Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Scholarly and popular interest in the Pueblo settlements of the American Southwest has persisted for well over a century and has given rise to innumerable studies carried out to satisfy these interests. The present study focuses on the theme of settlement geography and involves an attempt to identify the pueblos of the Rio Grande Region that were occupied during the period of Spanish exploration, 1540-1598, before that pattern began to be altered by the impact of subsequent Spanish settlement. It is in this sense that the term geography is used, rather than in its wider meaning that would include consideration of how Pueblo peoples made use of the resources available in their natural environment and how they interacted with groups outside their area. The purpose here is to provide a baseline location pattern as a point of departure for further studies, including changes in settlement that affected Pueblo societies prior to Spanish conquest as well as those that followed from it. Previous works have dealt with parts of the region or the reports of a single exploratory expedition.' This study is the first to present an overview of settlement in the entire region using the reports of all of the sixteenth century Spanish expeditions.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



Geography, Rio Grande, Pueblos, Explorers