Tijeras Pueblo had two main construction phases. Tree-ring dates place occupation of the site from AD 1313 to approximately 1425. There is speculation that these peoples were part of the general migration from the four corners area (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado), but there is no evidence to solidly identify any exact previous location.
The pueblo was initially built in the first part of the 14th century to include a main structure consisting of 200 rooms arranged in a U-shape. A large round kiva was built a short distance from the main pueblo rooms. It may have served members of nearby communities as well as Tijeras Pueblo. Archaeological evidence indicates that Tijeras Pueblo was at least partially abandoned in the 14th century. It appears that around 1360 perhaps half of the occupants left.
Many adobe walls from first occupation, in a state of neglect, succumbed to weathering and dissolved into the earth. Around 1390, construction began again. This occupation, however, was on a smaller scale than the original. Here, rectangular kivas were incorported within the pueblo construction. The inhabitants continued living here until about 1425, at which time the Pueblo was effectively abandoned. The reasons the population left the site may have been due to drought and related land use issues.
Tijeras Pueblo - First Construction 1313 - 1369
Second Construction 1390 - 1425
Artist's drawing of pueblo life during the second construction
The two drawings above are representative of the arrangement of room blocks at Tijeras Pueblo during both the first and second constructions.
The artist's rendering (left ) of Tijeras Pueblo during the second construction serves to illustrate what the Pueblo and daily life in it may have looked like. Click on the image to enlarge it.
There were other outlying structures, including the large kiva mentioned above. Interestingly, ground penetrating radar was used at Tijeras Pueblo site to help determine its size and exact location.