Publication Date

Spring 5-14-1950


During the summer of 1949 the University of New Mexico Field Sessions in Anthropology undertook the excavation of a site located on the Albert Harrington Ranch some thirty miles due west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Eight under-graduates participated in the work under the supervision of the author, a graduate student in Archaeology. The site was a blown out spring situated near Correo, three and one half miles southwest of the Santa Fe Railway coal and water station in Suwanee. The name "Correo Snake Pit" was assigned to the excavation.

Since this find is probably one of the more important in the Southwest in recent years, this paper will be devoted to a description and analysis of most of the archaeological aspects. The site was and still is a "shrine" used to the present day by the Laguna and Acoma Indians. Evidence for possible prehistoric use will be discussed in the final chapter dealing with conclusions. Parsons states that the Laguna peoples called Suwanee "over east gate" (hahami waha tsiama), and the actual pit "east corner shrine" (wahaniak shukuk shturtauiva). In general the pit was visited by the medicine men (cheani) and the war captains (tsatio hucha), but apparently anyone could use the shrine. In many instances the people of Acoma also found the Correo Pit useful in their religious ceremonies.


Correo Snake Pit, Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Archaeology

Document Type




Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Anthropology

First Committee Member (Chair)

Paul Reiter

Second Committee Member

Florence M. Hawley

Third Committee Member

Frank C. Hibben