Great Pueblo Period of the McElmo Drainage Unit, AD 1075-1300
McElmo Creek flows west through Montezuma County and eventually joins the San Juan River. The McElmo drainage area is one of 10 cultural units defined by archaeologists within the northern San Juan drainage area, part of the Mesa Verde region, located in the Colorado Plateau Physiographic Province of southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. This region, including Mesa Verde National Park, was once peopled by an ancient tribe of Native Americans known to later inhabitants as the Anasazi.
The Great Pueblo Period (AD1075-1300) refers to a time in Ancestral Pueblo development that began with the construction of increasingly larger cliff dwelling and mesa top settlements that show evidence of community planning. These sites contain Chaco-style great house sites and were sometimes associated with roads or great kivas. The period ends with the abandonment of these settlements. (Cover documentation accepted by National Register in 1992, accepted for State Register 6/9/2004.)
The site, a loose cluster of individual habitation units surrounding several community structures, is believed to have been built and occupied between AD 1050 and 1150. As one of the few "pure" large Pueblo II sites in Southwestern Colorado, it is important as a representation of the broad patterns of Mesa Verde Anasazi cultural change. Listed under Great Pueblo Period of the McElmo Drainage Unit, AD 1075-1300, Multiple Property Submission.
This large settlement, occupied between AD 1140 and AD 1300, possesses the distinctive characteristics of "Hovenweep-type" architecture and construction methods and illustrates the shift of residential settlements to the rim of entrenched canyons.
This prehistoric community was occupied from at least AD 800 to the mid-13th century. It may yield important discoveries relating to social history, agriculture, architecture, commerce, and community planning and development. Although much has been backfilled to preserve and protect the resources, it contains a range of architectural styles associated with all three Pueblo periods.
Exhibiting four distinct construction periods, the site includes a multi-story Great House, a small unit pueblo, and a reservoir. Wallace Ruin has yielded important information about prehistoric pueblo communities during the rise and fall of the Chaco culture and the cultural dynamics that preceded abandonment of the region.
This well preserved large canyon oriented settlement, dating to the late Pueblo III period (AD 1150-1300), has the potential to yield important information about the conditions that led to regional abandonment and the role of intensified horticulture.
Consisting of three multi-component sites, the complex has the potential to provide important information about the design and development of Ancestral Puebloan communities. While there is evidence of earlier habitation, the most extensive, visible and impressive architectural elements are from the Great Pueblo Period (AD 1075-1300). Its over 90 rooms, 14 kivas, and a dance plaza constitutes one of the largest satellite settlements of the 13th century community known today as Yellow Jacket.
An excellent example of a 13th century village built in the open on the rim of a small canyon, the site has the potential to provide important information regarding prehistoric community organization, horticulture, and regional abandonment. Listed under Great Pueblo Period of the McElmo Drainage Unit, AD 1075-1300 Multiple Property Submission.
This well preserved example of a small multiple-household was occupied between AD 1200-1250. The site can provide important information about the development of Mesa Verde cultural tradition and kiva architecture.