Pueblo Pintado

Site Description:

Pueblo Pintado (Spanish for “painted town”) is located outside of the central canyon, roughly sixteen miles (25.75 km.) east of Pueblo Bonito.  While the great house is geographically separated from the central canyon great houses, it is still considered to be a part of this core group, rather than an outlier.  Pueblo Pintado served as the first introduction to the canyon for early visitors entering from the east.

The great house contains both a central room block and west wing forming an L-shape ground plan, although the southern arc of rooms continues and forms the eastern portion of the structure as well.  In total, the site contains approximately 135 rooms, 19 kivas, and one great kiva.  The site includes an enclosed plaza containing the remains of a probable roomblock, while the great kiva is located near a large trash mound to the southeast of the building.  Pueblo Pintado stood three to four stories.

Although the site has not been excavated, the construction sequence has been dated to the 1060s and likely extended through the later 1000s based on tree-ring dates.  In addition to Pueblo Pintado, several (30+) smaller sites exist around the great house.  The site is also connected to the central canyon by a road (the East or Pintado-Chaco Road) which runs from the structure to the head of Chaco Canyon located three miles to the east.  Portions of the plaza were later converted to a corral.

Alternate site names include 29SJ10166 and LA 574.

Excavation History

  • Unexcavated

Size and Dates

  • Approximately 135 rooms, 19 kivas, and one great kiva.
  • Tree-ring dates indicate construction between A.D. 1060s and the late 1090s.