Archaeologists unearth paved Santa Fe road dating to 1600s

Santa fe new mexico
Archaeologists digging near the central plaza in Santa Fe, N.M., recently found what may be the city’s first paved road, a gravelly patch that probably dates to the 1600s.

We can probably assume it’s also the site of Santa Fe’s first pothole.

Archaeologists discovered the bumpy surface, which runs north-south, about four feet underground near the city’s main hub of shops and restaurants, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“It just looks like somebody brought in a couple of loads of gravel and dumped them on the road to create a nice solid surface,” archaeologist Jim Moore told the paper.

The road, which parallels modern-day Otero Street, may have been a pathway to the city’s first “parroquia,” or parish church, when Santa Fe was still a Spanish enclave. Now the capital of New Mexico, the city markets its rich history much the way Las Vegas does its casinos.

During their excavations, archaeologists also found a garbage pit with shards of pottery and bone, as well as a particularly intriguing piece of Chinese porcelain. Archaeologists said the porcelain may have been created a century before Santa Fe was founded, even traveling to the Philippines and Mexico before ending up in the city.

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--Ashley Powers in Las Vegas

Twitter.com/ashleypowers

Photo: Shoppers crowd the plaza in Santa Fe, N.M., during the city's annual Indian Market. A road dating to the 1600s was recently discovered nearby. Credit: Rosemary McClure / Los Angeles Times

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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