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Monday, June 30, 2014

Coronado National Monument

Coronado Historic Site and the ruins of Kuaua Pueblo are about twenty minutes north of  Albuquerque in Bernalillo.

The ruins of the once thriving ancient pueblo sat alongside the Rio Grande.

 Kuaua was the northernmost of the twelve villages.  Its name means "evergreen" in Tiwa.  It was first settled around 1325 and was occupied by approximately 1,200 people when Coronado arrived in the area.  In the 1930's, archeologists were trying to trace Coronado's trip and came upon the remains of a very rich civilization instead.  The pueblo or village had been dug but refilled and an attempt to reconstruct the village has been made. We had an excellent guide for the tour .

some reconstructed walls that lie on top of the original which are buried underneath.
a model showing what the living quarters would be like
We have no intent to mess with any rattlers.  You can see the outline of the living quarters well here.  They would have been three stories high an apartment complex in a way.  The woman built the houses. 
the plaza area
The main kiva in the pueblo.  The men were the ones that built it and they were the only ones allowed in it.  This was a very sacred place.  The archeologists found an amazing discovery here- some of the finest examples of pre-columbian art ever found in North American.  The murals that were painted on the walls were carefully removed in slabs for further research.
We did get to go down into the kiva and see a recreation of the murals that were discovered here.  Sadly no photos allowed.  The museum at the site has several of the original drawings on display though and they are breath taking.

Pottery Shards

Looking at how the buildings were constructed

It used to be a village

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