La Botica

The La Botica site (5CN1061), located in Conejos County’s spectacular La Jara Canyon, is a large and complex archaeological site that preserves a remarkable record of American Indian lifeways spanning at least 7,500 years. The site is also an important locality for the San Luis Valley’s Hispano residents, who gathered medicinal plants there in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The demonstrated time depth of the site’s occupation, combined with its unique and culturally significant botanical inventory, make it one of the most important archaeological sites in the region.

To better understand La Botica’s place in the regional cultural landscape, as well as the natural and cultural factors that have shaped it, Paleocultural Research Group (PCRG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeological and paleoecological research in the Southern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, conducted a multi-disciplinary research project at the site. The PCRG research team included a diverse mix of contributors, including archaeologists, biogeographers, geologists, geomorphologists, anthropologists, botanists, dendrochronologists, and historians.

Two reports are available for this project. The 2020 report is an in-depth analysis of the archaeological work conducted at the site. The 2022 report describes all phases of this multidisciplinary project, with an abbreviated discussion of the archaeological remains from the site. A high-resolution version of the 2022 report is also available via a free account with tDAR.