Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Una Vida is the Chaco Great House that is nearest to Fajada Butte. Its construction was initiated around the year 850, at about the same time as Pueblo Bonito, which is three miles up Chaco Wash. Unlike the larger Bonito Great House, Una Vida was only slightly excavated. The few exposed walls appear to sit on a hill, but that is actually the remains of the collapsed Great House covered with a thick layer of sand.
The general form and size of Una Vida is revealed from above by the surrounding trails and the shadows cast by the morning sun. Tree ring dating from surviving wooden beams indicate that the Great House was built in stages over a couple centuries. It is estimated that the final structure contained about 150 rooms and reached a hight of three stories.
On the talus slope behind the Great House a narrow trail leads to a depression in the sandstone rim rock containing many petroglyph images of both human and animal figures, as well as the ubiquitous spiral design.