360° VR Panoramas of Pueblo Country, Northern New Mexico
Pueblo Bonito Ruin
Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico

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Approaching Pueblo Bonito across the flat valley floor

Approaching Pueblo Bonito across the flat valley floor

Approaching Pueblo Bonito across the flat valley floor

, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 26, 2003

Threatening Rock at the edge of Pueblo Bonito

Threatening Rock at the edge of Pueblo Bonito

The ancient inhabitants of Chaco were well aware of the hazard posed by this 97-foot tall leaning slab of detached cliff, and propped it up with masonry walls. Threatening Rock finally fell in 1941, long after abandonment of the pueblo.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Three-story back wall of Pueblo Bonito

Three-story back wall of Pueblo Bonito

Though partly collapsed and needing to be propped up, the three-story back wall of Pueblo Bonito is still impressive.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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West tier of rooms at Pueblo Bonito

West tier of rooms at Pueblo Bonito

Pueblo Bonita has been almost entirely excavated, giving a clear idea of the ground level floor plan and some hints of the second and third stories. Estimates of its size range from 650 to 800 rooms, including 30 kivas. It is D-shaped with its back wall towards the cliff and tiers of rooms fscing a large plaza with two great kivas.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Kivas edging the plaza at Pueblo Bonito

Kivas edging the plaza at Pueblo Bonito

Small "family" kivas ring the plaza open space at Pueblo Bonito

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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One of four great kivas at Pueblo Bonito

One of four great kivas at Pueblo Bonito

A great kiva in the open plaza at Pueblo Bonito

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Underground kivas in the great plaza at Pueblo Bonito

Underground kivas in the great plaza at Pueblo Bonito

In Chacoan culture ruins, such as Pueblo Bonito, there are both small, or family, kivas, and great kivas. The small ones may have had ritual uses, or may just have been communal living and cooking spaces, descendants of the earlier pit houses.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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A great kiva at Pueblo Bonito

A great kiva at Pueblo Bonito

One of four great kivas at Pueblo Bonito (out of 21 in all of Chaco) this shows the characteristic Chacoan features of four post holes, two rectangular floor vaults, circumferential bench, central fire pit, and entry through a gap in the north wall (not through the roof).

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Kivas clustered against the east tier of rooms at Pueblo Bonito

Kivas clustered against the east tier of rooms at Pueblo Bonito

Chaco was a regional spiritual center and the pueblos have many small family kivas as well as several great kivas.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Aligned doorways at Pueblo Bonito

Aligned doorways at Pueblo Bonito

This room shows neat stonework, large holes for second story floorbeams (some with wood still in them), and aligned doorways into adjacent rooms. The small dark doorway leads into a room with an intact ceiling/floor.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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Surviving roof timbers at Pueblo Bonito

Surviving roof timbers at Pueblo Bonito

This room at Pueblo Bonito is remarkable for the perfectly preserved cottonwood roof beams. Thousands of samples have now been used for dendrochronology (tree ring analysis) and allowed dating of individual building projects.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 8, 2014
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On the clifftop overlooking Pueblo Bonito

On the clifftop overlooking Pueblo Bonito

On the clifftop overlooking Pueblo Bonito

, New Mexico

Date photographed: May 26, 2003

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