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ruins trail
The ruins trail; the south rim of Frijoles Canyon shows in the background.

Principal Ruins of the National Monument

Bandelier National Monument is divided into two parcels of land: the Otowi section of about 9 square miles and the Frijoles section of nearly 33 square miles. Within these two areas are contained great concentrations of ruins, including several of the largest on the plateau. A number of the Bandelier ruins have been excavated, so there is quite a detailed knowledge of the culture which once flourished on the monument lands.

The most frequently visited part of the monument is the canyon of the Rito de los Frijoles, wherein is located the monument headquarters. In this well-watered and wooded canyon are to be found ruins of the three types described above, which had well over 1,000 rooms in their prime some 500 years ago. Here also is the excavated remnant of the largest kiva found anywhere in the Pajarito country—a chamber which perhaps was the community center of religious practice for the entire canyon.

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Last Modified: Sat, Jan 6 2001 10:00:00 am PDT

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