Scrapbook Two Hundred Thirty Three…

scrapbook

November, 2019

 

Prehistoric Corn

The following story is a paraphrase of what I wrote on pages 124-5 of my book, The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo. I was on a roll with new discoveries. Only a week before, in a building across Del Charro Creek, I found a small corral that contained goat pellets. Not every amateur archaeologist can boast of having an important collection of 16th century Spanish goat droppings.

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16th Century Goat Droppings

 

Another educating moment. 

It was about noon on a cold, blustery day in 1989, when Charmay and I were completing the final work in a room on the north end of building l, not far from where I uncovered 2 unique prehistoric kachina dance masks, and a wonderful associated ceremonial assemblage.

It had taken us 3 days to carefully remove the room-fill rubble and only the final sweepings remained. A flagstone jar lid, broken in 5 pieces, was laying on the floor in the southeast corner, and I had seen no reason to move it in our excavation.

Because the wind was brisk, we decided to have our soup and sandwich there in the room where no one had eaten in more than 500 years. It was a rewarding moment and we were pleased to see this place almost as it had been when new, so many years before. 

One could not help but think of those who had lived here, and wonder what their dreams and aspirations might have been. Did they have enough food and water? What did they do for recreation? Our thoughts wandered…

While sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, I placed my cup of hot tomato soup on the round piece of flagstone. It sounded a little hollow and different from what I had subconsciously expected. No matter, I thought, so we enjoyed a short break while the antics of several ravens entertained us, and a red-tailed hawk watched suspiciously from his high soar. 

As we rose to leave, Charmay said, “Just for the fun of it, why don’t you look under the jar lid?” After considering what I thought was the futility of doing what she asked, against a desire to favorably respond to a somewhat stern question, I carefully removed the five broken pieces of flagstone, one at a time. Before the second piece could be moved, we both felt something different was happening. To our astonishment, and utter amazement, we discovered a black, plain-ware pottery jar that had been buried up to its rim under the floor. 

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Click to enlarge

Inside the jar rested a rectangular dragonfly-painted bowl, and both of them contained corn kernels. For us, this discovery added a whole new dimension to our knowledge of prehistoric life at San Lazaro Pueblo. 

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Charmay was a good friend and trusted digging companion. She excavated the beautiful emerald cross that I found with a metal detector at San Lazaro.

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Together, we owned the One Horse Land and Cattle Co. (RIP) that published my San Lazaro book, and a few others. f

PS
My treasure chest is not hidden at San Lazaro Pueblo.