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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Ramah in Cibola County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Atsinna

El Morro National Monument

 
 
Atsinna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2016
1. Atsinna Marker
Inscription.  Atsinna, which means where pictures are on the rock, was occupied from roughly 1275 to 1400 by ancestors of today’s Zuni people. Eighteen rooms were excavated in 1954, 1955, and 1961.

Today, however, the focus at El Morro has shifted from excavation to preservation. Because the walls of the pueblo have been exposed to the elements for over 50 years, halting deterioration is an ongoing effort.

Vanishing Treasures
After years of backlogged treatment projects and lack of information on condition, thousands of prehistoric and historic ruins in national park units across the west were literally crumbling away.

The Vanishing Treasures program was created to address the devastating destruction of these irreplaceable structures and build the skills of park employees to sustain preservation efforts.

At El Morro, the Vanishing Treasures program ensures that Atsinna will survive for future generations to study and enjoy. Extensive documentation, drawings, laser imaging, as well as skilled masonry work help this site withstand the forces of weathering and time.
 
Erected by
Marker detail: 1954 Excavation Photos image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: 1954 Excavation Photos
The small excavated portion of the pueblo you see today is deceptive — at over 800 rooms, Atsinna was a sizable town, the outline of which can be seen from the air (top left). Atsinna was first excavated in 1954 by Richard B. Woodbury (bottom left) and a Zuni work crew, revealing 12 rooms, including both a round and a square kiva, and numerous artifacts. Stabilization of the uncovered rooms began almost immediately. A sub-floor drainage system was installed and exposed murals were protected (top and bottom right) in 1954.
National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative AmericansParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 35° 2.295′ N, 108° 21.213′ W. Marker is near Ramah, New Mexico, in Cibola County. Marker can be reached from El Morro National Monument Road 0.9 miles from Ice Caves Road (New Mexico Highway 53). Marker is located along the Mesa Top Ruins trail, about ½ mile from the El Morro National Monument Visitor Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ramah NM 87321, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oasis (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lemonade Sumac (approx. 0.2 miles away); Monumental Changes (approx. ¼ mile away); Preserving Our Heritage (approx. 0.3 miles away); Visitors Through the Ages (approx. 0.6 miles away); Welcome to El Morro (approx. 0.9 miles away); El Morro National Monument Inscription Rock (approx. 0.9 miles away); Matilda Coxe Stevenson (1849-1915) (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ramah.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. El Morro National Monument
 
Also see . . .
1. Home on the Desert's Rooftop. Atsinna
Marker detail: Natural Mud Mortar image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Natural Mud Mortar
A Vanishing Treasures mason stabilizes a wall at Atsinna using natural mud mortars.
Pueblo, the largest of the pueblos atop El Morro, dates from about 1275. Its builders made use of what they had around them: flat sedimentary rock easily cut up as slabs they could pile one on top of another and cement with clay and pebbles. The pueblo was about 200 by 300 feet, and it housed between 1,000 and 1,500 people. Multiple stories of interconnected rooms — 875 have been counted — surrounded an open courtyard. (Submitted on December 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. El Morro National Monument. Still visible today are the square and circular underground kivas within the Atsinna courtyard the Zuñi ancestors built. Here, they performed religious ceremonies to bring rain and abundant crops, which traditionally consisted of corn, beans, and squash. For reasons still debated, the Puebloans left El Morro (around 1400) for the Zuñi pueblos the Spanish encountered in 1540. (Submitted on December 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Atsinna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2016
4. Atsinna Marker
(Atsinna pueblo ruins in background)
Atsinna Pueblo Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2016
5. Atsinna Pueblo Ruins
Atsinna Circular Kiva image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2016
6. Atsinna Circular Kiva
Atsinna Pueblo Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2016
7. Atsinna Pueblo Ruins
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 8, 2021