2016 Winter Lecture Series


Guns, Fire and Sheep: The Archaeology and History of the Trujillo Homesteads National Historic Landmark in the San Luis Valley

by Marilyn A. Martorano

Registered Professional Archaeologist 

Martorano Trujillo homestead composite 

7 PM, Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Room 130 Porter Hall

Adams State University


The Teofilo/Maria Andrellita and Pedro/Sofia Trujillo homesteads are two early historic Hispano ranching sites occupied from 1865-1902 within and adjacent to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Archaeological, historical, and architectural investigations at these sites have yielded important detailed information about the lifeways of some of the earliest Hispano homesteaders in the San Luis Valley. This presentation will include many of the stories of struggle, strength, and survival during early settlement and a period of cattle and sheep conflict and violence that is not often discussed. The archaeology, architecture, and history of these sites, and the stories that have been revealed are significant locally, statewide, and nationally.

Following the Trujillo presentation, a very brief preview of Martorano's new San Luis Valley archaeological research on potential lithophones (an ancient musical instrument made of rock) will be presented including the playing of two probable lithophones.


About the Speaker:

Marilyn Martorano is a San Luis Valley (SLV)/Alamosa native and is currently the principal archaeologist of Martorano Consultants LLC. She has over 35 years of experience in cultural resource management and holds a BA in Anthropology from Adams State University and an MA in Anthropology from Colorado State University. Ms. Martorano is the principal author of the prehistoric context for the SLV entitled Colorado Prehistory, A Context for the Rio Grande Basin. She has conducted archaeological research at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and in the SLV for several decades and has documented and evaluated prehistoric and historic sites dating from the Paleoindian to the recent historic period including Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs), campsites, trails (Old Spanish National Historic Trail), wickiups, stone structures, historic homesteads and townsites, and mining-related resources. She also conducted the archaeological research for the Trujillo Homesteads National Historic Landmark. Her research interests include CMTs, early Hispano archaeology, Old Spanish Trail-related resources, and most recently a new type of prehistoric artifact class called lithophones (an ancient musical instrument made of rock). Marilyn is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and is the ethics coordinator and a voting member of the Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists. She received the 2015 Colorado State Archaeologist's Award for her work with CMTs.

The Colorado Field Institute is a nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 to promote greater stewardship of the natural and cultural resources within the San Luis Valley. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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