Aztec Ruins National Monument In northwestern New Mexico provides a trip back in time, but don't let the name fool you. When discovered by Anglo settlers, they mistakenly believed these ruins were built by the Aztecs of central Mexico. In fact, these ruins are what remain of the community built from the late 1000s to the late 1200s by ancestral Pueblo people – a community that rivaled the better-known Chaco Canyon to the south.
Some of the darker back rooms were believed to have been used as storage. This photo to the left shows the original ceiling, built by the ancestral Pueblo people. Because the ceiling remained so well intact, rings from the trees that created the ceiling allowed the remains to be dated.