Tonque Pueblo

Tonque Pueblo

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

N.M. State Register of Cultural Properties

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Nearest city
Tejon Grant, New Mexico

35°21′49″N 106°21′7″W / 35.36361°N 106.35194°W / 35.36361; -106.35194Coordinates: 35°21′49″N 106°21′7″W / 35.36361°N 106.35194°W / 35.36361; -106.35194

36 acres (15 ha)

1600 (1600)

NRHP Reference #


Significant dates

Added to NRHP
January 12, 1984

Designated NMSRCP
January 14, 1983

Tonque (TONG-kee) is a large abandoned Pre-Columbian pueblo in Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States, about 7 miles / 12 km southeast of San Felipe Pueblo. It was a site of significant ceramic industry, and may have provided up to one-third of the glaze decorated pottery used in contemporary pueblos in the middle Rio Grande valley.


1 Pueblo complex
2 History
3 Ceramics industry
4 20th century
5 See also
6 Further reading
7 References

Pueblo complex[edit]
Tonque pueblo (LA240), now a severely eroded ruin, was constructed of adobe and may never have exceeded a single storey. It comprised between 1500 and 2000 rooms arranged in an E, with three parallel arms running approximately east-west, of about 120 to 280 metres length and of 4 to 10 rooms width, and with a continuous block of rooms, now mostly destroyed, along the west side.[2]
The pueblo is sited on the north edge of Tonque arroyo, a normally dry tributary to the Rio Grande, while a spring occurs on the south side. There is evidence that the arroyo floor downstream (west) of the pueblo was cultivated, probably with maize and beans, which may have been largely dependent on seasonal flooding.
Numerous petroglyphs can be found in the vicinity of Tonque.

A metate excavated at Tonque Pueblo

Archaeological evidence[2] suggests that the site was first occupied from the early 14th century, and was active until the middle of the 16th century. Tonque is not mentioned in Spanish records by that name, but may be one of two unnamed pueblos visited by Gaspar Castano de Sosa in 1591.[3] Onate also did not list it in 1598, but it may have been El Tuerte in his record. Alphonse Bandelier stated in 1892 that it was a Tano village known as Tunque, El-Tunque, Tungee or Tun-ge. The word ‘’tung’’, however is Tewan for basket or tray, which i