Taos Pueblo, USA

The oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States



Two Taos men holding a drone at the Taos Pueblo by CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

Working with the Taos Tribal Government, The US National Park Service and World Monuments Fund, CyArk documented the site in collaboration with Nolte Engineering in 2010. CyArk utilized laser scanning and photogrammetry to document the entire complex including the multi-storeyed North house, San Geronimo church and several private homes. URC Ventures further assisted in drone documentation of the site. The project was part of a larger program led by World Monuments Fund to develop a training program for tribal members in conservation and conserve an 11-unit dwelling at the site. The documentation was used to create orthographic images and guide the conservation at the site. CyArk also provided a training to the tribal members on site documentation and data processing techniques.

A view of the pueblo adobes at the Taos Pueblo by CyArkCyArk

Introducing Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is the largest multi-storied adobe pueblo in the United States and has been continuously inhabited since 1000 CE. It is believed that people moved to the area following a period of prolonged drought as the water supply was more dependable along the Rio Grande. Taos Pueblo was a central point of trade between the Native American towns and villages along the Rio Grande and their Plains Tribes neighbors to the northeast. Taos Pueblo had its first contact with the Spanish in 1540. By 1620, Jesuit missionaries had built the first catholic church in the town. As in other regions during the colonization of the Americas, relations were strained between the native groups and the Spanish and the churches within the Pueblo were destroyed several times.

A view of the church at Taos Pueblo by CyArkCyArk

Adobe Structures

The adobe structures at Taos Pueblo were built from mud brick using traditional techniques. The individual houses of Taos Pueblo were built side by side, with the use of common walls. They were originally accessed from the rooftop, with a ladder. The doors and larger windows of many of the buildings have been added in recent years. The churches on the other hand, were built stand alone. During the Mexican-American War a group of Mexican and Taos soldiers took refuge in San Geronimo Mission Church at the Pueblo. American troops bombarded the church, killing or capturing the soldiers and destroying the building. Around 1850, a new mission church, San Geronimo, was constructed near the west gate of the pueblo wall.

A photogrammetry reconstruction of the pueblo adobes at the Taos Pueblo by CyArkCyArk

CyArk created a variety of architectural elevations and sections of the buildings for use by the tribe the National Park Service and the World Monuments Fund for ongoing conservation.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the generous support of World Monuments Fund and the following partners:

Taos Tribal Government

National Park Service

Nolte Engineering

URC Ventures

Credits: All media
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