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Wabakwa ruins

Wabakwa means “Place where the Oriole lives”. We didn’t see any Orioles (just a couple of Horned Lizards), but it was still nice.

This was a fairly large site, estimated to be on the order of 1,400 rooms. It has a very linear layout, which enhances the sense of size when looking lengthwise. At around 7,700 feet, it’s located high on a ridge spine that’s covered with mostly Ponderosa Pine. While there are several enclosed plazas, there appears to be only one kiva depression, probably that of a Great Kiva.

The roomblock rubble piles were typical of many other Jemez sites we’ve visited, low brush and a healthy variety of cacti. Some areas of the site had a substantial number of pottery sherds. Best estimates from sherd datings are that the site was occupied form about 1350 AD until 1450 AD.

One unusual feature of note was the presence of a survey target used for aerial surveying or photogrammetry on one of the collapsed roomblock mounds. Judging from the rust on the nails used to hold it to the ground, it might have been in place for several years.

Wabakwa Ruins (Adapted from “Overview and Synthesis of the Archeology of the Jemez Province”, New Mexico, by M. Elliot, 1986

One of the Wabakwa plazas with the usual tree growing in it. It certainly adds to the plaza ambiance, don’t you think?

A typical roomblock mound. The vegetation shown here seems common to many of the Jemez ruins despite variation in elevation and location.

This roomblock mound just goes on and on, deep into the trees.

A bit of standing wall at Wabakwa.

Me in a kiva depression. ‘Cause that’s what I do….I stand in kivas.

It’s not completely uninhabited……

A section of exposed wall. When I see this sort of thing I no longer think “Cool!”, I think pothunting assholes.

Somebody’s been doing a little photogrammetry. An aerial survey target on one of the mounds.