The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


This paper sets out a theoretical proposal for obtaining an absolute date for the Taos Pueblo, a living archaeological site that may be the oldest continuously occupied structure in North America. The paper first explores the history and current state of archaeological and anthropological study at the Taos Pueblo and within the larger Taos community, determining that past academic studies have not fully aligned with the goals of the community itself, and have done harm in relationships between archaeologists and members of the Pueblo. I propose that the living heritage framework, as described in Trujillo (2019) and in accordance with the goals of the Taos Pueblo Preservation Program, should be applied to most appropriately address the needs of the community as a living site. Finally, I explain specific procedures for how to obtain a radiocarbon date for the site, after detailing the different options for sampling and analysis.

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