Chetro Ketl is an Ancestral Puebloan great house and American archeological site located in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. Construction on Chetro Ketl began c. 990 and was largely complete by 1075. Following the onset of a severe drought, most Chacoans emigrated from the canyon by 1140. The great house was rediscovered in 1823 by the Spanish governor of New Mexico and explored in 1849 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Chaco scholars estimate that it required more than 500,000 man-hours, 26,000 trees, and 50 million sandstone blocks to erect Chetro Ketl. The building contained around 400 rooms and was the largest great house by area in Chaco Canyon, covering nearly 3 acres (1.2 ha). Chetro Ketl’s purpose is widely debated, but many archeologists believe the building was a place of large-scale ceremony that held an important position within the larger Chacoan system. The building has deteriorated significantly since its rediscovery in the early 19th century, and its usefulness as a source of information about Chacoan culture is slowly diminishing. (Full article…)