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Archaeology on Lab Land

People have lived in this area for more than 5,000 years. Lab archaeologists are studying and preserving the ancient human occupation of the Pajarito Plateau.

June 17, 2019

The thousands of Ancestral Pueblo sites identified on Lab land are among the highest concentration of such sites in the American Southwest.


  • Stacy Leigh Baker
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Understanding the Past
Petroglyphs on Lab Land slide show

Petroglyphs on Lab Land

When the Manhattan Project started here on the Pajarito Plateau, scientists moved onto a land that had been occupied for thousands of years. The evidence identified here—stone tools, petroglyphs, multistory pueblos—has helped archaeologists piece together a 5,500-year history of human occupation.

Archaeology and the Lab’s Mission
Archaeology and the Lab's Mission

Today’s interaction of the Lab’s science mission and its archaeological studies is essential in both continuing our scientific work and preserving the area’s rich cultural history. Today when the Lab embarks on any project, archaeologists are called in to assess how proposed project and operations could affect archaeological sites.

Protecting a Rich History
Nake’muu: Village on the Edge video

Nake'muu: Village on the Edge

Lab archaeologists work to ensure the Lab complies with federal laws protecting sites here, preserving the land’s rich history for future generations. Archaeological research and collaborations with local Pueblo and Hispanic families, who have ancestral ties to the sites, continue to strength our knowledge of past cultures.

Lab Archaeologists
Archaeology at Los Alamos video

Archaeology at Los Alamos

With thousands of archaeological sites located on Lab property, the Lab must comply with all federal laws requiring management of prehistoric and historic sites during any land development. Lab archaeologists record, monitor, and study the sites to minimize impacts from Lab operations, thus helping to preserve o