By Mark Oswald / Journal Staff Writer
Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 6:38pm
SANTA FE – The federal Bureau of Land Management is purchasing the 365-acre site of an ancient pueblo in the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe.
The BLM will use $1.5 million from Land and Water Conservation Fund to buy the Burnt Corn Pueblo site, located east of the village of Galisteo and near the well-known Petroglyph Hill, a mesa topped with thousands of pieces of rock art that is owned by Santa Fe County.
“With this purchase, the entire Burnt Corn Pueblo will be protected for future generations,” said a news release from the members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said the purchase will open up new land for visitors interested in the Galisteo Basin’s numerous Native American and Spanish ruins, but no details on plans for public access were available Friday.
Petroglyph Hill was acquired by the county from the huge Thornton Ranch several years ago. Information on the seller of the Burnt Corn Pueblo area was not available.
U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján said the new acquisition also will help with creation of “a long distance regional trail network” in the area. The news release said Land and Water Conservation money “will be used to promote preservation and open up access to more than 2,000 acres” in the Galisteo Basin.
The pueblo site on a ridge gets its name from burnt corn found across its landscape. Experts say it was occupied briefly between 1200 and 1300 and had eight room blocks and a larger plaza pueblo, and it burned — presumably with corn drying on drying on roofs — about the time its occupants left, raising questions about whether the village caught fire or was attacked. The high pueblo site is described as providing spectacular views of the surrounding basin.