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Pueblo Inhabitants Build Circular Rooms

The houses of the Ancient Pueblo people were some of the most advanced and spectacular among the Native North Americans of the same era. The Ancient Puebloans constantly moved around the Four Corners area during the Archaic Era to hunt and gather food. These ancient nomads were still on the move most of the time during the Early Basketmaker II Era, but they periodically took shelter in caves during winter or camped out whenever the weather allowed it. During the Late Basketmaker II Era, the Ancient Puebloans started small-scale cultivation of squash and corn. As a result, the Ancient Puebloans switched from nomadic to the sedentary lifestyle which necessitated the construction of the earliest shallow pit-houses. The construction of circular rooms is recorded on the Bible Timeline with World History between 900 and 1100 AD.

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“Large circular depression outlined by a stone wall. The bottom is flat and grassy, and has a collection of rectangular stone foundations and smaller circles of stone. A great sandstone cliff towers in the background, and beneath the cliff are other stone foundations that are larger and higher.”

Deep pit-houses and above-ground homes increased during the Basketmaker III Era. These circular, oval, or rectangle dwellings were clustered together in three to five pit-houses and were made by digging a hole on the ground. The pit-house was supported by timber posts and beams, which were then covered with woven mats and brush as roofing materials. The soil dug from the pit and placed on the roof served as additional insulation for the house. The first above-ground rooms also appeared during this period.

The villages became larger during the Pueblo I and II Era when pit-houses evolved into “pueblos” or above-ground structures with adjoining rooms. These structures were initially used for storage as families preferred the comfort of the pit-houses, but Ancient Puebloans gradually moved into these pueblos and converted the pit-houses into kivas (circular, oval, or semi-circular rooms used for religious ceremonies). Larger pueblos dominated the landscape over the years, but these gradually gave way for cliff dwellings preferred by the Ancient Puebloans during the Pueblo III Era.

Picture By National Park Service (United States)Chaco Canyon National Historical Park: Photo Gallery, Public Domain,
Cremin, Aedeen, ed. The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2007.
“Timeline.” Pueblo Construction Chronology. Accessed August 15, 2016.
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