Saturday, May 23, 2015

Aztec Ruins

Disclaimer: no Aztecs lived here.

One by one we are crossing national parks and monuments off our list. This time it was Aztec Ruins National Monument. We actually didn't set out to go there but were just doing some general scouting of the area, so all we have are phone pictures. But they came out pretty good, although a couple came out not quite true in color.

The great kiva of the pueblo was reconstructed in the 1930's. You never know if the depiction is accurate to what was there originally; it is only an educated guess. In this pueblo the kivas had two concentric rings. What were the little rooms formed between?

In this case they installed small ladders from the main floor up to the access holes.

The experience was enhanced by the recording of soft native flute music. 


Another large kiva, this one excavated but not reimagined and reconstructed.

Map showing original size of the pueblo.

Rooms to the east of the kivas. 

A series of doors led from room to room. 

Something tells me that the residents were shorter than 5'6" or that they spent a lot of time bending over.

This door led into a series of intact rooms. 

Looking through another room, there is still a portion of an original woven mat or shade. This tells us that they used such between rooms.

Here you can see the construction of the ceiling/floor of upper stories. many buildings were three to four stories tall. If you look on the outside of buildings, you will see large holes where the beams would have been and smaller holes on the adjacent walls for the cross pieces.

Partially excavated showing the concentric rings. 

A blooming yucca.

The quality of the masonry is astonishing. And there is decoration: note the dark line of stone that runs along the length. The guidebook said it may have represented a river. Maybe it was just a decoration.

Below are two panorama shots courtesy of Tom.

We learned quite a bit at this site that we have been able to apply to later ruins ancestral villages we have been visiting.