Published on September 7, 2010 by John
The first known inhabitants of New Mexico were members of the Clovis culture of Paleo-Indians.:19 Later inhabitants include Native Americans of the Mogollon and the Anasazi cultures.:52 By the time of European contact in the 1500s, the region was settled by the villages of the Pueblo peoples and groups of Navajo, Apache and Ute.:6,48
Francisco VÃ¡zquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela in 1540â€“1542 to explore and find the mystical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Fray Marcos de Niza.:19â€“24 The name Nuevo MÃ©xico was first used by a seeker of gold mines named Francisco de Ibarra who explored far to the north of Mexico in 1563 and reported his findings as being in “a New Mexico”. Juan de OÃ±ate officially established the name when he was appointed the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico in 1598.:36â€“37 In 1598 he founded the San Juan de los Caballeros colony, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico, on the Rio Grande near Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.:37 OÃ±ate extended El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, “Royal Road of the Interior,” by 700 miles (1,100 km) from Santa BÃ¡rbara, Chihuahua to his remote colony.
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