Current and On-Going JRI Research Programs

Piro Pueblo Program
The Guevavi Mission
Rio Tularosa Prehistory & History
Plains and Southwest


Piro Pueblo Program

Dr. Michael BletzerPior Overview pic

The Piro / A’tzi-em research includes several related historical and archaeological efforts across the pueblos of Teypana, Pilabó, and Tzelaqui/Sevilleta.

The starting point is the ongoing analysis of an extensive archaeological database from the 2001-2010 excavation of Site LA31744, a 250- to 300-room pueblo located south of Socorro, NM. Based on radiocarbon dates, diagnostic ceramics, Spanish artifacts, and a peculiar structural and depositional record, Site LA31744 was occupied between circa 1500 and 1630/40 and probably is the historic pueblo of Teypana. In the summer of 1598, Juan de Oñate and a 60-man vanguard of his colonizing caravan stopped at Teypana and somehow managed to obtain supplies from the pueblo’s residents. As a result, the Spanish colonists named the pueblo Socorro (“Help” or “Support”). More…


The Guevavi Mission

Dr. Deni Seymour

IMG_20131212_130624_734-1The Guevavi mission was a major focus of Spanish conversion efforts among the indigenous Sobaipuri-O’odham peoplein Arizona. Project Director and JRI Research Associate Deni Seymour believes to have identified the 1751 Jesuit mission among six adobe structures that surround the recognized NPS mission. One of the goals of the project is to date adobe wall samples using the luminescence technique. This will inform which of the adobe structures date to (a) the Kino period (1691-1711), (b) 1751, and (c) which are Franciscan or later mining/ranching features. 

For years, historians have suggested that the standing ruins (now on National Park Service land) are the remains of the mission originally built in 1751. The artifacts found with this new building are consistent with this alternate structure being from the Jesuit period.  Guevavi was a head mission at this time, with the better known missions of Tumacacori and San Xavier within its jurisdiction. More…


Rio Tularosa Prehistory & History

David H. Greenwald

SONY DSCThe Rio Tularosa Program is designed to examine the development of community groups from the tenth century (early prehistoric sedentism) to the early twentieth century. Native American groups settled within Tularosa Canyon, utilizing the variety of resources present, to establish the first permanent or near-permanent villages and dispersed communities. With humble beginnings as loosely organized pit house settlements, the Jornada Mogollon social organization evolved into more concentrated settlements, incorporating the use of contiguous, masonry architecture. Room blocks were limited in size, often represented by houses numbering from four to perhaps ten rooms. Recent observations within Tularosa Canyon have identified two large, circular depressions with encircling berms. Although the function of these features has not been confirmed, they resemble structures documented elsewhere as great kivas. The occurrence of similar features has not been reported in the Tularosa Basin previously.  More… 


Plains and Southwest

Dr. Jeffery R. Hanson

The Los Ojitos Project is a team effort between Kelly Jenks of New Mexico State University and Jeffery Hanson of the Jornada Research Institute. The Los Ojitos Site (LA98907) is an abandoned Late Territorial-Early US period HIspanic Village. Founded around the late 1860s, it lasted until ca. 1940.LocusBMiddleStructure

Architectural features include stone residential structures, stone pen enclosures, rock wall features, an acequia system, petroglyghs, cemetery, and as yet undefined out building remains. These photos are from a 2014 field school. Bottom left, an historic petroglyph; at right, a student recording a residential structure. The purpose of the project is to understand aspects of daily life, subsistence, economic patterns and demographic change. The next phase of the project will be to collect oral histories.