Salmon Ruins

Salmon Ruins

Infobox nrhp
name = Salmon Ruin
nrhp_type =

caption = The tower kiva at Salmon Ruins
location =
nearest_city = Farmington, New Mexico
lat_degrees =
lat_minutes =
lat_seconds =
lat_direction =
long_degrees =
long_minutes =
long_seconds =
long_direction =
area =
built =
architect =
architecture =
added =September 9, 1970
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
refnum =70000406
mpsub =
governing_body =

Salmon Ruins is a site in the far northwest of the American state of New Mexico hosting a Chacoan Anasazi great house built between approximately 1088 AD and 1100 AD. The complex contained around 150 ground-level rooms arranged into a D-shaped profile; up to 100 second-floor rooms are estimated to have sat atop them. The complex was remodeled before being abandoned in the late 13th century.Fagan 2005, p. 208.] The pueblo is situated on the north bank of the San Juan River, just to the west of the town of Bloomfield, New Mexico, and about convert|45|mi|km north of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. The site is situated on an alluvial terrace above the river bottom.

Construction And Occupation

Tree-ring dates indicate that the main structure was built in a span of seven years from AD 1088 to 1095. The plan of the Salmon great house is very similar to that of the nearby Aztec Ruins. The site was abandoned by the Chacoan builders around 1150 and later re-occupied by Northern San Juan Anasazi peoples from the Mesa Verde area.

A fire burned a large portion of the site in 1250. A large number of children and one woman were killed when the kiva roof on which they were standing collapsed, causing them to fall into the burning kiva. Another large fire in 1270 destroyed the great kiva and much of pueblo. The site was abandoned permanently at some time after this date.


The walls of the Salmon great house are constructed of thin sandstone slabs in the Chaco Canyon style. The structure is generally rectangular in shape and is oriented with its long axis running northeast to southwest. The back, or north wall of the ruin is roughly convert|400|ft|m long.

There are about 250 large rooms arranged into suites, perhaps as family dwelling units. Two room blocks extend southward from each end of the rear section, enclosing a large plaza. The plaza contains a great kiva similar to the one found at Aztec. There is also a "tower kiva", similar to the one at Chetro Ketl in Chaco, situated in the center of the main roomblock.

The rooms are roofed with large wooden beams and stringers (also known as vigas and latillas) in the style of most ancient and modern pueblo structures. The logs used as beams were cut from ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and other large trees that had to be transported to the site from approximately convert|50|mi|km away. Dendrochronological samples taken from these beams indicate that the logs were cut between A.D. 1088 and 1093.

The great kiva measures about convert|50|ft|m in diameter. The roof of the kiva was supported by four large columns built of alternating layers of stone and wood. There were other special function rooms in the site, including four milling rooms, and a room that may have served as a shop for making and repairing metates.

Preservation And Interpretation

In the late 1800s, George Salmon and his family homesteaded the property. The Salmon homestead and outbuildings remain near the ruin, and have been preserved as part of Heritage Park. The Salmons, and later owner Charles Dustin provided protection for the site.

The non-profit corporation known as the San Juan County Museum Association acquired the 22 acre tract of land containing the ruins and the Salmon Family homestead in 1969. San Juan County made the final purchase of the property, and the Association operates the facility under a lease agreement.

The site was excavated in the 1970s under the direction of Dr. Cynthia Irwin-Williams.

The Salmon Ruins Museum, also located on the property, opened in 1973. The museum includes exhibits of artifacts found at the site, as well as rotating exhibits of regional interest topics. The museum, pueblo, and Salmon homestead are all open to the public.

The site was placed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.



* Harvard reference
Last1 = Fagan
Given1 = B
Year = 2005
Title = Chaco Canyon: Archaeologists Explore the Lives of an Ancient Society
Publisher = Oxford University Press
ID = ISBN 0-19-517043-1

* Harvard reference
Last1 = Ferguson
Given1 = William M.
Last3 = Rohn
Given3 = Arthur H.
Year = 1987
Title = Anasazi Ruins of the Southwest in Color
Publisher = University of New Mexico Press
ID = ISBN 0-8263-0874-0

* Harvard reference
Last1 = Morgan
Given1 = William N.
Year = 1994
Title = Ancient Architecture of the Southwest
Publisher = University of Texas Press, Austin
ID = ISBN 0-292-75159-1

External links

* [ Salmon Ruins Museum and Research Library]
* [ Salmon Ruins at the Center For Desert Archaeology]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hawikuh Ruins — Hawikuh U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. National Historic Landmark …   Wikipedia

  • Aztec Ruins National Monument — Infobox protected area | name = Aztec Ruins National Monument iucn category = III caption = locator x = 81 locator y = 101 location = San Juan County, New Mexico, USA nearest city = Aztec, New Mexico lat degrees = 36 lat minutes = 50 lat seconds …   Wikipedia

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park — Chaco Culture National Historical Park …   Wikipedia

  • Солмонские руины — Башня кива среди Солмонских руин …   Википедия

  • Bloomfield, New Mexico — Infobox Settlement official name = Bloomfield, New Mexico settlement type = City nickname = motto = imagesize = 250px image caption = Bloomfield Public Library image image mapsize = 250px map caption = Location of Bloomfield, New Mexico mapsize1 …   Wikipedia

  • Mesa Verde National Park — Mesa Verde redirects here. For other uses, see Mesa Verde (disambiguation). Mesa Verde National Park IUCN Category II (National Park) …   Wikipedia

  • Navajo National Monument — IUCN Category III (Natural Monument) Keet Seel cliff dwellings …   Wikipedia

  • Mesa Grande — Not to be confused with Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians. Mesa Grande U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Cliff Palace — The Cliff Palace in 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • Anasazi State Park Museum — Coordinates: 37°54′39″N 111°25′24″W / 37.91083°N 111.42333°W / 37.91083; 111.42333 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.