Aztec Ruins National Monument
Trip Start Aug 12, 2013
46Trip End Oct 02, 2013
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I went to the Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, NM today. The weather was cooperating. It was a clear day with mild temperatures.
Aztec Ruins National Monument is a small site containing Pueblo structures build by the Ancestral Puebloans between roughly 1100 and 1300ad that containsmore than 400 masonry rooms. The structures were originally misidentified as Aztec ruins, which resulted in the name. The site was first studied in 1921 and became a national monument in 1923. Even though it was already a national park property in the 1930s it is not a CCC project. The Visitor Center was oncethe house of the archaeologist who first studied the site. He borrowed some of the beams from the site to use to build his house.
I first went to the Visitor Center and watched the movie about the site and went through their small museum. I then followed the path through the ruins.
The structures have been excavated and heavily restored and stabilized. At least one structure (the Great Kiva) was completely rebuilt and it's not clear just how accurately it re-creates the original structure. In spite of such problems, it still gives you a good idea of what the complex was like.
I then drove to Cortez, CO and got a room for the night.