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Pueblo Bonito, Nageezi

4.9
#28 of 58 in Historic Sites in New Mexico
Ruin Tourist Spot
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 Traveler Rating
87 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We spent most of our time in Pueblo Bonito. It is hard to believe the workmanship of the building and the fact it is still standing. Further, the park service actually let visitors enter the building ...  more »
  • This site is on a .75 mile looped trail. This is the "must see" in the park. The trail is level and easy to navigate. There is a harder trail that goes up the canyon wall behind Pueblo Bonito so you c...  more »
  • This ruin has many rooms, keivas, and a large plaza. You are allowed to walk inside the rooms. Doorways are small so you must be able to crouch or crawl. Wear a hat. It gets pretty warm in the summer....  more »
Google
  • This is my favorite of the Chaco Canyon complex archeaological sites. You need to spend a few hours exploring the area just to jump start your imagination enough to fathom how advanced and massive this ancient culture was and the subsequent mystery concerning their disappearance and fate.
  • This was the best site out of all of them. Take your time and enjoy the history.
  • Pretty but not THAT pretty
  • A long drive on marginal roads, but worth it.
  • If there is only one site to visit to Chaco Canyon, it would be this one. It is huge and in an excellent state of conservation. It's Pueblo Bonito that we realize the better the layout of parts in the pueblo. To get an overview, there is the possibility to take the path that leads on the mesa from Kin Kletso. From the top, you can watch Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl and better understand these sites as a whole.
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