closer to the Pindi/Agua Fria Schoolhouse site cluster than Arroyo Hondo. Located within one mile of 300 acres of potential farmland, it is the earliest settlement to lay claim to the farm land along the Arroyo Hondo. A plausible settlement scenario is that Mocho residents initially settled in a lower elevation setting for about 100 years. For reasons unknown, but potentially related to greater control of the watershed and access to upper elevation springs, they moved upstream to Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo (LA 76) in the middle to late 1200s. In doing so, Mocho descendants established a historical claim to an almost 6-mile stretch of floodplain. The floodplain margins were not heavily settled and settlements tended to be clustered or aggregated rather than dispersed suggesting the Arroyo Hondo was intermittently productive and not the easiest place to live. Did the people come from the Santa Fe River and eventually settle Upper Arroyo Hondo and Arroyo Hondo or were they Tewa Basin or Santo

Domingo Basin residents that moved upland in the late 1000s and managed to stay? Only more extensive excavation at Mocho is likely to provide a satisfying answer to the question.

Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo (LA 76). Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, LA 76, is a small to medium-sized pueblo of multistoried masonry/adobe roomblocks arranged in a U-shaped configuration surrounding a plaza containing at least one kiva (Figure 6). Dating to the late Coalition period, the site has often been considered antecedent to Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. On top of a rise in the alluvial plain, it is surrounded by two branches of Arroyo Hondo, forming a virtual island. Vegetation is piñon-juniper woodland. Enclosed by the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos in a narrow part of Arroyo Hondo canyon near the headwaters of the drainage, there is a small amount of level land available suitable for agriculture (Redvine Consultants, Inc 2008).

Decorated pottery reported by Dickson (1979:112) included Santa Fe Black-on-white, Poge Black-on-white, and a few Galisteo and Pindi Black-on-white sherds. Non-local decorated pottery included Socorro Black-on-white. One sherd of Kwahe’e Black-on-white is intriguing for its potential to represent a small-scale Late Developmental occupation on-site or nearby. A sherd of Wiyo Black-on- white suggests activity into the 1300s.

The U-shaped configuration of Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo contrasts with the linear layout of Pueblo Alamo and Building Period I at Pindi Pueblo. From the floor plan drafted by Nelson showing the excavated twelve rooms, at least 50 ground floor rooms were present with potential for second-story rooms on half to one-quarter upping potential room count to 63 to 75 rooms. Our site visit yielded the consensus that it could easily have 100 rooms based on the height and extent of the mound. With an enclosed plaza and only one kiva Upper Arroyo Hondo may have presaged the holding of public ceremonies within a plaza, while more esoteric ritual activities held in kivas or society rooms were limited to village leaders or society members.

No independent dating of Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo is available. A recent review of the tree- ring dates presented for LA 76 in Smiley, Stubbs, and Bannister (1953) indicates that in the 1930s Stallings was actually working at Arroyo Hondo, while reporting the tree-ring dates as coming from Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. Obviously, if true, this discovery affects any chronologies presented for Upper Arroyo Hondo, since the published dates most likely refer to Arroyo Hondo. The decorated ceramic assemblage is consistent with late thirteenth and early fourteenth century components at Pindi Pueblo, Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo and El Pueblo de Santa Fe. Field observation of Wiyo Black-on- white during the site visit suggests that the occupation at Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo coincided with the establishment of the first roomblock at Arroyo Hondo in the early fourteenth century.

During our site visit, a number of potential shrines, ground slicks and cupuled boulders were identified on the margins of the main pueblo for the first time. These features demonstrates a level of relatedness to populations in the Galisteo Basin and Northern Rio Grande, and the Upper Pecos River Valley, who were creating, visiting and using, and maintaining ritual places associated with their current villages and former/ancestral villages. My thought is that these shrines were created and used by Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo residents. When the residents moved downstream to Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, these features may have been incorporated into pilgrimage or votive activities or ceremonies. By maintaining a presence at the site, the former residents and their descendants reinforced their historical claims to land, water, and resources, in the face of rapid population growth at Arroyo Hondo. Obviously, Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo figures largely in the founding of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, which will be discussed in the next section.

Summary. At Pueblo Alamo, Pindi, and El Pueblo de Santa Fe, initial houses were built on top of earlier Late Developmental pit structures and at El Pueblo de Santa Fe, a Late Developmental hearth was incorporated into a kiva during the early 1200s. Superimposition of later roomblocks onto early buildings marked and legitimized historical claims to prime village property and land, water and critical resources. At Pindi Pueblo, the village was established with roomblock suites and associated kivas over a short period and then added to, followed by a short hiatus before some parts of the village were incorporated into the larger settlement that grew out of the 1300s while other sections were demolished and replaced with new buildings. At Pueblo Alamo and La Garita Pueblo (probably antecedent and contemporary to El Pueblo de Santa Fe), a small central roomblock was established and new room suites were added through time. Both villages experience a period of demolition and rebuilding during the thirteenth-century with a short hiatus and rebuilding associated with fire at Pueblo Alamo. All the excavated Coalition villages have kivas and ritual or specialized rooms, incorporated into the roomblocks (Pueblo Alamo, La Garita, and probably El Pueblo de Santa Fe) or separate and to the east of the roomblock (Pindi Pueblo). By the middle to late 1200s, kivas and “society” rooms, which have been identified in Southern Tewa Basin architecture since the 1000s were present. An important change in village layout represented by the Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo is the location of a kiva within an enclosed plaza. In the late 1200s, this is a precursor of the roomblock, plaza, and kiva layout that became the mainstay of village plans throughout the Northern Rio Grande in the Classic period. Finally, the kiva and earlier pit structures reported for the Santa Fe River Valley, the Southern Tewa Basin, and the Northern Rio Grande valley, in general, show a remarkable and long-lived hearth, ash pit, and ventilator/deflector arrangement and orientation that is consistent and predominant for 300 years leading into the beginning of the fourteenth-century. Essentially, there is strong evidence that many of the architectural and settlement options found in Classic period sites in the fourteenth-century have strong precedence in the Northern Rio Grande valley suggesting that local populations had a significant hand in founding and growing many, if not all, of villages of that time.

Unfortunately, we do not know the occupation sequence and settlement history of Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and Mocho Pueblo, but it is likely that they have unique histories relating to their founding, construction, occupation history, and remodeling or rebuilding episodes. The first settlement along the Arroyo Hondo at the Mocho site continued into the early 1200s establishing claims to a long stretch of potential farmland. Settlement focus along the Arroyo Hondo moved upstream to Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo during the middle to late 1200s setting the stage for founding and construction of a new village at Arroyo Hondo in the early 1300s.

Birth of Arroyo Hondo (1300 to 1325 CE)

Late Developmental, and Early Coalition precursors of Classic period settlements within the Santa Fe River valley and Arroyo Hondo and Canada de los Alamos floodplains, show variability and continuity that are evident in the settlement patterns, village layouts, settlement history, and material culture. The antecedent villages’ contingent histories influenced the founding and growth at Arroyo Hondo and its contemporaneous neighbors at Chamisa Locita, El Pueblo de Santa Fe, Pindi Pueblo, and Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo.

By the start of the fourteenth century, ancestral claims at Pindi, Agua Fria Schoolhouse and El Pueblo de Santa Fe were cemented and construction of core village roomblocks and kivas expanded earlier settlements. Village siting, growth, remodeling and reconstruction reflected knowledge of population dispersal and movement in other regions and the need to solidify claims to land and water in response to a future of anticipated tension, competition, and conflict, as migrants, refugees, and distant relatives moved their families toward and into the Northern Rio Grande valley.

I limit the following discussion to the period ending at 1325 CE because the later individual histories of the large villages that were standing along the Santa Fe River, Arroyo Hondo, and Cañada de los Alamos are beyond the scope of this essay. However, because an examination of the founding of Arroyo Hondo is a major focus of this essay, I spend a little time on how historical contingencies and considerations may inform on the process of initial aggregation.

A working definition of aggregation is the processes that produce and organize a spatial concentration of population (Welker 1997:1). The following discussion briefly identifies some of those processes. Some of the primary advantages proposed for aggregated settlement are that it can deter external conflict or aggression, manage internal disagreements, provide a stable means for distributing people across the landscape, while equalizing their access to resources, and increased and coordinated labor options (Crown, Orcutt, and Kohler 1996: 200).

Settlement Dynamics and Historical Processes

Snead, Creamer, and Van Zandt (2004:26-34) examined aggregation from the perspective of cluster, subcluster, and community or settlement scales relative to the distribution of resources, historical processes of settlement dynamics, and sociopolitical organizations. They observe that the big sites archaeologists record were subject to an immeasurable number and variety of historical events, responses to environmental pressures, and intracommunity dynamics and actions that were specific to the site, but resulted in similar on-the-ground equifinality. Just as I have endeavored to show variation evident in Late Developmental and Early Coalition sites, the large Classic period villages had histories that are magnitudes more complicated, calling for caution when advancing synthetic explanations of human interaction and cultural process.

For the Arroyo Hondo and Santa Fe River valleys, the tendency is to treat the major late Coalition-Early Classic villages as a site cluster consisting of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, Pindi Pueblo, Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo, and El Pueblo de Santa Fe. These villages share the Santa Fe River Basin and are within 8 km of each other. While it is unlikely the villages cooperated in all ways, they likely were allied through trade, marriage, and mutual defense of their villages, land and resources critical to the survival of their communities. This alliance may be partly manifested in similarities between the pottery, craft, and architectural characteristics at these villages.

Where they are known, initial architectural and village patterns are individually unique and the close proximity of Pindi Pueblo and Agua Fria Schoolhouse Pueblo suggests a sister community relationship that is unique within the cluster. Initial construction at Arroyo Hondo suggests a well planned and cooperative building effort. Construction at Pindi and Agua Fria Schoohouse Pueblos appears to be more sprawling. Although portions of all villages exhibit coursed-adobe ladder-style roomblocks built as cohesive residential units. One or more enclosed plazas are present as well. Pindi, Agua Fria, and Arroyo Hondo Pueblo have a combination of kivas and society rooms with kivas in plazas, as well as, society rooms and kivas integrated into roomblocks. For Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, kivas in plazas were a part of the village layout throughout its initial occupation period (Creamer 1993). At Pindi Pueblo, kivas are integrated into roomblocks after 1300 CE during Building Period 2 (Stubbs and Stallings 1953).

Similarities in the decorated and utility ware assemblages with some local variation are attributed to local production and exchange with limited non-local influence. Decorated ceramic assemblages have pottery from the southern Tewa Basin and the Galisteo Basin reflecting northern and southern relationships and influences. Interestingly, D. Wilson has noted fairly robust trade in utility ware pottery between El Pueblo de Santa Fe and the Pajarito Plateau, which stands out from the other village assemblages (Habicht-Mauche 1993, D. Wilson 2011; Lang and Scheick 1989; Schleher and Eckert 2011).

Crafts and jewelry making are described as fairly mundane and conservative with the exception of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo where pipes and figurines were more elaborately decorated and crafted suggesting adherence to village specific conventions. More elaborately decorated or designed pottery and ornaments were noted as a characteristic of Pecos Pueblo, as well (Stubbs and Stallings 1953; Scheick and Deyloff 2011). Trade or economic relationships with the Upper Pecos River Valley are indicated for decorated pottery and some craft production, as well.

This brief discussion identifies similar aspects of architecture and material culture from these villages that suggest social and economic alliance, similar to the tribalization network suggested by Habicht-Mauche (1993). The material cultural patterns also indicate that each village maintained external relationships with other villages in the Northern Rio Grande region, which may reflect limited specialization, such as the buffalo hide and meat processing suggested for Arroyo Hondo. Some differences may be tied to historical continuities, such as is found in architecture and decorated pottery.

Drawbacks to Aggregation

The fourteenth-century trend toward living in bigger villages in close proximity may not have been completely in a group’s best interest. Integrating new households into growing villages may have been relatively seamless with the household retaining its fundamental identity. Corporate groups wanting to move into existing villages had to contribute something beneficial, such as a new ceremony, ties to villages that produced specialized goods, or new knowledge that promoted the health and well-being of the village (John Ware, personal communication, January 23, 2016). Groups and families were aware in advance of the expectations that came with moving into a new village (Michael Adler, personal communication, January 23, 2016).

Cordell (1996) observes that living in aggregated settlements was socially difficult and economically inefficient. Southwestern landscapes were too harsh and the climate too unpredictable to provide resources adequate to sustain very large communities for long periods of time. Dispersed, smaller settlements had a longer history in the Southwest. Long occupied villages were rare before the 1500 or 1600s.

During the initial period of aggregation at Arroyo Hondo and the other site cluster villages, it is difficult to determine if the disadvantages suggested by Cordell existed. Certainly, each village continued to grow in size and presumably in population. At Arroyo Hondo, the architecture suggests household and corporate groups moved in through time. We cannot know if the larger population concerned the village leadership, as they responded to social, climate, and environmental factors that affected overall village fitness and health. The early fourteenth century climate was favorable for farming resulting in the near- term, which reinforced ritual leaders influence in the village while potentially creating false sense of security about long term prospects.

Difficulties that resulted from aggregation at the four villages may have been most acute at Arroyo Hondo. Burial populations at Pindi and El Pueblo de Santa Fe appear healthier from the standpoint of identified pathologies. Most of the health issues at El Pueblo de Santa Fe were related to hard work and aging, while those at Arroyo Hondo were related to nutrition and access to sunlight and freshwater. Villages along the Santa Fe River may have had more options for offsetting the ills of aggregation, such as access to a larger area with higher plant diversity and productivity, better farmland, and a more reliable or abundant source of fresh water. While residents of Pindi and Agua Fria Schoolhouse pueblos remained healthy enough to expand their spatial search for food, some Arroyo Hondo residents could not and did not have sufficient foods nearby and were not healthy enough to extend their search for wild food resources.

Leadership and Labor

Many of the issues surrounding aggregation relate more to what happened once folks were living close together. Other researchers suggest insights into what had to be in place for aggregation to initiate, grow, and perpetuate. Decision-making or authority structures changed or new ones were implemented to respond to people living in closer proximity. Cameron and Duff (2008:28-57) remind us that with aggregation came division of labor and leadership responsibilities. Looking at Chaco Canyon, they propose that labor and supervision was divided between leaders or managers and the artisans, masons, woodworkers, plasterers, and laborers who acted to complete a chain of tasks aimed at a finished product with direct and indirect benefits to all. They distinguish between the task completed by the many and those completed by the few. The many were needed to gather materials, construct the buildings and move from the old location to the new location. The tasks completed by the few were to design, manage, and direct labor at all stages from deciding to move, to planning the move to construction of the new building managing the acquisition and transport of materials, the finishing of materials, and the construction of the buildings to be safe, sturdy, and appropriate. Access to the combination of management, technical, and labor skills was a benefit of aggregated settlement. I would add that a willingness on the part of the many to follow the direction of the few in completing the multitude of tasks required establishing a new settlement was also critical.

Cameron (1999:207) finds that in the Eastern Pueblos house building was cooperative effort assigned to the men. Depending on the scale of the building project it might be handled within the extended household, while larger projects relied on cooperative efforts of task groups from moieties within the village. Historically, as many as 20 men were assigned to building projects at Santa Clara Pueblo (Cameron 1999:207).

Clearly, to embark on the initial construction of an 100-room building according to a preconceived design, leadership and craft expertise had to be in place at the outset. Laying out a floorplan and choosing, stockpiling, and mixing of the raw materials for the walls and floors required coordinated effort in the immediate area. Locating, harvesting, preparing, and transporting of the timber for roofing required daily logistical coordination of work parties traveling to the more distant stands of piñon and ponderosa pine and returning with lengths of tree trunk that could be converted into beams. Building with cured beams required advanced planning; something that only the residents of Upper Arroyo Hondo could have managed. Some level of oversight, management and quality control were required and no doubt were in place before the construction was begun.

For this initial construction at Arroyo Hondo decisions to move the village to a position where water and land could be more closely controlled was also made by ritual leaders who were likely older members of the village or younger individuals who had distinguished themselves in ways beneficial to the village. Cooperation between households for the initial construction and other large-scale building efforts at Arroyo Hondo were also likely sponsored or encouraged by ritual leaders, who could mobilize villagers to work for the benefit of the village.

Thirteenth-century aggregation or concentration of households into 30 to 75 room villages probably formed the basis for household and larger cooperative efforts that translated into the larger “projects” of the fourteenth century. The leadership and initial labor was supplied by segments of villages or communities already living at Pindi Pueblo or near Arroyo Hondo at Upper Arroyo Hondo. At both places, sometime between 1290 and 1300 CE, a decision was made to build the core buildings for what became significantly larger settlements 20 to 25 years later. The same leadership group that guided their villages in making that decision, likely provided oversight for expanding at Pindi Pueblo and in planning the new village at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. It makes sense that the leadership was already in place and had fairly deep ties within the early communities, both historically and socially.

At Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, placement of the initial Roomblocks 10, 11, and 16 and creation of the plaza, and placement of the kiva within Plaza C adjacent to the closest and most reliable water source, was a show of prestige and privilege (Figure 7). The builders of this first 100-room building, outdoor space, and ceremonial place were acting on decisions made in the best interest of the earliest residents of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. To have this kind of control over a critical village resource, the leaders and their community had historical ties and claims to this location. Clearly, a migrant group entering into the Santa Fe River Valley would not have first choice of building location nor would they be afforded the best location within a large, planned building site. Basically, decisions and actions associated with the intent to aggregate or that expanded on conditions of aggregation already in practice are evident in Arroyo Hondo Pueblo’s siting and initial layout and construction.

At Pindi Pueblo, the site selected for the larger pueblo was the earlier village. Rather than a blank page, the expansion entailed razing existing buildings and constructing new ones. Similar to Arroyo Hondo Pueblo or any other growing village at this time, what was left standing was dictated by practicalities, privilege or historical precedent. Village leaders made the decisions regarding expansion and new layout and floorplan. There, a remnant of the central, earliest, and possibly more influential portion of the early village was spared and added to when construction began in the early 1300s. In contrast to Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, plazas and encircling roomblocks were not the architectural focus. One large plaza was enclosed by multistory roomblocks and overlay the early Kiva C. Similar to Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, it is very unlikely that leadership derived from new or imported groups were entrusted or empowered to make the decisions directing construction of the new additions nor would they have been permitted to build their new roomblock in the middle of the historic/ancestral village, where prior claims to land, influence, and privilege were centered. Clearly, the initial stages of construction in the 1300s at Pindi Pueblo were a product of local people guided by trusted and empowered leaders.

Obviously a primary outcome of cooperative construction of these large villages from the outset was uniformity in material, design, and layout. Again, construction at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and Pindi required knowledge of local sources of building materials, even suitability of on-site building materials. The builders had access to stands of construction-grade piñon and ponderosa pine and direct knowledge and experience in the technical and engineering advantages and pitfalls of building multistoried houses and buildings of coursed-adobe. By the fourteenth century in the Santa Fe River Valley, this knowledge was part of a trade or craft repertoire with at least 300 years of tradition. Not that building with coursed- adobe was a local practice only, but that it was the main local practice for those three centuries. Masonry pueblos or rooms within pueblos were rare within the Santa Fe River Valley and the Tewa Basin below the Pajarito Plateau.

Roomblocks 11 and 16, followed by 9 and 15 were identified as the earliest at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo (Creamer 1993:140-141). Roomblocks 11 and 16 were built as a two-room wide unit with three long parallel walls divided into rooms by shorter perpendicular walls. The early portion of Roomblock 11 was masonry, which was very unusual for Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, where stone-wall rooms accounted for only 2 percent of the total room count (Creamer 1993:14-15). Room additions to Roomblock 11 were coursed-adobe. The other roomblocks surrounding Plaza C were coursed-adobe, as well. Limited excavation prevented a determination of the building design of the early core of Roomblocks 9 and 15, although it is likely they were built in a similar fashion to Roomblocks 11 and 16. Subsequent rooms were added to these early roomblocks in one- and two-room suites (Creamer 1993:140).

A couple aspects of initial construction at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo standout. The masonry construction of the early Roomblock 11 is a departure from the more widespread use of coursed-adobe at the Santa Fe River villages and Pueblo Alamo. However, mixed masonry and coursed-adobe walls reported for Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo (Redvine Consultants, Inc: 2008) are more commonly associated with middle to late thirteenth building methods at eastern Galisteo Basin sites, such Burnt Corn Pueblo, the Lodestar Community (Snead and M. Allen 2011), Lamy Junction (Cabezon Consultants 2008), and Pueblo Largo (G. Wilson et al. 2015), for example. Most observers, including the author, maintain that the Plaza C roomblocks were primarily built by former residents of Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. What is perplexing is that the masonry component of Roomblock 11 was built with the knowledge that the most accessible quarry material would run-out long before it was completed. Potential explanations for this planned obsolescence are worth noting. One is that builders chose to use the most efficient and durable scarcer material knowing the bulk of the village would be built with the more difficult to prepare and use adobe slurry, once the available rock was exhausted. Another possibility is that the use of stone reflected input from a group that moved out of the eastern Galisteo Basin and collaborated in the early construction at Arroyo Hondo. For example, Burnt Corn Pueblo was disbanded following conflict-related burning by 1310 CE (Snead 2011:117) and it its residents did not relocate nearby and may have joined the Arroyo Hondo community. A third possibility is the early roomblock was built of more durable and convenient materials by former Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo residents as a symbol of their historical claim and founding settler status. While the functional aspect of the first scenario is the most likely, the social aspects of the latter two scenarios cannot be completely discounted.

The construction of the Plaza C roomblocks does appear to be a communal effort directed at building a significant number of rooms in rapid fashion. In contrast to this early effort, later one or two- room additions to Plaza C roomblocks were built by household or extended families. Undoubtedly, these new room suites were added on with the blessing of the leadership and community suggesting kinship relations.

The question of geographic origin and social relations of the successive waves of newcomers remains compelling and elusive within the history of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo. The growing population probably had inputs from the local site cluster as the fortunes of those villages waxed and waned. Movement between villages 8 km apart was easy in terms of time and effort, but probably did not account for a large part of Arroyo Hondo’s sudden growth. Additional households or corporate groups may have come from the 40 hamlet/villages located within 30 km of Arroyo Hondo and occupied during the 1200s and 1300s. These villages dotted the eastern Galisteo Basin, the lower Santa Fe River including the Cienega/Cieneguilla pueblos, and the southern-half of the Tewa Basin. The villages potentially participated in a regional network of trade, marriage, and under extraordinary circumstances, mutual defense. Finally, long distance migrant households and groups contributed to the population growth in all of the site cluster villages. Groups from outside areas could have had difficulty integrating into the local villages, if they did not have ritual and material contributions to offer their prospective hosts.

Conflict and Aggregation

Conflict may be internal within a group or village or between villages. With regard to violence or conflict, Crown, Orcutt and Kohler observe that it occurred at many scales and for a wide variety of reasons and that by agreeing to live in close proximity in greater numbers, the less violent but more common, daily conflicts between people, families, and groups could be more effectively ameliorated (1996:200). Larger- scale conflict or aggression might have deterred by larger numbers and implied force. Aggregation reduced conflict resulting from disputes between dispersed populations used to moving in response to climate or ecological changes that affect land productivity and resource distribution, abundance, and availability. As people were removed from the land, collaborative and decision making structures or mechanism were developed for distributing and maintaining access to land and adjudicating conflicts that arose out of multiple competing interests in available productive land and resources (Crown, Orcutt, and Kohler 1996:200).

Competition and conflict on local and regional scales in the Northern Rio Grande during the thirteenth and early fourteenth century is widely accepted (LeBlanc 2015; Palkovich 2015; Snead and M. Allen 2011). James Snead and Mark Allen make the telling observation that even though excavation in the Galisteo Basin is limited, the numbers of thirteenth-century sites that show no evidence of burning are outnumbered by those that do by 8 to 3 (2011:115). They also argue that a pattern of short occupation at residential sites may be as much due to conflict as shifting residences for subsistence-related reasons (Snead and M. Allen 2011:115). Steven LeBlanc maintains that regional conflict was unavoidable, a continuous threat, and defended against or deterred through defensible village locations, aggregated settlements, and intervillage mutual protection alliances (2015). He and others view Arroyo Hondo Pueblo as initially designed to promote defensibility and security, as illustrated by the enclosed multistory roomblock enclosing Plaza C. (Shapiro 2005). Pindi and Agua Fria Schoolhouse pueblos were located in open settings with most approaches preceded by long stretches of open land, with the exception of the piedmont hills that bound the valley on the north. The initial Building Period 2 construction at Pindi Pueblo did include an enclosed plaza. Contemporaneous village plan at Agua Fria Schoolhouse is not well known, but maps by Mera and Carter and Reiter show a T-shaped village plan suggesting open, rather than enclosed plazas (Scheick and Deyloff 2011). Assuming these two villages were engaged in a mutual alliance, then their large combined population deterred external aggression. Current information on these villages shows no evidence of burning or catastrophic destruction suggesting they were successfully defended throughout their fourteenth-century occupations.

Finally with regards to the shift in village location from Upper Arroyo Hondo to Arroyo Hondo, the latter setting provides a much wider and longer distance view of the surrounding landscape. From Upper Arroyo Hondo the limited view could only be expanded by stationing a lookout on the nearby hilltops. Arroyo Hondo villagers had ample warning of approaching parties from all directions, except the east and southeast. The latter directions were protected by the Arroyo Hondo canyon and high foothills, which would have slowed and exposed any approaching raiding or war parties. It is also worth considering that the initial settlement at Arroyo Hondo was partly a response to known village burnings at Pueblo Alamo and other Galisteo Basin villages, and it anticipated potential troubles that could accompany the arrival of refugees and migrants. Knowledge of local conflict would be another characteristic of villages founded by local populations.

Agricultural Land and Land Tenure

The division of and access to land, water, and access to foraging and hunting territories was critical to village well-being. As ethnographic studies have shown and studies of southwestern pre-Hispanic land use patterns has confirmed, land tenure strongly determined which families farmed the most productive land close to the village and who was relegated to more distant lands (Adler 1996b). In agreeing to move away from ancestral farm lands, villagers needed assurance of some access to a share of productive lands near the new village. Also, those already living close to the new location, would also expect assurances that lands they formerly controlled would remain in their hands as new groups moved into the village.

Wilma Wetterstrom’s excellent analysis of food production potential for the area within a 5- kilometer radius of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo demonstrated that the land could support a range of population sizes depending on rainfall, temperature, and environmental factors. Important to the founding of Arroyo Hondo was the arable land within a two-kilometer radius in the canyon that could support up to 100 people or a small village. (Wetterstrom1986:50). Abundant, but less suitable land on the terraces and piedmont slopes would have been minimally productive under dry conditions.

One takeaway is the Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo population, which was probably not more than 100 people at any time during its history, could have been supported by the arable land in the canyon, but some farmers may have traveled two to four kilometers to plant, tend, and harvest their fields. The more distant fields invited periodic stress when energy costs incurred by daily travel were difficult to balance with the returns. Few fieldhouses have been identified downstream from Arroyo Hondo Pueblo suggesting seasonal residences or shelters near fields were not a preferred option. In the late 1200s, Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo farmers did not have the labor force to diversify their fields, which was an option for villages with larger populations (Killion 1992:9). The relatively low acreage available to the Upper Arroyo Hondo villagers may have also been a concern as early arrivals of migrant and refugee populations, as well as shifting populations out of the Galisteo Basin, placed a premium on prime farm lands near villages, as populations densified and moved off of the landscape. Wetterstrom’s estimates suggest a short interval of aggregation could have occurred before access to arable land near the village would have become a contentious issue or at least one that required mediation through the existing village leadership. At Pindi, Agua Fria Schoolhouse, and El Pueblo de Santa Fe, larger areas of arable land were available within one mile of the village. In terms of a tipping point relative to a villages’ ability to support its growing population, they had more leeway. At Chamisa Locita, which was also located in an area with marginal farm land, the situation would have been more similar to Arroyo Hondo.

Adler (1996b:341) defines primary access to farm land as resting with the household with no communal input. Primary access was supplanted by multihousehold land use when intensity of agricultural labor investment was moderate. Cross-cultural studies of intensity of agricultural practice suggest that household-size groups retain primary access to agricultural fields. High intensity labor investment characteristics include field preparation, water diversion, weeding, and crop protection, all of which were required to maintain fields in most settings in the Arroyo Hondo and Santa Fe River valleys. Under high intensity labor investment, individual households and individuals retain rights to field for long periods of time and the exclusive rights are passed on to siblings or offspring (Adler 1996b:342). Land tenure in the Arroyo Hondo and Santa Fe River valleys was inherited and would have been closely held. Beyond the first few decades at all villages, tension and conflict over land tenure may have been one of the most contentious issues addressed by village leadership. As climate and environmental conditions that supported higher settlement density deteriorated, the need to mediate and mitigate disputes intensified. At Arroyo Hondo, evidence for the consequences of not having primary access to productive land were debilitating nutrition deficiencies, diseases, and increased infant mortality rates. If early Arroyo Hondo residents were local, they were dealing with the pressures and tensions that accompanied increased population and limited ability to adequately support any new arrivals with the relatively small amount of productive land that was available.

Final Words

Arroyo Hondo Pueblo was founded against a backdrop of 300 years of settlement in the Santa Fe River valley and watershed. Initial settlements were small, but with a distinctly local footprint by the 1100s. In the 1200s, Santa Fe River villages grew by expanding at their ancestral homes. Early settlement of the Arroyo Hondo began at Mocho in the 1100s, shifted to Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo in the middle 1200s, and around 1300 CE moved a short distance away, to a more expansive site along the canyon rim above a spring. The exit from Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo was unhurried and showed no evidence of catastrophe or conflict. The early masonry and course-adobe roomblocks at Arroyo Hondo contained about 100 rooms, were built in rapid fashion, formed an enclosed plaza with an interior kiva, and were located above the main spring. The new location combined with interior-stepped multistory buildings was defensible, the roomblock footprint was about the same size as Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, and all subsequent buildings grew out from the initial footprint. Initial design and construction were ordered, planned, and consistent with a well-established, fully empowered leadership and willing and skilled craftspeople and laborers. The initial settlement size was well in line with the carrying capacity of the available farmland and had access to a clean and fresh water supply. Primarily a local expression of Ancestral Pueblo history and culture, Santa Fe River and Arroyo Hondo villages prepared for an expected influx of people from near and far regions by solidifying their claims to critical and historically important village, ritual and landscape places and spaces. Within the site cluster or community, their actions were planned, locally supported, and reinforced their identity in advance of the social and demographic change that occurred from the middle to late 1300s to the arrival of the Spanish entradas in the second half of the sixteenth century.

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Figure List

1. Google map showing the locations of mains sites discussed in the essay 2. LA 1, Pindi Pueblo. Stubbs and Stallings site map (1953)
3. LA 114, Arroyo Negro Pueblo. Stewart Peckham’s 1972 map
4. LA 8, Pueblo Alamo from J. Allen (1973)

5. LA 2, Agua Fria Schoolhouse by Carter and Reiter, 1932 from Scheick et al. (2008) 6. LA 76, Upper Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Nels Nelson map of the site (1915; AMNH)

7. LA 12, Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Component 1site growth, stage 1 from Creamer (1993)