Sunday, November 22, 2015

Aztec Ruins

It's easy to get tired of seeing ancient ruins from a great distance, tiny without binoculars or a zoom lens and restricted from access.

Aztec Ruins in New Mexico is different. Many of the rooms – mostly authentic and some reconstructed – are open to visitors. You can duck through the low doors, touch the finely fitted stones and walk from room to room in what appears to be the ancient version of an apartment building.

Aztec Ruins is not really Aztec; it was misnamed by early explorers and
has been stuck with the name. It's really puebloan ruins, built by early southwestern tribes.

The round building (reconstructed) is the Great Kiva, a ceremonial building for the whole community.

Some of the doors were low and I had to duckwalk through them. Some were higher, like this T-shaped door. I don't know why it's shaped that way, but the sides looks like a handy place to set your coffee.

Look above the door — some of the wood is still intact. I was particularly impressed with the inner rooms, like this one, that still have original, 900-year-old wooden ceilings!

Decorator touch — the oldest walls had intricate stonework. This outer side has stripes of dark green stones.

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