|Depart at 8:00 AM for Aztec Ruins National Monument.|
Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves structures and artifacts of Ancestral Pueblo people from the 1100s through the 1200s.
It may have been seen as another Chacoan outlier, however, more recent research indicates it may have been the second Chacoan "capitol," established and occupied after the abandonment of Chaco Canyon in the 1150s.
Aztec itself was abandoned about A.D. 1275 as a result of the 40-year drought. Some Southwestern archeologists believe the Chacoan "elites" then moved south and established Paquime, another immense site in northern Mexico.
The Aztec monument was established in 1923 with the excavation and reconstruction of Aztec West by Earl Morris and designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.
At 9:30 AM, the bus departs for the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, where there will be a short hike.