Peñasco Blanco

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Peñasco Blanco
Penasco Blanco.jpg
Peñasco Blanco, a Chacoan Great House
Peñasco Blanco is located in New Mexico
Peñasco Blanco
Location within New Mexico today
Location San Juan County, New Mexico USA
Region San Juan County, New Mexico
Coordinates 36°4′54.1194″N 108°0′12.6″W / 36.081699833°N 108.003500°W / 36.081699833; -108.003500
Founded 900
Abandoned 1125
Cultures Chacoan civilization
Site notes
Responsible body: private

Peñasco Blanco ("White Bluff" in Spanish) is a Chacoan Ancestral Puebloan great house and notable archaeological site located in Chaco Canyon, a canyon in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. The pueblo consists of an arc-shaped room block, part of an oval enclosing a plaza and great kiva, along with two great kivas outside the great house. The pueblo was built atop the canyon's southern rim to the northwest of the great houses in the main section of the canyon. The building was constructed in five distinct stages between AD 900 and 1125. A cliff painting (the "Supernova Pictograph") nearby may record the sighting of a supernova on July 5, 1054 AD.[α][1]

Peñasco Blanco Pueblo wall.
Peñasco Blanco view of Chaco Canyon.


     α.   ^ The Crab Nebula, now a supernova remnant in the constellation of Taurus, was the result of the event in question; it attained peak brilliance on the date that the Chacoans presumably sighted it.[1]


  1. ^ a b Kelley & Milone 2004, p. 413.


  • Kelley, DH; Milone, EF (2004), Exploring Ancient Skies: an encyclopedic survey of archaeoastronomy, Springer, ISBN 0-387-95310-8 

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