Scrapbook One Hundred Nineteen…

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DECEMBER 2014

Birds Galore

 

This is a very short video clip taken at Forrest’s San Lazaro Pueblo. You can see Forrest, Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel exploring the ruins. Shiloh Old (Forrest’s grandson), Valerie Plame Wilson (America’s favorite ex-spy) and Valerie’s two kids, Trevor and Samantha are also exploring. Don’t you think Suzanne has a great laugh?
(turn up your sound)

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When the Spanish explorers arrived at San Lazaro Pueblo in 1540, they found the Indians living in one story buildings constructed mostly of adobe. They were farmers who subsisted on corn, squash, and whatever else they could find growing in the high pinon & juniper desert.

 

Much of the pottery they produced was decorated with abstract bird motifs applied with a glaze paint called galena (lead ore). Rarely is any other kind of animal in evidence.

A hundred years later life was very different. The Indians had moved 1,000 feet east across Del Charro Creek where they built two and three story dwellings that were made from slabs of latite, an igneous rock.

And still, bird designs were the favored art forms. It is common to excavate long bones from the buffalo, antelope, horse, cow, and other domesticated animals that were brought in by the Spaniards. The bones are found in the trash heaps, in the plaza, and in the rooms. But we don’t see those animals on the pottery. Why is that?

There must be an overpowering reason because it’s too extraordinary to be coincidental. I’d be interested in your opinion if you care to comment.

Here is the question:
Why were four legged animals not pictured on the pottery at San Lazaro Pueblo between 1150 AD when the pueblo was established and 1680 when it was abandoned?

Forrest Digs San Lazaro….

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The Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe is celebrated for its diverse ecosystem as well as for its cultural assets.

It has been written that Paleo Indians first arrived in this area around 7,500BC and about 6,800 years later the Tano Indians moved in and began building a large pueblo community that had nearly 2,000 rooms.

Today, the abandoned, prehistoric pueblo of San Lazaro occupies about 160 acres of land that Forrest bought in the mid 1980’s. The property is both a retreat and an active archeological site where he has reflected, learned, investigated and worked to preserve and share the Tano legacy culture that disappeared over 300 years ago.

The hilly countryside  of the Galisteo Basin is primarily savannah grasslands dotted with piñon and juniper.  Its arroyo-riparian plants provide critical habitat for a surprising variety of New Mexico mammals including antelope, deer, bear, coyote and bobcat. In spring the grassland is carpeted with a rich display of colorful wildflowers.

The earliest written descriptions of the basin come from Coronado’s travels north while looking for the legendary City of Gold in 1540. Several celebrated  American archeologists have visited here, including Adolph Bandelier before the turn of the 20th century and Nels Nelson in 1912.

Forrest is no isolationist. He has brought many of his friends out to San Lazaro to excavate with him. He annually invites a group of teens, under the supervision of a professional archeologist, to stay on the land and get involved in the San Lazaro excavation. Generally speaking, ruins are reserved for exploration by professionals and not for amateurs, but Forrest has introduced the joy of archeology to hundreds…perhaps thousands of novices. Who among us wouldn’t love to get our hands dirty and minds excited while uncovering the wondrous artifacts of a lost culture?

Forrest has written a beautifully illustrated book on his San Lazaro Pueblo.

So here are some photos from Forrest’s scrap book and a short video of Forrest and friends out working and enjoying the pueblo.

Left to right we have Forrest's grandson Shilo Old,

Left to right we have Forrest’s grandson Shilo Old, Trevor & Samantha (Valerie’s kids), Tom Haven (my step-son) Alan Hamel (Suzanne’s husband), Valerie Plame (America’s most popular ex-CIA agent), Suzanne Somers (America’s girl next door) and Forrest, all studying the ground at San Lazaro. What are they looking for?

Here's something they're all looking for. Valerie holds a lovely collection of Tano pot shards that are hundreds of years old.

Here’s something to look for. Valerie holds a collection of Tano pot shards that are hundreds of years old. This is FUN!

And here's another...Samantha found this magnificent arrowhead on the side of an anthill.

And here’s another. Samantha found this arrowhead on the side of an anthill.

Forrest and Suzanne appear to get along well.

Forrest and Suzanne appear to get along well.

Suzanne helped excavate a kiva at the pueblo.

Suzanne helped excavate a kiva at the pueblo…or maybe she just watched as Forrest excavated…

Valerie and Suzanne pay attention in case there is a quiz later...

Valerie and Suzanne pay attention in case there is a quiz later…

Shilo and Tom discussing why it is that Forrest gets all the cool girls.

Shilo and Tom discussing why it is that Forrest gets all the cool girls.

Shilo up on medicine rock in the late afternoon sun...It's a magical place.

Shilo up on medicine rock in the late afternoon sun…It’s a magical place.

And here’s a short video from the pueblo with Forrest and Suzanne.

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