Of Stone and Stories: Pueblitos of Dinetah Timeline
Navajo History Early Archaeology Architecture Clothing & Tools New Spain Modern Archaeology
& Tools
New Spain


Ancestral Navajo settle the Dinétah
3 Pots
Dinétah Grey Jars, Gobernador







Tree cut in this year is used to build one of the earliest forked-stick hogans found so far in the Gobernador (LA 55979); thousands of Dinétah Phase (1500-1650/1680) camps and home sites have now been recorded.
Collapsed hogan
Collapsed forked-stick hogan, Old Fort Pueblito.















"Apaches de Nabaxu" mentioned in report by Father Zarate Salmeron, Franciscan friar at Jemez. This is the first time Navajo are identified by name.
Kotyiti Glaze Jar, Three Corn Pueblito




Navajos begin to build herds of sheep and horses.
Yucca cordage rope, San Juan drainage







The Buffalo Mask site, LA 99809, is built high into a cliff alcove. This first "pueblito" is a defensive stronghold.
Rock art, corn
Corn petroglyph, Crow Canyon
Tapacito Pueblito built during the fall. The timing and architecture connects this site to Jemez Pueblo, hit hard by Spanish troops seeking out rebels among the Pueblo communities.
Jemez Bowl
Jemez Black-on-white soup plate, Giusewa (San Jose Mission)


Navajos lose battle with Spanish near Abiquiu; Roque Madrid leads first of nearly yearly military expeditions to Dinétah.
Estribo de cruz, cross-shaped stirrup



Most of the pueblitos are built during these fifteen years. Over 130 pueblitos have been found to date in the Gobernador.
Axe Heads
Spanish Colonial axehead and adze, Frances Canyon Pueblito and Rio Grande. Axehead
Navajos ask Spanish for protection against Ute raiders.
Wheel Lock Spanner
Wheel lock spanner, Frances Canyon Pueblito
Last tree was cut for pueblito roofs; Navajo families move away from Dinétah.
Kid's Mocassins
Child's moccasins, Gobernador


Spanish mount first documented expedition to Ute country, following trade routes up the Chama from Abiquiu and over to the San Juan River. The San Juan marked the boundary between Ute and Navajo territory.
1760 map of New Mexico
1760 map of Nueba Mexico, Don Bernardo Miera y Pacheco


New Spain 
and the Frontier






Montezuma II killed by Hernán Cortés in Tenochtitlan, capital of the Mexican empire united by his great-grandfather, Montezuma I.
Aztec capital
The Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, 1524
Woodcut of Buffalo
Woodcut of buffalo made after Coronado's expedition to Quivira, 1554
Coronado encounters Querechos (Apaches) on the western plains of Quivira (now Kansas); during the previous winter, Coronado's camp of 300 men, 600 pack animals, and 1000 horses commandeered food and blankets from the Tiwa Pueblos near present-day Bernalillo, New Mexico.
Silver coins
Quarto Reales silver coin minted in Mexico, 1611
Spanish send yearly Manila galleon from Philippines to Acapulco and New World trade ports with perfume, porcelain, silk, cotton cloth, and precious stones. It returns to Spain loaded with Mexican silver coins and bars; these become the first international currency.
Soup plate
Puebla majolica soup plate, Abo Mission
Juan de Oñate leads 400 soldiers, colonists, friars, and Mexican Indians to Nuevo Mexico; by December, pueblos are in revolt against the Spanish at Acoma and in the Tiwa and Tompiro villages to the south. As punishment for killing 15 of Oñate's men in an attack on Acoma, 500 Acoma are enslaved and all Acoma men have right foot cut off.














Spanish expedition enters Navajo country to seize men, women, and children as slaves.
Potmetal crosses, Three Corn Pueblito


Metal arrowheads
Metal arrowheads
Pueblo communities revolt, drive Spanish to El Paso. The Pueblo alliance sent 7,000 warriors against the total Spanish population of 3,000. After 100 years of Spanish occupation, some Pueblos had only one-tenth of their original population.
De Vargas makes journeys of reconquest to New Mexico in 1692 and 1693; Pueblos and tribes continue to resist the Spanish efforts to re-establish settlements in their territory. Many Pueblo Indians flee to the mountains and are then forced to return to the Spanish-controlled villages. Refugees from the Galisteo Basin pueblos, Pecos, Santa Clara, Jemez, San Felipe, and Cochiti flee to the Navajo country.
Navajos raid Spanish towns and Pueblos along Rio Grande and Rio Puerco
Bridle bit
Spanish-made bridle bit used by Navajos
Spanish establish peace with Navajos.
Navajo warriors
Navajo warriors, around 1840. Wheeler Survey, 1853-1854











Navajos form and dissolve alliances with Gila Apaches, Utes, Comanches, others as they continue to raid Spanish and Pueblo settlements
Comanche men
Comanche men and mounts, around 1840. Wheeler Survey, 1853-1854


Lieutenant Narbona and Spanish military defeat Navajo in Canyon de Chelly; peace settlement holds through remainder of Spanish rule of Nuevo Mexico
Rock art, soldiers
Navajo pictographs of Spanish soldiers, priests at Canyon de Chelly, courtesy of Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Across the Seas 
and Continents

Christopher Columbus sails for New World
The Santa Maria
The Santa Maria, Columbus' flagship. Model in the Science Museum, London.
Ferdinand Magellan attempts to circumnavigate the globe, but dies in the Philippines. Only one of his five ships and 18 of the original 200-member crew will return to Portugal.
Portrait of Ferdinand Magellan, ABC London.









Sir Francis Drake sails around the world. The fleet of pirate ships he captains will take gold, silver, jewels, porcelain, silks, spices, and other valuables from Spanish and Portuguese vessels to build Elizabethan England.
Globe Theater
The Globe Theater, Shakespeare's playhouse during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.



Jamestown in 1622, illustrated in early Dutch account of the colony.
English establish Jamestown. In 1622, the Virginia Colony attacked by Algonquin confederated tribes, including the Chickahominy upstream on the James River. 347 of 1240 settlers killed.
Chinese junk
16th-century Chinese junk. "Treasure ships" from China began to explore worlds to the west in the 1400s.
Manchu rulers establish Ch'ing dynasty in China. Porcelain plate made in Ching-te-chen makes its way to the Gobernador by way of Chinese junk to Manila, Philippines, Manila galleon to Acapulco, Mexico, then up the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro to northern New Mexico, then out to Dinétah through Native American trade networks.
African slave trade begun by England in 1580 will take 28 million Central and West Africans into slavery by 1900.
Slave traders
Slave traders leading slaves to the coast.

















Russian Vitus Bering begins his search for a land connection between Siberia and the New World. He dies looking. The Bering Land Bridge was last open about 20,000 years ago.
Bering Sea
The Bering Sea separates Asia and North America today


George Washington begins work on home now known as Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon
Portrait of Washington's Mount Vernon by anonymous artist, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.






Declaration of Independence signed.


Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence, 1776.
Navajo History | Early Archaeology | Pueblito Architecture | Clothing & Tools
New Spain (1600-1700) | Modern Archaeology | Timeline | Acknowledgements
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