Poshuouingeh

Looking down on what's left of Poshuouingeh more than 400 years after the pueblo was abandoned
Poshuouingeh today, only the mounds of former adobe walls still show

Poshuouingeh was built on a high mesa, about 150 feet above the Chama River, beginning around 1400 CE. There are two springs located about 500 feet to the south of the ruins which are felt to have been the main water sources for the pueblo.

Poshuouingeh, at its largest, contained about 700 ground floor rooms. Many of those were two or even three stories tall. The pueblo was laid out with two main plazas and a large kiva near the center of the eastern courtyard. Over the 100 year occupation of the pueblo, fields of cotton, squash, beans and maize lined both sides of the Chama River and life was good. Then population pressures, over-hunting and wearing out of the land pushed the people to move.

Poshuouingeh was abandoned around 1500 CE, before the Spanish arrived. Most of the people moved downstream along the north shore of the Chama River to build a new pueblo on the Rio Grande at Ohkay Owingeh. Ohkay Owingeh is where Don Juan de Onate decided to build his first capitol in New Mexico in 1598.

I included Poshuouingeh because I have seen mention that the Asa people originated in the Chama River Valley and may have either been pushed out first or have come along after. Either way, the Asa people made the trek past Jemez and Zuni to Hopiland where they built the first village at Hano around 1600 CE. Then, for whatever reason, most of them left and went to Canyon de Chelly where they stayed for 50 years. Then some of them returned to First Mesa and founded Sichomovi while others made the journey back to the Rio Grande area. A few had intermarried with the Navajo of the Canyon de Chelly area and their offspring founded the High House Chapter of the Navajo Nation. But the Asa people lost their language and their story at Canyon de Chelly.

Photo courtesy of Eyes of the Pot, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License

Sites of the Ancients and approximate dates of occupation: