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Pueblo Bonito, Nageezi
(5/5 based on 75 reviews on the web)
Pueblo Bonito, 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 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 97ft 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 1200mi 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.The National Park Service website states: "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." 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."
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This particular "big house" is the largest dwelling in Chaco, and one that you can walk through. Catch a ranger talk about the place or to buy a guidebook at the visitors center and follow the numbere...  more »
  • The Ranger tour was awesome! Lots of detail. The booklet helps too! Many interesting features here compared to the other locations. 
  • Pueblo Bonito is part of the amazing Chaco Canyon experience. I visited at 8am on a beautiful sunny morning. I was completely alone. It was an excellent way to experience its energy and beauty. 
Google
  • Pretty but not THAT pretty
  • A long drive on marginal roads, but worth it.
  • World Heritage site
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