This is the Village of Rio Puerco, thought to have been settled by the Pueblo natives (Anasazi) from 1250 to 1380 A.D. It is believed that a series of droughts led them from scattered living to congregating in large pueblo communities, such as this. The Village is located near the banks of the Puerco River. Not only would this river have been ideal for farming and everything that entails, but also a major trading corridor for goods, and travelers.
At its peak, it had over 100 rooms, and likely a population of 200 people. Every room surrounded a central plaza. The Pueblo would use sandstone, shaped by hand, and held in place with mud, then coated with plaster.
Below is what’s known as a Kiva—a structure built into the ground for ceremonial and social purposes, by the Pueblo natives. While rectangular Kivas like this one were a common fixture of their residential architecture, the earliest Kivas were traditionally round.
Evidence suggests a changing climate began to drive away the residents of this village during the 1300s, as they left in search of a more hospitable area. Before the century was over, it all completely abandoned. Modest walls, artifacts, and petroglyphs are all that remain.
You can see this ancient village for yourself at The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona!
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