Coronado Historic Site
Aerial view of Kuaua ruins, circa 1940
|Nearest city||Bernalillo, New Mexico|
|Area||5.7 acres (2.3 ha)|
|Architect||John Gaw Meem|
|NRHP reference #||76001199|
|Added to NRHP||January 1, 1976|
|Designated NMSRCP||December 30, 1971|
Coronado is an archaeological site in New Mexico that is part of the State-governed Museum of New Mexico system. It is located along New Mexico Highway 550, 1 mile west of Bernalillo and 16 miles north of Albuquerque.
Coronado was the first state archaeological site to open to the public. It was dedicated on May 29, 1940, as part of the Cuarto Centenario commemoration (400th Anniversary) of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's entry into New Mexico. Although it is named for Vasquez de Coronado, who camped in the vicinity in 1540–1542, it is most noted for the ruins of Kuaua pueblo (Tiwa for "Evergeen"). The pueblo or village was settled about 1325 and abandoned toward the end of the 16th century. Kuaua was one of several Tiwa-speaking pueblos in the area when the conquistador Vasquez de Coronado arrived, and the village was almost certainly abandoned due to the after effects of the Tiguex War (February 1541).
The ruins of Kuaua Pueblo were excavated from 1934-1939 by an archaeological team led by Edgar Lee Hewett and Marjorie F. Tichy (later Lambert). The excavation revealed a south-to-north development over the village's three centuries of existence, as well as six kivas built in round, square and rectangular shapes. The site is particularly noted for a series of pre-contact (pre-1541) murals that were recovered from a square kiva in the pueblo's south plaza. These murals represent one of the finest examples of pre-contact Native American art to be found anywhere in North America.
The Coronado visitor's center was designed by noted Southwest architect John Gaw Meem. It displays fourteen of the restored kiva murals as well as Pueblo Indian and Spanish Colonial artifacts. An interpretive trail winds through the ruins and along the west bank of the Rio Grande.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- "About New Mexico's Historic Sites". New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
- Noble, David Grant, Ancient Ruins of the Southwest: An Archaeological Guide, Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, Arizona, 2000, p. 208
- Zimmerman, James (February 1940). "The Coronado Cuarto Centennial". The Hispanic American Historical Review. 20 (1). JSTOR 2507507.
- Sinclair, John (1951). "The Story of the Pueblo of Kuaua". Papers of the School of American Research. 45.
|Coronado Historic Site (6:37), C-SPAN|
- Coronado Historic Site Blog An informative blog that is updated weekly with events and activities*
- Coronado Historic Site at New Mexico Historic Sites* American Southwest, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary