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Pueblitos of Dinetah

The Pueblitos are small multi-roomed masonry dwellings found in the Navajo homeland, or Dinetah Region of northwest New Mexico, dating from the early 17th century. The Pueblitos are significant indicators of the complex social relations that existed among the Navajo, Pueblo, other tribes, and with the Spaniards.

Boulder Fortress is a four-room pueblito located on a detached sandstone talus boulder. On the adjacent mesa bench to the north, are the remains of four forked-stick hogans and two large trash middens. The exterior walls of Boulder Fortress are along the outer most edge of the boulder. This maximizes the internal space of the structure and aids in prohibiting intruder access by extending the boulder to nearly 30 feet. Features include the entry doorway with associated foot-and-toe holds carved into the boulder and intact roof beams. The architecture indicates that all of the rooms were built at the same time, about 1728.

Casa Mesa Diablo Pueblito consists of a sandstone masonry structure built on the terminus of a mesa bench on the top and along the western side of a monolithic sandstone outcrop. The single upper room on top has eroded to floor level while the walls of the lower three rooms extend several feet high. To the north and west of the pueblito are the remains of two fork-stick hogans, sandstone alignments, burnt sandstone concentrations, and extensive trash middens. There are no tree-ring dates for Casa Mesa Diablo Pueblito or associated hogans.

Delgadito Pueblito was built sometime after 1717. It is a small three-room structure located on an isolatd boulder above the north side of Delgadita Canyon. The unshaped sandstone used for the construction is typical of the pueblitos. The western, and most of the eastern walls have collapsed off of the boulder, leaving only the northern and southern exterior walls. Segments of internal walls are still present. Unlike most pueblitos, there are no fork-stick hogans associated with Delgadito. The only associated features are a burnt sandstone concentration and a small trash midden. Delgadito Pueblito has an unusual view-shed, limited to a small segment of lower Delgadita Canyon.

Ridgetop house is a loarge complex with as many as twelve rooms enclosed within a walled community made up of south and north plazas. In the center of the walled area is the largest boulder on which a pueblito was constructed. An exterior wall spans between several boulders along the south plaza. Two rooms are adjacent to the entrance along the southern side of this plaza. The most extensive masonry rooms are in the north plaza including a series of four rooms on the western side of the plaza. The lack of cutting dates of wooden elements at Ridgetop House limits the interpretation of when it was constructed; however, a date of about 1720 is suggested. From Ridgetop House there is an excellent view of the surrounding Encinada Mesa and to Governador Knob on the eastern horizon.

This project was administered by the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, National Park Service, under the direction of historical architect Thomas G. Keohan. Documentation was completed during the summer of 1999, by the Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, David G. Woodcock, Director. Documentation was completed by Project Supervisor Robert Warden, Field Supervisor Aimee Bond, and Architectural Technicians Bob Brinkman, Russel Reid, and Elizabeth Bradford. Archeological consultation was provided by Bureau of Land Management Archeologist Peggy Gaudy. Funding was provided by the Bureau of Land Management, Farmington District. Field office space was provided by San Juan College through Judith Wooderson, AutoCAD Training Center Manager.