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Pueblo in Arizona, First Above-Ground Homes of the Ancestral

The Pueblo I period marked the transition of the Ancestral Pueblo (also known as the Anasazi by the Navajo) from living in deep pit-houses in the Basketmaker III era (500-750 AD) to above-ground homes. These free-standing homes were constructed from stones on an even surface and initially used for storage, while the Ancestral Pueblo continued to live in their pit-houses. As years passed, the preference for the pueblo structures became more popular among the people and these houses were eventually used not only for storage but also for other activities. The pit-houses, however, were never abandoned but were gradually converted to ceremonial chambers, as well as gathering places for religious ceremonies (kivas). Above ground homes of the Ancestral Pueblo in Arizona is recorded on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History between 700 – 900 AD.

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“Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the Chacoan Great Houses, stands at the foot of Chaco Canyon’s northern rim.”

These flat-roofed, above-ground homes were constructed with basic adjoining rooms and eventually became bigger with as much as six to eight connected rooms. The Ancestral Pueblo made them bigger with six connected rooms and added the old pit-houses or kivas as important extensions to the houses. These blocks of houses were usually shaped in a simple straight line or crescent to accommodate groups of extended families which usually made up the Ancestral Pueblo village. One of the most remarkable of these Ancient Pueblo villages was Alkali Ridge in Utah which had as much as 185 above-ground rooms (divided into four groups), around 14 pit-houses, and at least 2 kivas.

Picture By Bob Adams, Albuquerque, NMOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Cremin, Aedeen, ed. The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2007.
Morgan, William N. Ancient Architecture of the Southwest. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994.
Warrior, Robert Allen., ed. The World of Indigenous North America. Routledge, 2014.
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