The South House at Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo South House, still occupied after about 1,000 years

"Pueblo" is the Spanish word for "village." Village covers more than just the multi-story building blocks we see in so many places. And even to call a ruin a village may not be quite right. There's ample evidence that many of the largest stone constructions were more for religious purposes than for day-to-day living for large numbers of people. It was usually only in the later stages of occupation that they became apartment buildings. Then the people shortly migrated to better water, better soil, better hunting, less aggressive neighbors...

Another thing: the Ancestral Puebloans built up, the Mogollon built out. They were contemporary cultures who shared a lot of elements but there are some elements that are speciic to each. Pueblo kivas are round and built in the ground. Mogollon kivas are square or rectangular and built above ground. Both groups migrated around the countryside for hundreds of years, until both essentially faded out between about 1200 and 1500 CE. After 1539 came a time of near-genocide caused by Spanish-borne diseases.

When de Onate arrived in 1598, one of the first things he ordered was to lock the tribes in place where they were and allow no movement among them. Further Spanish practices toward the people led to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and another time of upheaval and migration. Most of the pueblos remaining today are in the same locations they were in around 1750. Some have been in the same place much longer.

In this section of the site I'm covering 18 pueblos in central and northern New Mexico and the Hopi pueblos in northeastern Arizona. Some pueblos have a lot of potters, some very few.

The ruin of Kin Kletso in Chaco Canyon
Kin Kletso, Chaco Canyon, abandoned in the early 1100's
Upper photo courtesy of Andreas Borchert, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Lower photo courtesy of EyesofthePot, CCA-by-SA 4.0 license