Archive: July, 2012
  • July

    Archaeology in the Land of the Dead

    Jornada del Muerto – Journey of the Dead - for more than two centuries, Spanish colonists traveling between Mexico City and the Spanish colonial outpost at Santa Fe had to cross this desolate, waterless valley in south-central New Mexico. The Jornada’s flat surface hides hidden sand dunes whose roots lie along the surface of an ancient dune field. Cement-like surfaces could give way to 4 feet of sand in the space of a single step, bogging down oxen and cartwheel alike, requiring time and energy to free both. Carrying all the water for both humans and livestock, travelers were keenly aware that any delay during the 90-mile crossing could cost both lives and profits.