Aztec Ruins National Monument

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Aztec Ruins National Monument
Aztec Ruins National Monument by RO.JPG
Map showing the location of Aztec Ruins National Monument
Map showing the location of Aztec Ruins National Monument
Map showing the location of Aztec Ruins National Monument
Map showing the location of Aztec Ruins National Monument
LocationSan Juan County, New Mexico, U.S.
Nearest cityAztec
Coordinates36°50′09″N 107°59′53″W / 36.8358370°N 107.9981235°W / 36.8358370; -107.9981235Coordinates: 36°50′09″N 107°59′53″W / 36.8358370°N 107.9981235°W / 36.8358370; -107.9981235[1]
Area318 acres (129 ha)[2]
CreatedJanuary 24, 1923 (1923-Jan-24)
Visitors52,756 (in 2017)[3]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteAztec Ruins National Monument
Part ofChaco Culture National Historical Park
TypeU.S. historic district
DesignatedOctober 18, 1966
Reference no.66000484[4]
DesignatedMay 21, 1971
Reference no.55

The Aztec Ruins National Monument in northwestern New Mexico, USA consists of preserved structures constructed by the Pueblo Indians. The national monument lies on the western bank of the Animas River in Aztec, New Mexico, about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Farmington. Additional Puebloan structures can be found in Salmon Ruins and Heritage Park, about 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south. Archaeological evidence puts the construction of the ruins in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Puebloan-built ruins were dubbed the "Aztec Ruins" by 19th century American settlers who misattributed their construction to the Aztecs.[5]

The site was declared "Aztec Ruin National Monument" on January 24, 1923. "Ruin" was changed to "Ruins" after a boundary change, on July 2, 1928. As a historical property of the National Park Service, the monument was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed the Chaco Culture as a World Heritage Site on December 8, 1987. That listing specifically included the Aztec Ruins.[6]

The monument is on the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, one of New Mexico's Scenic Byways.[7]

The property was part of a 160-acre (65 ha) homestead owned by H.D. Abrams, who supported the preservation of the ruins. The H.D. Abrams House in Aztec is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

A color panorama of a large sandstone ruin
Aztec West, with reconstructed great kiva (right)
The restored Great Kiva at Aztec Ruins
NPS map

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aztec Ruins National Monument". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "Listing of acreage – December 31, 2011" (XLSX). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved March 18, 2012. (National Park Service Acreage Reports)
  3. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ "National Park Service, Aztec Ruins, Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  6. ^ "World Heritage List: Chaco Culture". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  7. ^ Trail of the Ancients. Archived August 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  8. ^ "National Register of Historic Places". Retrieved April 10, 2018.

External links[edit]