Between 2002 and 2004, the Office of Archaeological Studies performed excavations behind Santa Fe’s Palace of the Governors. This project recovered over 700,000 artifacts, each with a story to tell. Yet, some of these items are more fascinating than others. Objects, such as an Aztec bowl with the power to cure acne and the slag-lined cupel from Battersea Works in England, have the potential to shed light on lesser known aspects of New Mexico’s often sordid and colorful past. Hear about the seven of the most bizarre artifacts found during the archaeological excavations.

Matthew Barbour holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from UNM and works for the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. He is the regional manager of Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites. Under Barbour’s management, Coronado Historic Site received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History and the Jemez Historic Site received the Archaeology Heritage Preservation Award. He has published more than 200 nonfiction articles and monographs.