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Boletsakwa ruins

Boletsakwa translates as “Place of the Abalone shell”, an interesting name for someplace so far from the sea. It sits on a narrow mesa, at a bit over 7,200’ in the Santa Fe National Forest. Estimates are that it contained about 650 rooms.

The site seems to have been occupied between 1350 through 1650. However there appear to be two distinct phases to the site. The northerly end has been dated as the older area, from 1350 – 1500. The southerly area is more recent, perhaps constructed after the Pueblo Revolt between 1680 to after 1700.

One unusual aspect of this site is that it’s been excavated by the Girl Scouts. In the 1960s there existed something called the “Girl Scouts Archaeological Unit”. According to limited documentation, they conducted test excavations at this site.

We found the site of limited interest.  It obviously receives a good amount of visitation, as there were obvious use trails through it.  The was little in the way of standing walls, and pottery sherds did not appear numerous to us.

Boletsakwa Ruins (From "Overview and Synthesis of the Archeology of the Jemez Province, New Mexico, by M. Elliot, 1986

Boletsakwa - Typical fallen room blocks

Boletsakwa - Extent of remaining vertical walls

Boletsakwa - More walls

Boletsakwa - Interesting grinding feature

Boletsakwa - One of the few remaining residents