Built near the banks of the Animas River, the Aztec Ruins are the remnants of an enormous structure constructed by the Ancestral Puebloan people around one thousand years ago. This 500-room building, three stories tall, mostly constructed with mud and sandstone, was meant as a type of community and trading center. Much of the lumber used in construction was hauled from distant sources, possibly from a over a hundred miles away. Over the course of 200 years, the structure grew larger and larger, but still adhered to the original builder’s plans. By the mid A.D. 1200s, whether due to drought, social, religious or political reasons, the peoples of the pueblo moved on, leaving much of their artifacts and way of life behind.
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