The scientific tourist #182 — tri-wall structure in Chaco Canyon

This week’s image comes to you from Chaco Canyon (strictly speaking, the Chaco Culture National Historical Park) in New Mexico — it’s an unusual tri-wall structure at the Pueblo del Arroyo ruins:

Tri-wall structure

A triple walled structure like this is rare in the Chaco region — about a dozen have been found in the Four Corners region, but this is the only one at Chaco. Meanwhile, it was built late in the Chaco building cycle, and with a masonry style (using soft, loaf-shape sandstone) also typical of late construction here — around 1100 AD. That, combined with pottery found in the building (in more of a Mesa Verde style than one typical of Chaco), leads investigators to think that this site is a sign of intense cultural mixing with regions to the north of Chaco during its waning days.

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