BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – Los Alamos National Laboratory is helping scientists learn more about Coronado Historic Site and the people who lived there. The site, named after the 16th-century Spanish explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, is still giving answers to questions historians raise. In 2017, artifacts were linked to Coronado and his army, confirming his presence on the Kuaua Pueblo near Bernalillo.

“The large numbers of Spanish leveled artifacts such as the musket balls and the chain metal, along with Native American weapons such as war balls, axes, sling stones, represent a battle. People here resisted at Kuaua,” said Mattew Barbour of New Mexico Historic Sites.

X-Ray analysis techniques were used to inspect two fragile pieces of history, a copper pendant and a copper crossbow quarrel. “X-ray fluorescents is a technique where we can identify what elements the material is composed of and that gives us an idea of what alloys are present and by putting that together with other historical information we can get a better idea of where it came from,” said Brian Patterson PH.D of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Scientists say new technology continues to give us glimpses into the past and the people who lived at the historic site. “We may never know everything about this site or about the people who lived here, but as archeology develops, every generation comes up with brand new technology to allow us to learn more,” said Ethan Ortega, Ranger at Coronado Historic Site. The national lab analyzed the artifacts as part of a community technical assistance grant awarded to the historic site.