Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Aztec ruins

Although they are known as Aztec Ruins, these ruins were not built by the Aztecs, who were based in Mexico. Apparently, early settlers gave them that name and it stuck.

There were multiple ruins here, the main complex contained about 500 rooms and was three stories tall. Excavation began as early as the mid 1800s, but was looted over the years. Even the stones from the walls were carried away for others to use as building materials. It wasn't until the early 1900s that excavation was begun again and in the 1930s the Great Kiva was reconstructed. A kiva is a community structure used for religious and ceremonial reasons and they are always round.


Doorways of homes or storage areas were low, some less than four feet tall. Small logs over the opening were to support the opening.

Windows were lined up, possibly for air flow.

The long back wall was built so that it was aligned with the sun on the summer solstice. I find it amazing that these people could not only construct a complex like this, but to align it in such a manner as to coordinate with the seasons.
I just love these ruins - and there are more to see in this area.   

1 comment:

  1. Mom and I were there last year. Those ruins are very impressive. Some of them have great show of design works in their walls with different colors of stones. And right on the banks of the beautiful Animas River.