SAN GABRIEL DEL YUNGUE
The First Capital of New Mexico
By Florence Hawley Ellis, PhD
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In 1598, the Spanish conquistador, Don Juan de Onate, founded the first capital of New Mexico in an old Indian settlement on the west bank of the Rio Grande river. This colony and others prospered until the Indians revolted, destroying this village which was then lost for centuries. But, in 1959, Florence Hawley Ellis, a famous pioneer anthropologist, was asked by San Juan Indian Pueblo to excate a ruin on their reservation, an unheard of request as Pueblos usually denied permission for excavations on their lands. A badly corroded Spanish archer's helmet had been found by an elder who was digging adobe clay. They wanted to know what they had. Her work returned San Gabriel del Yungue--the Spanish name for the first capital of New Mexico--and its five domed ovens, the first built in this land, to their rightful place on the map. This book is the story of that awakening.
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5 1/2 x 8 1/2