Los Alamos Historical Society Online Teacher's Guide

Natural History Ancestral Pueblo Homesteaders Ranch School Manhattan Project

Era of the Ancestral Pueblo

The first Native Americans arrived on the Pajarito Plateau between A.D. 1175 and 1250 and built homes of volcanic tuff where small groups of three or four families might live together. Remains of their dwellings can be found all over the plateau.

Around 1300, a second migration of natives from the Four Corners area moved onto the Pajarito Plateau. Within 50 years of their arrival, they began to drift away. Drought and raids by Navajos, Utes, Apaches, and Commanches were the cause. The movement, however, was gradual. By 1550, Native American settlers had abandoned the Pajarito Plateau for pueblos along the Rio Grande. The remains of a small settlement, often excavated by boys from the Los Alamos Ranch School, sits near the Los Alamos Historical Museum.

Ancestral Pueblo potter

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