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Agate House

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona USA

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“world's most awesome log cabin!”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. The ancestors of the modern Pueblo people used petrified wood for a variety of purposes including tools such as projectile points, knives, and scrapers. Agate House demonstrates another innovative use of petrified wood, as a building material for masonry structures. The ancestral Pueblo inhabitants constructed this small, eight-room pueblo about 900 years ago in a location near to both agricultural fields and petrified wood deposits. The size of the structure and time necessary to build and maintain it indicates that this was not a temporary residence or field house, but more likely a year-round residential structure for a family unit. Others have suggested that this structure served solely ceremonial purposes and did not serve as the residence for a family group. Like most structures from this time period it likely remained in use for less than a generation or thirty years. It is estimated that Agate House was constructed and occupied between 900 and 1200 AD. This determination is based on the ceramic assemblage discovered at the time of excavation, including coiled utility ware and various black-on-white painted ceramics with a few examples of black-on-red. Most of the pottery appears to be associated with ancestral Puebloan people (i.e. Anasazi), although some of the pottery has southern origins, perhaps associated with the Mogollon. Reconstructed in the 1930s, Agate House is located on top of a small hill within the Rainbow Forest. Some questions remain about the accuracy of this reconstruction, but it still enables us to envision the daily lives of the ancestral Puebloans. Would you like to visit Agate House? The Agate House Trail runs 1.25 mile from the Rainbow Forest Museum parking lot. A shade shelter at the junction of these two trails offers the only shade as you cross the badlands and petrified wood scattered landscape. Water, sun protection, and comfortable shoes are strongly recommended.

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