Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The Pajarito Plateau: A bibliography

January 1, 1993

This bibliography is the result of two initially independent projects. As the consulting archaeologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Charlie R. Steen collected entries at the suggestion of the staff of the Environmental Surveillance Group of the Health, Safety, and Environmental Division, HSE-8. The primary purpose was to aid the staff in evaluating cultural resources on LANL lands. In addition to works that related to the archaeology and history of the area, Steen included notations of a few books and articles in other fields such as geology and natural history. It was hoped that they also would be of value to other organizations and to students of past human activities on the Pajarito Plateau.

At the same time, the National Park Service (NPS) was planning a major survey of Bandelier National Monument (BNM). As part of this plan, the author was asked to prepare a background document that described research previously carried out in the area, including an annotated bibliography. Although the survey would be limited to the park boundaries, the larger Pajarito Plateau is a more logical study area from physiographic, environmental, and cultural perspectives; hence the focus was on this larger region. Mathien (1986) also included some references to natural resources studies, particularly those initiated by NPS within Bandelier National Monument.

Both bibliographies were made available to Colleen Olinger and Beverly Larson of the Health and Environmental Services Group at Los Alamos. They realized that while neither was complete, each included entries missing from the other. Larson suggested the two bibliographies be combined. (At this time, Craig Allen was studying the landscape of the Jemez Mountains [Allen 1984c, 1989]. His investigations included much detailed information on natural resource studies and were added in 1991 and 1992.)

To limit the scope of their work, Steen and Mathien had chosen their parameter: the Pajarito Plateau. Geographically, the Pajarito Plateau is described as the high tableland that lies between the Jemez Mountains on the west and the Rio Grande on the east. From north to south, it extends from the Chama Valley to La Cañada de Cochiti (Hewett 1906:14)(Figure 1). Because human activity rarely stops at such definite boundaries, major ethnographic studies of Tewa (San Ildefonso and Santa Clara) and Keres (Cochiti) linguistic groups are included. (Even though most of the historic pueblos occupied by the Tewa and Keres are not located on the Pajarito Plateau, oral traditions and archaeological data suggest that these groups once occupied sites on the plateau.) Towa studies are not included because Steen believed Towa ancestors were not involved in major cultural developments of the Pajarito Plateau. In addition, a bibliography of the Jemez area (home of Towa people) has been prepared by Michael Elliott (1982) and included with his nomination of large Pueblo sites near Jemez Springs to the National Register of Historic Places that is on file at the Museum of New Mexico, Laboratory of Anthropology, in Santa Fe. Both Steen and Mathien included references to geographically and historically related material that does not focus on the Pajarito Plateau but, nonetheless, is important to understanding the area's archaeology and physical environment, for example, lithic resources available from Cerro Pedernal or in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1993
Title The Pajarito Plateau: A bibliography
Authors Frances Joan Mathien, Charlie R. Steen, Craig D. Allen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title NPS Southwest Cultural Resources Center Professional Paper
Series Number 49
Index ID 70127891
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center

Related Content