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May 2000

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, 1998

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, 1998

Bandelier National Monument is located in northern central New Mexico, closest to the towns of Los Alamos and White Rock. In 1880, a 40-year-old self taught anthropologist-historian named Adolph F.A. Bandelier came to New Mexico Territory under the sponsorship of the Archeological Institute of America with the ambitious goal of tracing the social organization, customs, and movements of Southwestern and Mexican peoples. He traveled and studied throughout the region, tramping the canyons and mesas, speaking with many Native Americans, and delving into the archives for knowledge about indigenous peoples.

Although now relatively unknown to the public, Bandelier’s pioneering work laid the foundation for much of the modern southwestern archeology. Edgar L. Hewett, a prominent southwestern archeologist who directed several excavations in the same canyons, in the early 1900s, saw the need to preserve the ancestral Pueblo sites and was instrumental in establishing Bandelier National Monument in 1916. It is a fitting tribute to Bandelier’s pioneering contributions that the monument was named for him.

Bandelier, Official Map and Guide, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, 1998