What We Do: Initiatives

Area 6 – Oñate (1605)

Area 6 - the Onate inscription

“There passed this way the Adelantado (conqueror) Don Juan de Oñate from the discovering of the South Sea on the 16th of April 1605,” – Slater (1961) pg. 7

The oldest inscription from the Spanish Colonial period was carved by Don Juan de Oñate in 1605. This carving is perhaps the most famous inscription by one of the most infamous characters in the history of the Southwest. Oñate is remembered today as one of the most savage and brutal conquistadores.

Area 6 - 2006 Scan Data

Area 6 2006 scan data.

Area 6 - 2007 Scan Data

Area 6 2007 scan data.

Area 6 - 2010 Scan Data

Area 6 2010 scan data.

Area 6 - Comparison of 2006 and 2010 scan data

Comparison of 2006 and 2010 scan data.

Our scans of the Oñate inscription revealed that this area is relatively stable, with a light smear of clay wash impacting the panel in various locations. The scans also revealed that Oñate’s inscription is quite shallow, compared to all of the other historical inscriptions in the monument.

This area also revealed the limits of our scanning technique, as this area was simply too large to scan with the Minolta VIVID 9i scanner, as illustrated by the blue areas in this comparison image. If these portions of the scan had actually lost 1-2 mm of surface material, such loss would have been obvious in the documentation photographs. Because the “loss” is only reported at the upper edges of these scans, we can safely assume this is due to the same stitching errors we see in project areas 1 and 8.

 Reference cited: El Morro: Inscription Rock New Mexico, 1961, by John M. Slater. The Plantin Press, Los Angeles.


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