Pueblo Bonito, New Mexico, USA

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An Anasazi pueblo village in the Chaco Canyon, probably the largest such pueblo known in the area. Excavated by George Pepper and Richard Wetherill in 1897–9, and again by Neil Judd on behalf of the National Geographic Society in 1921–7, the site comprises over 300 ground‐floor rooms and 32 kivas covering an area of 1.2 ha.

Bonito was a planned settlement, set out in the form of a giant D with the back of the structure around the curve of the D so that it was built against the mesa cliff. The structure rises to four or five storeys and there are over 800 rooms in all. At the focus of the pueblo was a large plaza in which was a great kiva flanked by rectangular rooms, possibly storerooms for food and ritual paraphernalia. Two main phases of construction have been recognized: the earliest in the 10th century ad (Pueblo II) and the second in the later 11th century ad (Pueblo III). The site seems to have been abandoned by ad 1200.


N. M. Judd, 1964, The architecture of Pueblo Bonito. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution

Subjects: Archaeology.

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