Sunday, May 20, 2012

Aztec, New Mexico: It's Ruined!

A really small, seemingly unimportant northwest New Mexico town named Aztec has an attraction: The Aztec Ruins. Don't be fooled by the name though. This wasn't home to the Aztec Indians of Central Mexico. No, Cortez didn't conquer New Mexico. Instead the name Aztec here was bestowed by Anglo settlers.  I don't know why.

In addition to touring Aztec Ruins, we will scout the area just north of here, around Durango, for a place to settle for a week or so.  Once again, we're in search of that illusive perfect temperature. This time of year, the temps are too warm in the desert plains but still a little cold in high elevations.

Another National Park checked off the list!

The Aztec Ruins of New Mexico date from 1000 to 1200 with all the Puebloans leaving this site sometime in the late 1200's.  They left well-preserved structures and artifacts that have told their story. 

The National Park Service provides a nice "loaner" book to help with the self-guided tour of this enormous ruin location.

Perfect weather.  Chilly in the shade -- just right in the sunshine.

The tiny people in the lower left corner gives an idea how large this complex is.

Behind Wayne is "The Great Kiva" located in the West Ruin Plaza.
Inside "The Great Kiva"
This was a sanctuary and community meeting place.

Those Puebloans sure must have been short to get through the doorways!
This section had at least four connecting rooms.
The Aztec Ruins National Park has a nice educational film and small museum that we toured on the way out. 

This is one of the very earliest ladders known to exist.
It's a notched log. 

This is an authentic ladder too.
It was found on the site.

Authentic pottery found on the site.

Early people were so creative. 

Aztec, New Mexico is so close to Four Corners we can hardly pass it by so it's likely to be the next stop.  From there however, we're not sure where we'll go: New Mexico, Utah, Colorado or Arizona?.... Hummmm. 

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the pics of the Aztec ruins! We passed them by on the way from Durango. Think we got gas somewhere around there. We used to stop and sightsee like you're doing, but Landon seems to be on some mission - I've really missed doing what you're doing. So I really enjoy seeing these places thru your pics. Thanks! Lots of places around your area to camp so hope you find one with nice cement for Lexie! Be sure and visit Four Corners if you haven't already - at least you can get some good pics there. We stayed on an Indian Reservation/casino when we were there. Enjoy! I wonder each day just where you all are and hope the weather is nice for you. Stay away from the fires! Miss you!! Hugs to all of you!