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Pueblos, Ancient & Modern -  Page 5

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Hovenweep National MonumentHovenweep National Monument, Colorado - Hovenweep (a Ute Indian word meaning "deserted valley") contains six groups of prehistoric Anasazi Indian ruins that were built from about 400 to 1300 A.D. These include the remains of coursed-stone masonry pueblos, small cliff dwellings and large quantities of scattered ruins. These ruins are all noted for their towers - square, oval, circular and D-shaped. Failing crops and drought compelled the inhabitants to vacate their homes sometime before 1300 A.D. Hovenweep National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is 45 miles southwest of Cortez, Colorado. Travel south on US 666/160 to County Rd. (the Airport Rd.) then follow the Hovenweep signs. Hovenweep is open year-round. More information: Hovenweep National Monument, McElmo Route, Cortez, Colorado 81321, 970-562-4282.


San Jose de los Jemez Church, Jemez State Monument, New MexicoJemez State Monument/Giusewa Pueblo, New Mexico - Approximately 700 years ago, ancestors of the present day people of the Jemez (Walatowa) Pueblo, constructed a large pueblo in the narrow San Diego Canyon and called it "Giusewa," a Towa word that refers to the many hot springs found nearby. They lived peacefully for many generations. During Spanish colonization Franciscan missionaries built a massive, stonewalled church and convento at Giusewa between 1621 and 1625. San José de los Jémez was abandoned by 1640, likely as a result of forced labor and religious persecution by the Spanish. The pueblo of Giusewa was occupied until the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish in 1680, when the Jémez people abandoned it and relocated to more defensible sites in nearby mesas. It is located on State Highway 4, 43 miles north of Bernalillo. More information: Jemez State Monument, New Mexico, Department of Cultural Affairs, PO Box 2087, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504, 505-476-1150.

Kinishba Ruins, Arizona - Kinishba Ruins is a sprawling, 600-room pueblo archaeological site in eastern Arizona that includes a combination of Mogollon and Anasazi cultural traits and is considered ancestral to both the Hopi and Zuni cultures. The large pueblo ruin containing nine masonry buildings was constructed between 1250 and 1350 A.D. by the pre-Columbian Mogollon culture. The pueblo is situated on the upper end of a grass covered valley and originally had 400-500 ground floor rooms standing two or three stories high. At its peak, Kinishba may have housed up to 1000 occupants. The pueblo was vacated in the late 14th-early 15th centuries for unknown reasons. Kinishba Ruins, a National Historic Landmark, is seven miles west of Whiteriver, Arizona, off AZ 73 on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. For more information call 520-338-4625.


Kuaua Ruin (Coronado State Monument), New Mexico - The prehistoric pueblo Indian village of Kuaua was one of many large settlements established during the Classic Period (1325 to 1600 A.D.) of Anasazi culture. The site, located on the west bank of the Rio Grande River, includes the remains of 1,200 interconnected adobe-walled surface dwellings and storage rooms, six kivas and three ceremonial plazas. The design is considered to be a typical village plan of the period. Also located on the site is a Spanish Pueblo Revival style museum. The Kuaua Ruin is located 20 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on NM 44 (two miles northwest of Bernalillo). Admission fee, open daily. More information: 505-867-5351.


Lowry Ruins, Colorado - Named after early homesteader George Lowry, this ancient pueblo was constructed about 1060 AD on top of abandoned pit houses from an earlier period of occupation. Its 40-100 inhabitants were farmers who also hunted small game, made elaborately decorated pottery, and wove cotton obtained by trade. Lowry Pueblo was excavated during summer field seasons (1930-1936) by Paul S. Martin of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967, and now is a part of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Lowry's architecture and masonry indicate strong influence from Chaco Canyon, about 100 miles south in New Mexico Lowry is among the northernmost Chaco-style communities, which may have formed an interdependent network spread thinly across the eastern half of the Ancestral Pueblo homeland. It is located 27 miles northwest of Cortez, Colorado. More information: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument/Anasazi Heritage Center, 27501 Highway 184 Dolores, Colorado  81323, 970-882-5600.




Mesa Verde, Colorado

Mesa Verde, June, 2006, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado - Mesa Verde National Park preserves a spectacular remnant of the Anasazi Indian culture, with magnificent cliff dwellings, pueblo villages and well-preserved pit-houses dating from c. 600-1300 A.D. Among the more notable cliff dwellings are the Square Tower House, Spruce Tree House, Balcony House, Far View House and Cliff Palace, one of the most spectacular of the Anasazi pueblos Mesa Verde also has several earlier mesa-top complexes. The remains at Mesa Verde are some of the best-preserved and most dramatic in the United States. The Mesa Verde Administrative District, which lies within the Mesa Verde National Park, is a National Historic Landmark. Mesa Verde National Park is 10 miles east of Cortez, Colorado, on U.S. 160. It is 21 miles from the park entrance to the park headquarters. The park is open on a limited basis in winter. Mesa Verde National Park is also a designated World Heritage Site. More information: Mesa Verde National Park, PO Box 8, Mesa Verde, Colorado 81330-0008, 970-529-4465.


Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona - Montezuma Castle was built by prehistoric Indians in the early 1100's and received its name from Anglo-American settlers who believed, mistakenly, that it had been built by Aztec Indians. Situated in a cliff recess 100 feet above the Verde valley, Montezuma Castle is a five-story pueblo with 20 rooms similar in style to the many Anasazi dwellings found throughout the Southwest. Nearby is Castle A, a 45-room pueblo built at the base of the cliff. Montezuma Well, just north of the pueblos, is a large limestone sink that was used as a source of water for irrigation by the pueblo inhabitants. In the early 1400s the valley was vacated for unknown reasons. Montezuma Castle National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is north of Camp Verde, Arizona, off I-17. A self-guided tour is available. A Visitors Center and museum are open daily. 527 S. Main St, PO Box 219, Camp Verde, Arizona 86322,  928-567-3322.


Mule Canyon Ruins, Utah - A small Anasazi village, this Ancient Puebloan ruin is located on Cedar Mesa in Southeastern Utah. Well preserved pueblo surface ruins found at this site are over 700 years old. The ruin complex includes above-ground and underground dwellings: a kiva and tower which have been excavated and stabilized as well as a block of twelve rooms. Mule Canyon Ruin is administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The Mule Canyon Ruin site is located about 20 miles south and west of Blanding, Utah. It may be accessed from highway 95. It has a paved parking area which is well signed on the north side of the highway. More information: Mule Canyon Ruins, BLM Monticello Field Office, 365 North Main, PO Box 7, Monticello, Utah 84535, 435-587-1500

Navajo National MonumentNavajo National Monument, Arizona - This monument, administered by the National Park Service, contains three large prehistoric Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings constructed between 1200 and 1300 A.D. Keet Seel, with over 160 rooms including six kivas, is the largest cliff dwelling in Arizona; Betatakin Ruin has 135 rooms including living quarters, granaries and one kiva; and Inscription House, the smallest of the three, has 44 rooms, several granaries and one kiva. The pueblos were vacated in the 1300's, probably due to erosion which depleted the soil in the canyon floor and lowered the water table. The monument is 30 miles southwest of Kayenta, Arizona, off US 160 on AZ 564. The Visitors Center is near the Betatakin Ruin site, and is open daily, except major holidays. Two self-guided overlook trails are open year round. Ranger guided tours of the Keet Seel and Betatakin cliff dwellings are always available Memorial Day to Labor Day, and usually during the winter, spring and fall as well. More information: Navajo National Monument, HC 71 Box 3, Tonalea, Arizona  86044, 928-672-2700.


Pecos National Historic Park, New Mexico - The large mounds, restored kivas and stone and adobe ruins of Pecos National Historical Park mark the location of Pecos Pueblo and an adjacent Spanish mission complex. The pueblo was an important center for trade between pueblo farmers and nomadic Plains Indians. The first mission complex, built in 1621, included the largest of New Mexico's mission churches. This church was destroyed during the 1680 Great Pueblo Revolt. A smaller church with a larger convento was built after the Spanish re-conquest in 1692.  Read more about this historic site HERE.

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