Francis Canyon Pueblito

Located on a small side canyon off of Frances Canyon on the north side of Francis Mesa, Francis Canyon Pueblito is one of the three largest known, best preserved, and most complex Navajo pueblitos recorded and investigated.

The complex consists of an estimated 23 ground floor rooms, 12 second-story rooms, three third-story rooms, two hogans, activity areas, and one burned rock pile. Rock art, forked-pole hogans, sweat lodges and basins used for grinding corn surround the pueblito. The four-story tower (now only three stories) which is central to the site is the most distinctive structure at the site. In addition, several rooms have storage bins, loopholes, looming fits, peg holes, and Spanish-style hooded fireplaces. Supports for weaving looms were also found (Powers and Johnson 1987).

The site was first excavated by Earl Morris in 1915, (Morris also excavated Aztec Ruins). Among other artifacts, he recovered a fragment of a seventeenth century wheel lock rifle from the site.

Ceramic Assemblage: The ceramics consist of Dinetah Gray, Gobernador Polychrome, Zia-Puname, Tewa, Acoma, and Jemez wares (Towner 2003).

Tree-ring Analysis: The comparison of architectural data and the 53 tree-ring samples recovered from different investigations indicate that the pueblito underwent several occupations, growths and abandonment. Two possibly three distinct temporal stages were identified. Initial occupation sometime between 1710 and 1714, the second phase in 1722, and probably a third phase in 1735 or 1736. Complete abandonment likely occurred sometime around 1745 (Towner 2003).

The site was stabilized by the BLM in 1975 (BLM Site plaque).

Land Owner: Bureau of Land Management
Site Elevation: 6805 ft / 2074 m
Hiking Difficulty: Easy =
Someone in fair hiking condition;
Distance less than 1,000 feet;
Elevation gain less than 50 feet.
Defensive Sites Of Dinetah Powers, Margaret A. and Byron P. Johnson 1987
Defensive Sites of Dinetah. New Mexico Bureau of Land Management Cultural Resources Series No. 2, 1987. U.S. Dept of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque District.
Defending The Dinetah 2003 Towner, Ronald H. 2003
Defending the Dinetah: Pueblitos in the Ancestral Navajo Heartland. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito
Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito
Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito Francis Canyon Pueblito