An image of an Olla (water jar) from the floor of Pithouse B at Chaco Canyon Culture National Historical Park
Prehistoric Water Jar

Prehistoric Water Jar
Olla from the floor of Pithouse B at small site 29SJ 1360
Clay, Red Mesa Black-on-white
Chaco Anasazi
AD 950-1030
Mouth Diameter 7.9, Maximum Diameter 24.5, Height 26.1, Thickness 0.65, cm.
CHCU 7233
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Photo credit: Khaled Bassim, National Park Service, Museum Management Program

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A thousand years ago in Chaco Canyon, this olla, or water jar, was left on the floor of a pithouse where two families lived. Their pithouse was part of a small homestead in the shadow of Fajada Butte. These people, known to archeologists as the Chaco Anasazi, built and lived in their home from AD 950-1030, a time of transition in the canyon. Nearly a hundred years before, construction at great houses Penasco Blanco, Pueblo Bonito, and nearby Una Vida had begun. By the time this pithouse was abandoned, around AD 1030, the people living in the canyon had begun a hundred-year period of intense construction that completed all the great houses in Chaco Canyon.

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