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Salmon Ruins, Farmington

4.4
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Ruin · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Salmon Ruins is an ancient Chacoan and Pueblo site located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, USA. Salmon was constructed by migrants from Chaco Canyon around 1090 CE, with 275 to 300 original rooms spread across three stories, an elevated tower kiva in its central portion, and a great kiva in its plaza. Subsequent use by local Middle San Juan people (beginning in the 1120s) resulted in extensive modifications to the original building, with the reuse of hundreds of rooms, division of many of the original large, Chacoan rooms into smaller rooms, and emplacement of more than 20 small kivas into pueblo rooms and plaza areas. The site was occupied by ancient Ancestral Puebloans until the 1280s, when much of the site was destroyed by fire and abandoned (Reed 2006b). The pueblo is situated on the north bank of the San Juan River, just to the west of the modern town of Bloomfield, New Mexico, and about 45mi north of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. The site was built on the first alluvial terrace above the San Juan River floodplain.
The ruins of Salmon Pueblo were excavated between 1970 and 1979, under the direction of Cynthia Irwin-Williams of Eastern New Mexico University in partnership with the San Juan County Museum Association (Irwin-Williams 2006, p. 17-27). The San Juan Valley Archaeological Program resulted in the excavation of slightly more than one-third of Salmon's ground floor rooms. More than 1.5 million artifacts and samples were recovered from Salmon. In 1980, Irwin-Williams and co-principal investigator Phillip Shelley wrote, compiled and edited a multivolume, 1,500-page report. The document fulfilled the reporting requirements for the series of grants under which the project had been completed but it was not intended for publication. Throughout the 1980s, Irwin-Williams and Shelley worked on a modified and greatly reduced manuscript, with the goal of producing a publishable report. This work ended with the untimely death of Cynthia Irwin-Williams in 1990. Plan your visit to Salmon Ruins and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Farmington itinerary planner.
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Salmon Ruins reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
185 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I had my doubts that a $3 entry fee would have much to see. Went there to see about a Chaco tour (which were full). Definitely worth more than $3. The layout was a little confusing, but once you... 
    I had my doubts that a $3 entry fee would have much to see. Went there to see about a Chaco tour (which were full). Definitely worth more than $3. The layout was a little confusing, but once you...  more »
  • Salmon Ruins has double bang for your buck. Not only does it have great runs, but you can book a tour to Chaco Canyon & Bisti Badlands with Tori. She's an incredible font of knowledge about the area.....  more
    Salmon Ruins has double bang for your buck. Not only does it have great runs, but you can book a tour to Chaco Canyon & Bisti Badlands with Tori. She's an incredible font of knowledge about the area.....  more »
Google
  • This is a nice museum with some cool ruins. well kept and friendly helpful staff. lots of information. unfortunately I went here right after visiting Chaco Canyon so it seemed very small
  • Easy access to ruins. If you have time it's well worth it.

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