Aztec Ruins

May 29, 2006
Aztec, New Mexico

Additional photos [Page 2]  [Page 3]
Kiva photos
Aztec Ruins : Great Kiva
Above: The reconstructed great kiva

Early European settlers mistakenly assumed these ruins were from structures built by the Aztecs.

The people who built this pueblo were considered "ancestral Puebloens" and were a mixture from the Chaco Culture to the south and Mesa Verde in the north. The pueblo probably started as an outlying community of the Chaco community. Construction started in the late 11th century and had ended by the late 1200's.

Archeologists have been visiting the ruins and working them since 1859. Much of the material had been salvaged by settlers to use in new buildings or cleared away to make room for farming. Systemic excavation began around 1916 by Earl Morris.

Earl Morris was responsible for excavating most of the west section of the pueblo and reconstruction of the great kiva in the center of the plaza. The great kiva is based on his best estimate of how it was supposed to look. More photos of the great kiva.


Aztec Ruins : Aerial viewright: aerial view
Aztec Ruins : Wall with layer of green stone
above: A layer of green stone with the normal structure would not have been visible. The walls are covered in plaster.
above: Section of the southwest wall
Page and Photos copyright
© 1997-2019 C.Garner & P.Wright