New Alto

Site Description:

New Alto is one of two great houses constructed less than 500 feet (162 m.) from each other on the mesa just north of Pueblo Bonito.  It is accessible along the Pueblo Alto trail.

New Alto is connected to nearby and larger Pueblo Alto by a low masonry wall. New Alto is a small McElmo-style great house similar to Casa Chiquita and Kin Sabe.  In Chaco Canyon, McElmo-phase structures (A.D. 1110-1140) are defined by a square ground plan with an enclosed kiva, multi-story architecture, a new style of pecked stone facings (Lekson 1984:267-269, Vivian and Mathews 1965:109), and certain ceramic types (Toll et al. 1980).  New Alto has a single kiva near the center of the roomblock of approximately 32 ground floor rooms — most with a second story.  The great house was likely constructed in a single stage in the early-12th century. The three tree-ring dates in the early 1060s likely represent reused beams.   Although several Chacoan roads connect to nearby Pueblo Alto, none lead to New Alto.  The site has not been excavated.

An alternative site designation is 29SJ388.

Excavation History

  • Unexcavated

Size and Dates

  • 32 ground-floor rooms and one kiva.
  • Constructed in the early 12th century.