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Acoma Pueblo, in Valencia County in West Central New Mexico, is believed to have been established in the 12th century or even earlier, making it the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. The pueblo or village is located atop a 110-meter tall sandstone bluff, and until recently, could only be reached by a near vertical hand-cut staircase carved into the rock face. Acoma Pueblo’s soaring location has earned it the nickname of “Sky City”, and has impressed everybody who has laid eyes on it —from the first European to the modern visitor.

The first European contact with Acoma was made by the Spanish conquistador and explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1540, who described it as "one of the strongest places ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock”. “The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top," he wrote.

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Photo credit: www.acomaskycity.org

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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