Aztec Ruins National Monument

These photos were taken at the Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, New Mexico. The early settlers to this San Juan basin thought that the prehistoric Indians who built this Pueblo village were Aztec before they migrated to Mexico. Today we know that these early builders were Ancestral Pueblo people, also called the Anasazi or "Old Ones" or "Ancient Ones" there were the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and other Pueblo People who lives in the Four Corner region. The Aztec Ruins lies near the Rio de las Animas Perdidas, or River of Lost Souls.

The Aztec Pueblo Village began in A.D. 1089 and progress over the years. Dating of the wood beams revealed they were cut between A.D. 1111 and A.D. 1115. The Great Kiva was their sacred ceremonial site and their cosmology was simply, a reverence for all things. The people of this Pueblo village recognized the spiritual connection between the natural and human worlds. Today to the modern Pueblo Indians the land is sacred. The Zuni say the land is their church. No difference exists for them between man and nature. Taos Pueblo leader, Ochiway Bianco once pointed out to Swiss psychologist Carl G. Jung that while the white man thinks with his head, the Indian thinks with his heart. In the Pueblo cosmology the center of the universe can be anywhere, but the six directions intersect at the sacred middle point, which is often represented by the village. 

The village became abandoned in AD 1130 probably due to the drought that started AD 1130 and lasted until AD 1190. The final inhabitants of this village were probably from Mesa Verde because of the Mesa Verde style of ceramic pots found. The final abandonment by those from Mesa Verde occurred in AD 1285.  A severe drought occurred from AD 1279 to AD 1299 that may have dried up the river and limited the growing of their food. Anyone living in states where drought is severe will know that survival is mandated on having water available. No water, no life. Nature forced the Anasazi from their pueblo villages.


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