Dig Giusewa: Exploring Jemez Origins and Acculturation at Jemez Historic Site
Over the past one hundred years, the majority of the archaeological and historical research at Jemez Historic Site has focused on the Spanish mission. Much less is known about the Jemez peoples living in the surrounding Pueblo of Giusewa. Yet, Giusewa is among the earliest and longest occupied villages in the Jemez Mountains. It is an ideal place to explore Jemez settlement and origins. Moreover, as a mission site, Giusewa represents the location of direct and prolonged contact with European religion and culture allowing researchers to explore themes of accommodation and conflict.
Many questions regarding the village and the people living there remain. Did the people of Giusewa originate in the Rio Grande or the Four Corners? Or do the Jemez represent a mix of peoples from both areas? How does this fit within Jemez oral history? Did the village burn, along with the Spanish Mission, during the Jemez Revolt of 1623? What European products were adopted by the Jemez at Giusewa during the early 17th century? These are some of the questions set to be addressed this August.
In partnership with the Friends of Coronado Historic Site and the Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico Historic Sites is pleased to announce a new program at Jemez Historic Site, entitled “Dig Giusewa.” Running every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between August 16 and October 6, archaeologists, tribal members, and volunteers will work to systematically excavate a five-by-five meter area just north of the Visitor Center. The goal will be to document and preserve a series of pueblo rooms for public interpretation at the site, while recovering approximately five to ten thousand artifacts and samples for analysis.
Visitors can tour the excavations on their self-guided visit through Giusewa Pueblo and San Jose Mission or opt for a more structured experience with ranger-led tours at 10 AM and 2 PM daily. Notable cultural materials, such as complete vessels and projectile points, will available for public viewing inside the visitor center. Regular admission rates apply.
Afterwards, the architecture and artifacts will be put to work answering questions of Jemez origins and acculturation. These investigations will guide new interpretative exhibits both inside and outside the visitor center at Jemez Historic Site, including a fully restored portion of the village. The results will also be published in a number of public interest articles and a special report from New Mexico Historic Sites.
You can help! Support archaeological research at Jemez Historic Site by joining the “Dig Giusewa” team. Friends of Coronado Historic Site members and Jemez Pueblo tribal members can sign up to assist with excavations, screening sediments, artifact processing, and analysis at https://kuaua.com/dig. Participation is limited. So, get your application in today.
Not already a Friends of Coronado Historic Site member? Join by visiting https://kuaua.com/friends/membership/. In addition to the chance of participating in the dig, you will receive our quarterly newsletter and opportunities to attend numerous programs, trips, and other special events throughout the year. All financial contributions to the Friends of Coronado Historic Site go directly towards preservation and interpretation at Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites.
Starting August 16, come see what is buried beneath your feet at “Dig Giusewa!”
Jemez Historic Site is located at 18160 Highway 4 in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, and is open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Admittance is $5.00 per adult. There is never a charge for children. Jemez Historic Site is free to New Mexico seniors on Wednesday and all New Mexico residents on the first Sunday of every month.