Canyon Observation Seasons & Alignments Time References Webcast

Tour the alignments:

Fajada Butte
Piedra del Sol
Cardinal Directions
Casa Rinconada
Pueblo Bonito

Pueblo Bonito

Pueblo Bonito is the largest and most fully excavated of the great houses at Chaco Canyon. Its D-shaped plan rose four or five stories high and enclosed almost seven hundred rooms and thirty-five kivas .

See the movement of shadow on the North/South wall.

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Pueblo Bonito is bisected by a prominent wall that is precisely aligned with true north. As the sun traverses the sky each day, the shadow of this wall disappears at high noon.

At the southeast corner of Pueblo Bonito, there is an unusual doorway set at a diagonal in the corner of a room. This doorway, which faces southeast, may have been used to track the sun. It affords a good view of the winter sun, and at sunrise on the winter solstice, it casts a square patch of sunlight into the corner of the room beyond.

Skeptics argue that outside walls may have blocked this corner doorway, preventing its use as a skywatching station. Pueblo Bonito was partially reconstructed in the 1920s, and there is no way to know its exact original form.




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