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Acoma (Sky City) Cultural site and Ruins New Mexico Townsite - Ghost town

Photos courtesy of Mike and Joan Sinnwell March 2009

Some claim that Acoma is the oldest continuously inhabited site in the United States. In 1540 the Spanish visited the site and documented their visit. Archaeologists theorized the occupation of Acoma to be A.D. 1150. It is 70 acres perched on a mesa 367 feet above the valley floor. The mission was built in 1629 and all materials were carried up the mesa and from as far away as thirty miles as there was no lumber close at hand. Legend tells the story of a Friar who saved a child after a fall from the mesa. He delivered the child back to the mother and she considered the return of her child as a miracle. Because of this miracle the Friar was given access to Acoma and allowed to build the mission. The Acomas and the Spanish had been at war prior to this incident.  This is another must see site in New Mexico.

One of the intriguing places is the cemetery. (Sorry not allowed to take pictures) It is surrounded by an adobe wall and built into the wall are guards to watch over the cemetery. I also like the old ovens and the pools, cisterns, that were used to collect water.

Plenty of opportunity to buy jewelry, pottery and other handcrafted goods from the Acomas when you are on the site. They also have numerous festivals throughout the year. Make sure you are prepared to take lots of photos, after you buy your camera pass.

A viewer writes - April 24, 2009 - Mike,  I have a long history with Acoma. I first was there about 55 years ago. At that time there were 75 or 80 full blood Acoma people. Most of those that were there were VERY old. I remember one old lady that had on a thin dress, open shoes and no coat. It was in the middle of a blizzard!!!!!!!!!! In the summer of that year I wanted to play in the courtyard of the church and was stopped by an old man, it turned out to be the cemetery, I have many stories of the place and was fortunate to be there when the real people lived up there. There was no road up the mesa then just a trail. Thank you for the wonderful pictures. Regards, Bert