Thundersticks and Coats of Iron: Coronado’s Impact
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado (1510 – 1554) led the largest land-based exploration in the continental United States conducted by colonial Spain. From 1540 to 1542, the expedition had the first Europeans to see such places as the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, the Rio Grande, many pueblo settlements, and the Great Plains.
In the northwestern part of present-day Albuquerque, an unassuming patch of gently rolling and barely vegetated ground holds the most compelling evidence of the Francisco Vázquez de Coronado entrada to have been found in at least a decade. The site is known as Piedras Marcadas pueblo, or the “village of the marked rocks” due to its proximity to large concentrations of images in Petroglyph National Monument. Recent discoveries at this site by principal archaeologist, Matt Schmader, reveal Coronado’s visit and impact at this pueblo.