Southwest American Indian Ruins
Picture Tour

Tyuonyi Pueblo (page 1 of 2)

View from above of the ruins of a large pueblo with a circular plan. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

Cliffside View of the Ruins
Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Historians believe the Anasazi Indians began building this pueblo in Frijoles Canyon sometime in the early 1300's.  According to the trail guide, the circular structure housed a population of about 100 inhabitants.  It contained around 400 rooms and had been two to three stories high in spots.  Another respectable source estimated a population of up to 500, with 300 rooms on the first level, and a total of 100 to 150 more rooms on the upper levels.  The rooms radiate out in concentric rings around a central plaza.  Rooms on the first floor featured roof hatches as their sole means of external access.  One needed a ladder to reach them.  The large, central plaza was the hub of daily life and community gathering.  It contained three kivas (round, often subterranean rooms probably used for ceremonial purposes) that appear in a row along the trail.  Only the one on the left and adjacent a turn in the trail was excavated.  The other two are simply grass-covered depressions, appearing faintly in this distant view of the ruins.  Photograph taken in 1991 by Howard J. Partridge.
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