Homes were constructed from blocks of volcanic tuff, which is soft and relatively easy to break into blocks. In fact, natural erosional processes often create slopes of talus or broken, often block-like pieces of rock, at the bottom of canyon walls. The Ancestral Pueblo people had sources of hard rock, basalt, just a short distance down canyon. From this more durable rock the people made axes and hammers which could be used as tools to form the tuff blocks. Axes were also used to fell large Ponderosa pine trees whose straight, thick trunks made excellent vigas (the beams used to support the roof).
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Last updated: February 14, 2017