Kin Kletso



Kin Kletso, "yellow house" in Navajo, is a rectangular, medium sized pueblo at the foot of the cliff about one half mile northwest of Pueblo Bonito. It contains around fifty-five ground level rooms, four kivas and a tower kiva. The pueblo reached at least two stories tall and was excavated in the early 1950's.

Kin Kletso was constructed in two phases between 1125 and 1130 by McElmo Phase people who came to Chaco Canyon from the Northern San Juan Region - Mesa Verde and Montezuma Valley. The McElmo people, the last to arrive in the canyon, built more compact pueblos of a masonry style different from the other great houses of Chaco. The walls were made of large shaped sandstone blocks laid two or more rows thick.

The great house of Kin Kletso affords a 16-17 day opportunity for anticipation and confirmation of winter solstice when the sun rises at the base of the prominent cliff to the south-east. A large boulder is included in the western portion of the building and on its top the two-story kiva A was constructed. From this kiva, a unique view of winter solstice sunrise would have been available. The top of the boulder may have served as a calendrical station and ritual site before construction of the great house.


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