remaining stratigraphic units of the Chamisal Site contained
evidence for multiple Puebloan occupations identified
by several layers of adobe walls and floors. The different
layers of floors covered with sand indicate that the puebloan
people were forced to leave their houses due to repeated
flooding in the Rio Grande valley but they returned numerous
times and rebuilt the pueblo.
Analysis of the burned
floral remains revealed that the site inhabitants utilized
a wide range of plants of the Albuquerque Basin. They
harvested wild grasses and berries in the foothills
of the Sandia Mountains and carried heavy ponderosa
trunks down to the valley to be used as roof beams inside
adobe rooms. In the valley bottom, the puebloan farmers
utilized the organic rich soil to grow cultigens such
as corn, squash and beans.
Analysis of the faunal remains revealed a great variety
of animals that were hunted including jackrabbit, cottontail
rabbit, dear, pronghorn, elk, and occasionally bison.
A number of bones recovered from fire pit features came
from a various species of fish including gar which no
longer lives in the Middle Rio Grande river basin. The
variety of harvested fish indicates that the Rio Grande
provided these abandoned food resources. Furthermore,
a number of bird bones collected from the site came
from water birds such as ducks, waterfowls, geese, and
sand hill cranes. These identifications have outlined
that large pools of standing water would have formed
in the Albuquerque Basin as a result of annual flooding.
The Chamisal Site residents used glaze-painted pottery
both as personal serving food containers as well as
communal vessels. Utility ware jars were used for cooking
and storage of food commodities. The documented pottery
is very similar to that found in the Zuni region of
western New Mexico suggesting that a number of people
from that region relocated to the Albuquerque Basin
sometime around AD 1300.
Hunters from the Chamisal Site used a variety of projectile
points, knives and bifaces to hunt the wildlife. Several
objects of adornment made of stone and shell were also
recovered. Most of the shell artifacts came from marine
shell species and point to trade relations with cultures
from Baja California.
The site was occupied intermittently for more than
three hundred years which attests that this was a favored
location for year-round residential village. In 1540,
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and later other Spanish
conquistadores visited the river valley and likely would
have met with the Chamisal Site residents. Over time,
the Spanish imposed a tight control of the Native Cultures
in the river valley which likely caused the abandonment
of the site.
Historic artifacts from the 19th century were found
in shallow pits around the site. These reflect episodic
dumping to this location which would have appeared as
a mound of adobe and rock. In the early 20th century,
a new adobe house was built on top of the mound and,
with several additions and reconstructions, stands to
this day as the Casita Chamisa Bed-and-Breaksfast.