At the time of Spanish colonization, the provincia or province of the A’tzi-em or Rio Grande Piros (Los Piros in short) was one of the major subdivisions of the Pueblo world. A dozen or more pueblos lined the Rio Grande valley from Black Mesa (south of Socorro) in the south to Sevilleta in the north (there was also an eastward extension of Piro-speaking pueblos into the Estancia Basin). By the mid-1670s Spanish records mention only four pueblos in Los Piros as occupied, and these last pueblos were abandoned during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Only two Rio Grande Piro pueblos, Teypana (Plaza Montoya, LA31744) and Tzelaqui/Sevilleta (LA774) have been subject to long-term archaeological and historical research. Teypana is the likely site of the original Socorro of the Oñate documents while Tzelaqui/Sevilleta is the only surviving site of a Rio Grande Piro mission pueblo which endured up to 1680/81. Work at the two sites (ongoing at Sevilleta), and at the site of Pilabó Pueblo (LA791) in Socorro, offers unique insights into how Spanish activities affected the Piro pueblos in the years after 1600. Together with period documents the archaeological data present a complex picture of contact, unrest, and population decline/dispersal across Los Piros in the years up to the Pueblo Revolt.