Chetro Ketl Background

Chetro Ketl contained between 200 and 225 ground room floors and an estimated 500 rooms total for all stories with, apparently, more than twelve kivas. During excavation tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) on over 300 timbers provide the most detailed building history of any of the Great Houses in Chaco Canyon. This information indicates Chetro Ketl was constructed in fifteen stages spanning 95 years from 1010 to 1105. Initially starting as a single-story building, it grew to encompass almost three acres.

The origin and meaning of the name Chetro Ketl is no longer known. The Great Houses trademark throughout Chaco Canyon manifest clearly in Chetro Ketl: the excellent masonry, massive scale, pre-planned design, south-facing and terraced to maximize solar gain, subterranean chambers called kivas, and representative geometry are all present in abundance here.

Many resources went into the construction of this pueblo. It is estimated that 26,000 trees from forests dozens of miles away were hewn, carried here, carefully trimmed and peeled and the ends cut flush and sanded with stone tools before being employed as the primary floor beams (called vigas in Spanish), as well as the willow rods layed crosswise above the beams. It took as estimated 50 million pieces of sandstone to build this Great House, but it is more difficult to estimate the amount of water that was needed for the adobe mortar and for the plaster used on the walls and floors. the

Chetro Ketl Pueblo Bonito Pueblo del Arroyo Casa Chiquita Kin Kletso Casa Rinconada



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