Pueblo Bonito - Chaco Culture National Historical Park

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According to the National Park Service website:

"Archaeologists call Pueblo Bonito a “Chacoan great house.” This monumental public building served surrounding communities and the region when Chaco was a major center of Puebloan culture between A.D. 850 and 1150. This building embraced many roles. Those functions included ceremony, administration, trading, storage, hospitality, communications, astronomy, and burial of the honored dead. Only a small portion seems to have served as living quarters. From the remnant walls and foundations, try to imagine the building in use. More than 600 rooms towered four and five stories above the valley floor, covering 3 acres. The building’s unique D-shaped geometry enclosed two plazas with dozens of ceremonial kivas. Straight avenues linked the building with nearby and distant great houses."

According to Wikipedia:

"Pueblo Bonito (Spanish for beautiful town), the largest and best-known great house in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northern New Mexico, was built by the Ancestral Puebloans, who occupied the structure between AD 828 and 1126.

In January 1941, a section of the canyon wall known as Threatening Rock, or tse biyaa anii'ahi (leaning rock gap) in Navajo, collapsed as a result of a rock fall, destroying some of the structure's rear wall and a number of rooms. The builders of Pueblo Bonito appear to have been well aware of this threat, but chose to build beneath the fractured stone anyway. The wall stood 97 feet (30 m) high and weighed approximately 30,000 tons; the Puebloans compensated by building structural reinforcements for the slab. Pueblo Bonito is considered the most famous Chaco site and was a large D-shaped building that housed many.

In 2009, traces of Mexican cacao from at least 1,200 miles (1,900 km) away were detected in pottery sherds at Pueblo Bonito. This was the first demonstration that the substance, important in rituals, had been brought into the area that became the United States at any time before the Spanish arrived around 1500. Cylindrical pottery jars, common in Central America, had previously been found there, but are rare. 111 jars have been found in Pueblo Bonito's 800 or so rooms.

According to the anthropologist Brian Fagan, "Pueblo Bonito is an archeological icon, as famous as England's Stonehenge, Mexico's Teotihuacan, or Peru's Machu Picchu.""

- Pueblo Bonito - Chaco Culture National Historical Park -

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