A Unique Bed and Breakfast in Albuquerque, New Mexico

We had such a great time! The house is so unique and so comfortable. The property is beautiful and everything about the place has a story. Water pressure was great. The studio has a kitchenette and a tempurpedic bed. We got the best nights' sleep both nights. It is peaceful and quiet at night. There is a heated, indoor pool and two person hot tub. And there was a little flat screen in our room.

Arnold is an absolute delight. He is a wonderful, older gentleman who makes the best breakfasts. He is very precise about things and has spent years perfecting his recipes. Everything he made us was special and delicious. You can tell he really enjoys sharing his home with people. We were there when some people called to book a room and he beamed and said "some people are coming to stay in the guest house" with a big smile and did a little happy dance. The place has a very interesting history and the stories of Arnold and Kit's lives are everywhere. He is so much fun to talk to and his smile will melt your heart. We will definitely make it a point to visit again.

Sacramento, CA



Casita Chamisa , Bed and Breakfast extraordinaire, rests on a major archaeological site that was excavated by owner Arnold Sargeant’s late wife, archaeologist Kit Sargeant. The project was sponsored by the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Arnold is delighted to share a video tape explaining the site to interested visitors and to recount what is known of the "ancient ones" who lived here so long ago.

Excavations at the Chamisal Site revealed 10 feet of stratified deposits representing human occupation from the Late Archaic period (radiocarbondated to 720 BC), to the Ancestral Pueblo period (dated to AD 1300 to mid-1600s) as well as to the historic period (early to mid-1900s). The Late Archaic occupation was uncovered at the bottom of the excavation.

View a Photo Tour of Ancient Artifacts
The 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.



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