Una Vida, "one life" in Spanish, was known to the Navajos as
"witchcraft woman's house" associated with a well-known local legend of a witch who held human hostages atop Fajada butte without food or water. With a floor area of 8750 square meters, Una Vida is the fifth largest great house in the Canyon. The 29 tree-ring dates range from A.D. 847 to A.D. 1093, giving it one of the longest spans of construction of any of the Chacoan buildings. The major episode of construction in which 450 square meters of storage space were added occurred in the 1070s.
On the cliff face behind Una Vida is an Anasazi rock art panel depicting humanoid and geometric forms, and four-legged animal shapes possibly bighorned sheep.
Nearby is Piedra del Sol which may have functioned as a primary calendrical station for summer solstice. The spiral on its northeast face may mark the spot to observe summer solstice sunrise The site provides a 15-16 day anticipation of solstice when the sun rises over the distant pyramidal rock.
A petroglyph on its south face may represent the total solar eclipse of A.D. 1097 visible in the Canyon. Its western ledge contains pecked basins and an oval grinding area, which are common features of the Mesa Verde.
Return to Map