Casa Chiquita

Site Description:

Spanish for “small house” or “little house”.

Casa Chiquita lies at the mouth of Cly’s Canyon approximately 1 mile (1.6 km.) northwest of Pueblo Bonito, just north of the Peñasco Blanco trail.  The great house has never been formally excavated, but some fill was removed during stabilization work to clear the western and southern walls.

The site forms a compact, square roomblock with approximately 34 ground-floor rooms surrounding a central, elevated kiva.  Casa Chiquita was originally two or three stories tall.  A separate roomblock of a few rooms and a kiva may have been attached to the northeast corner of the main building.  This structure was built during a single construction stage.  The two available tree-ring samples with harvest dates are A.D. 1063 and 1064, but  the McElmo style of this structure (square footprint, enclosed kiva, large blocks of soft yellowish sandstone finished with a dimpled or pecked surface) suggests it was built in the early 12th century.  The older tree-ring dates may be attributable to the re-use of beams from other structures.

A large masonry dam northeast of the great house once blocked at least a portion of the mouth of Cly’s Canyon and may have helped collect and channel water into nearby agricultural fields.

Alternative site designations include 29SJ1167 and Simpson’s Ruin No. 9.

Excavation History

  • Unexcavated

Size and Dates

  • Approximately 34-36 rooms with one or two kivas
  • A.D. 1100-1130