Micro Analyses of 17th Century Adobe Bricks from the “New” Church at Pecos, New Mexico


The clash of Pueblo farmers and Spanish missionaries in central New Mexico marks the transition from prehistoric maize farming to the modern era along the Rio Grande River. The interaction between Native Americans and Spanish was not totally either peaceful or confrontational. The first church, built in the 1620s, was later burned during the Pueblo Revolt when Spanish were forced to leave, then rebuilt when relations improved. Four bricks from the new church (Mission de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles) were examined for microscopic, chemical, elemental, and structural information. Combining pollen, phytoliths, starch, macrofloral remains, charcoal, XRF and XRD signatures with petrographic analysis yields a record of both native (maize) and introduced (Old World cereal) crops. Sporormiella dung fungal spores indicate presence of grazing draft animals and possibly use of dung making adobe. Evidence for treating stems used to make the adobe was sought in the phytolith record and thin sections. Quantities of charcoal varied between the lower bricks (more charcoal) and the upper bricks. This study examines evidence for porosity, mineral composition, and other factors that affect structure, as well as economic and behavioral evidence of life at Pecos, New Mexico during this period of alternating strife and peace.

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Micro Analyses of 17th Century Adobe Bricks from the “New” Church at Pecos, New Mexico. Linda Scott Cummings, Peter Kováčik, Jennifer Milligan, Cody Dalpra, R. A. Varney. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398453) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8PN96RM

Spatial Coverage

min long: -105.706; min lat: 35.511 ; max long: -105.652; max lat: 35.554 ;

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