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Kwastiyukwa, Jemez Ancestral Culture, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico

Photomontage of Kwastiyukwa model with origianal aerial photograph by Paul Logsdon.

  • 1
    Aerial photograph of Kwastiyukwa ruins by Paul Logsdon.
  • 2
    Photo montage of computer model of Kwastiyukwa over aerial photograph by Paul Logsdon.
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Kwastiyukwa is an ancestral village of Jemez Pueblo (Walatowa)

The Towa speaking Hemesh People covered a large territory from Jemez Caldera east to Pecos.

The Towa was the most powerful culture at the time of Spanish arrival.

William Whatley, Jemez tribal archaeologist says that it is the largest known Pueblo ruin in the US.
and that the stones were mortared with a cement-like mortar--surprising, since Westerners think cement mortar is a Mediterranean invention.

The village was from 5 to 7 storeys in height, with perhaps 3000 rooms --almost 1/3 of a mile long!!--many Pueblo Bonitos could fit into its footprint.

It is located more than 600 feet above the Jemez River bottom.

There was a large water catchment reservoir on the nearby mesa top.

Building began in 1275, and the village was occupied well into the Spanish colonial period.

The Pueblo was kept so secret by the Towa that the Spanish and other outsiders never knew of its existence until modern times and after its abandonment.

© 2009, Dennis R. Holloway Architect