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Pueblo Bonito, Nageezi

4.9
#31 of 86 in Historic Sites in New Mexico
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Pueblo Bonito (Spanish for beautiful town) is the largest and best-known great house in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northern New Mexico. It was built by the Ancestral Puebloans who occupied the structure between AD 828 and 1126.

According to the National Park Service, "Pueblo Bonito is the most thoroughly investigated and celebrated cultural site in Chaco Canyon. Planned and constructed in stages between AD 850 to AD 1150 by ancestral Puebloan peoples, this was the center of the Chacoan world."

Anthropologist Brian Fagan has said that "Pueblo Bonito is an archeological icon, as famous as England's Stonehenge, Mexico's Teotihuacan, or Peru's Machu Picchu."
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.

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.
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Pueblo Bonito reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
125 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • The largest of the Chacoan Great Houses. This shows the progression of construction over the centuries. The ingenuity and skill of craftsmanship is truly amazing. Don't miss going through the rooms....  more
    The largest of the Chacoan Great Houses. This shows the progression of construction over the centuries. The ingenuity and skill of craftsmanship is truly amazing. Don't miss going through the rooms....  more »
  • There is no informational signage. Buy the guide sold in the museum ($2-3). Otherwise, you will not know what you are seeing. 
    There is no informational signage. Buy the guide sold in the museum ($2-3). Otherwise, you will not know what you are seeing.  more »
Google
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Chico Canyon historical sites. Well worth the walking tours when you go visit end of October!
  • Been wanting to do this for a minute... it's awesome... not what I expected from "Ancient Aliens "... I will definitely be coming back

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