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Searching for the Plaza Vieja: historical archaeology, ground-penetrating radar, and community outreach in Belen, New Mexico

Author(s): Emily Jones ; Jennie O. Sturm ; Stephanie Mack ; Samuel Sisneros

Year: 2015

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Summary

This poster describes a collaborative project between archaeologists, historians, and community members to identify the location of the original plaza and associated structures in Belen, New Mexico. Established in 1741, Belen's initial Spanish settlement was near the Rio Grande, but as the city grew, development shifted to the west. By the late 19th century, the original plaza, or Plaza Vieja,  and associated Catholic church were abandoned. Although the Plaza Vieja was occasionally referenced in local news throughout the 20th century and the landowners maintained an interest in the site, the old Belen town center has largely been forgotten; official narratives of Belen's history focus on the post-railroad period. At the request of the current landowner and a public historian, we undertook a project to identify the Plaza Vieja and to assess the integrity of associated deposits using ground-penetrating radar. Here we present our results and discuss possibilities for future work.


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Searching for the Plaza Vieja: historical archaeology, ground-penetrating radar, and community outreach in Belen, New Mexico. Emily Jones, Jennie O. Sturm, Stephanie Mack, Samuel Sisneros. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434130)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 320

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America