Espinoso Ridge Pueblo

Espinoso Ridge Pueblo (LA 278) includes two structural components, one prehistoric and the other, historic.

The prehistoric component is a massive adobe mound, the remains of a pueblo with 350 or so rooms. The core of the prehistoric ruin is a rectangular structure 60 m by 40 m (200 by 130 ft) in size built around a large plaza, with an opening on its eastern side. Additional roomblocks appended to the structure include one on the southeast, one on the northeast, and two long parallel roomblocks further north. A separate adobe structure may be represented by a 10 m Espinoso Ridge Pueblo(30 ft) diameter mound located about 100 m (300 ft) east of the main pueblo. Although there is no direct evidence of a kiva, the presence of such a feature may be indicated by a large pot hunters' hole in the plaza. Dense middens with ashy soil and tens of thousands of sherds and lithic artifacts occur on all four sides of the pueblo, as well as within the plaza. Other prehistoric features within the site boundaries include a two room fieldhouse, a small cairn, a semi-circular scatter of cobbles, a rectangular cobble/boulder alignment, a boulder with possible cupules, and a natural spring. Ceramic cross dating suggests that the principal occupation occurred between AD 1325 and 1500. Mera designated this site as the type site for Largo Glaze B pottery.

The historic component consists primarily of the remains of a homestead and associated features, including an adobe house, a substantial chicken coop, a corral, remnants of several tanks, reservoirs, and troughs associated with use of the spring, traces of a fence that once enclosed an orchard, and a possible outhouse location. Documentary and oral history information indicate that this location was used from sometime prior to 1919 until 1942 or later.

LA 278 is near the confluence of Arroyo de la Vega de los Tanos and a major unnamed eastern tributary. Upstream from the site Arroyo de la Vega de los Tanos has a watershed of approximately 1620 hectares (4000 acres), while the tributary has a watershed of 485 hectares (1200 acres). There is a 50 m (165 ft) wide floodplain along the main arroyo. The arroyo itself has a braided channel, incised a meter or so (ca. 3 ft) into the floodplain. The Arroyo de la Vega de los Tanos drains directly to the Rio Grande, joining the river between San Felipe and Kewa Pueblos. There is a small, unnamed spring immediately south of the ruin (see site map). This spring is actually about 30 m (100 ft) south of the position indicated on the USGS topographic map. The spring never goes dry, even during periods of prolonged drought, such as the 1950s. While the homestead was occupied water from the spring was sufficient to support a small apple orchard, as well as providing domestic water for people and livestock.