In 1598, the Spanish conquistador, Don Juan de Oñate, founded the first capital of New Mexico in an old Indian settlement on the west bank of the Rio Grande river. This colony and others prospered until, years later the Indians revolted, destroying this village which was then lost for centuries. But, in 1959, Florence Hawley Ellis, a famous pioneer anthropologist, was asked by San Juan Indian Pueblo to excavate a ruin on their reservation, an unheard of request as Pueblos usually denied permission for excavations on their lands. A badly corroded Spanish archer's helmet had been found by an elder who was digging adobe clay. They wanted to know what "they had." Her work returned San Gabriel del Yungue-the Spanish name for the first capital of New Mexico-and its five domed ovens, the first built in this land, to their rightful place on the map. This book is the story of that awakening. * * * *
Florence Hawley Ellis, PhD, is famous for her extensive excavations and related research in ethnology, tree-ring dating, and pottery analysis. Her excavations include areas in Chaco Canyon, and along the Chama, Rio Grande and Jemez river valleys as well as elsewhere in the American Southwest. She has published over 300 articles and monographs.