The Aztec Ruins National Monument lies along the Animas River in New Mexico and is treasured for its ancestral Puebloan heritage. The monument marks the largest ancestral Pueblo community in the Animas River Valley and preserves incredible historic buildings of residence and worship, roadways, and artifacts of the ancestral Pueblo of the 11th through 13th centuries.
Many artifacts have been found that help visitors understand how the community developed and changed over its 200 year history. Today many of those artifacts including, stone and wood tools, pottery, and turquoise and obsidian jewelry, are housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Some good examples, however, are on display in the monument’s visitors’ center.
The homes are built on a terrace that overlooks historic fruit orchards and the Animas River. The river was crucial to the survival of the community because it irrigated their crops of corn, beans, and squash. Today you can rest along the river in the shade of cottonwoods, willows, and Russian olive trees.
Aztec Ruins National Monument is a remarkable site of human history. As you walk through the great houses where the ancestral Pueblo people lived you feel transported back in time over eight centuries. Come experience ancestral Puebloan culture firsthand and appreciate our nation’s American Indian heritage.