Pueblo Pintado is massive stone building built by the Chacoan Anasazi in A. D. 1060 (Bannister 1965; Bannister et al. 1970), and reoccupied by Mesa Verdeans in the thirteenth century. Pueblo Pintado is in a prominent location on the lower northeast slope of the Chacra Mesa, 200 meters south of the Chaco Wash and 28 kilometers southwest of central Chaco Canyon.

The great house is L-shaped, and the legs of the L, 75 meters along the north and 53 meters along the west, are three rooms wide and three floors high on the outside terracing down to a single floor in the center. A curved arc of one-story rooms connects the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the L and encloses a plaza. An apparent gateway 4 meters wide leads into the northeast corner of the plaza, and a much smaller one leads into the southwest corner. From the southwest corner of the great house, a wall leads south for 15 meters where it connects to a smaller roomblock. Outside of the plaza, 30 meters to the southeast, is a 17.5 meter diameter great kiva, a large round, ceremonial space.

Within the interior corner of the great house are two round rooms, presumably kivas, and immediately to the east of the northeast corner of the great house is what appears to have been another kiva, although it has deteriorated to a point that makes identification uncertain. In the small roomblock to the south is another blocked in kiva, and in the plaza are fourteen depressions that appear to be kivas. Also in the plaza is an L-shaped roomblock.

Mesa Verde ceramics have been found in the plaza area. These ceramics, along with architectural clues such as newer partition walls subdividing previously constructed Chacoan rooms, suggest a reoccupation of the great house by Mesa Verde people in the thirteenth century (Marshall et al. 1979).

Aerial photographs reveal a prehistoric road approaching Pueblo Pintado from the northwest. Although the road is not so clear immediately adjacent to the great house, it appears to lead to the wall between the great house and the smaller roomblock to the south. This may have been a formalized gateway for the Anasazi; it can be compared with gateways at Pueblo Alto, a great house just to the north of Chaco Canyon. Another road has been mapped that leads from Pueblo Pintado southwest for 3 kilometers to a quarry, and additional possible roads segments have been located by examining stereoscopic pairs of aerial photographs.

Bannister, Bryant

Tree-ring Dating of the Archaeological Sites in the Chaco Canyon Region, New Mexico. Southwestern Monuments Association, Technical Series 6(2). Globe, AZ.

Bannister, Bryant, William J. Robinson, and Richard L. Warren
1970 Tree-ring dates from New Mexico A, G-H, Shiprock-Zuni-Mt. Taylor area. Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Brugge, David M.
1980 A History of the Chaco Navajos. Reports of the Chaco Center 4. Division of Chaco Research, National Park Service, Albuquerque.

Holsinger, S. J.
1901 Report on the Prehistoric Ruins of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, Ordered by the General Land Office, Letter ‘P’, December 18, 1900. General Land Office, Washington, D. C. (In National Archives)

Jackson, W. H.
1878 Ruins of the Chaco Canyon, Examined in 1877. United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, V. F. Hayden, Tenth Annual Report, 431-50.

Marshall, Michael P., John R. Stein, Richard W. Loose, and Judith E. Novotny
1979 Anasazi Communities of the San Juan Basin, for the Public Service Company of New Mexico and the Historic Preservation Bureau, Planning Division, Department of Finance and Administration of the State of New Mexico.

McNitt, Frank, ed.
1964 Navajo Expedition, Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Navajo Country Made in 1849 by Lieutenant James H. Simpson. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Originally published as Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Navajo Country, Made with the Troops under the Command of Lt. Col. John M. Washington in 1849 in Senate Executive Document No. 64, 31st Congress, 1st Session, 1852.

Powers, Robert P., William B. Gillespie, Stephen H. Lekson
1983 The Outlier Survey: A Regional View in the San Juan Basin. Albuquerque: Division of Cultural Research, National Park Service.

1998 Anne Lawrason Marshall
University of Idaho.