Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Heather B. Trigg

Second Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman

Third Advisor

Stephen Mrozowski


This thesis examines the flaked stone artifact assemblage recovered from LA 20,000, a 17th-century (ca. 1630-1680 AD) rural Spanish colonial estancia located near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Settlements like LA 20,000 were important locations of cultural interaction between Spanish colonists and local Indigenous peoples who often worked and lived together in multi-cultural households. By analyzing the procurement, production, and use of flaked stone artifacts to identify choices and activities performed at the site by the people who lived and labored there this study helps to fill gaps in the knowledge and understanding of 17th-century flaked stone artifact production and use within a distinctly colonial setting. Raw materials, reductive strategies, types and frequencies of debitage and tools, obsidian sourcing results, and spatial distributions are thus considered. For greater context, results are compared against data from other Spanish and Indigenous sites in New Mexico, revealing the ambiguities of materiality in colonial settings. As one of the few in-depth flaked stone artifact analyses to be conducted at an early colonial rural Spanish estancia in New Mexico this study not only provides comparative data and analysis to broaden regional understanding of flaked stone technology and use within an early colonial setting, it also allows fellow researchers to better interpret complementary data from other colonial contexts, both synchronically and diachronically. Furthermore, by combining textual evidence with archaeological data in the context of labor, this study fills a recognized need to integrate the study of Indigenous people involved in colonial labor relations into broader labor studies. While flaked stone tools in and of themselves do not signify or identify any one specific group of people, considering the socioeconomic context of early Spanish colonial New Mexico and its heavy reliance upon neighboring Puebloan and other Native American peoples for labor and trade, the flaked stone assemblage at LA 20,000 undoubtedly reflects the Spanish incorporation of Indigenous peoples, their traditions, and knowledge of flaked stone materials into daily practices situated within contexts of social labor relations where colonial inequalities were actively negotiated.