Keet Seel

The "ruins" at Keet Seel [sits'il] are only accessible by an all day horse trip or 2 day hike. Keet Seel ("broken pottery" in Navaho [diné bizaad]) was occupied for much longer than was Betatakin [Bitát'ahkin]. Tree-ring dating and pottery found below the ruin show that the Anasazi (ancient people or ancestors [ánaasází]) lived here as early as AD 950. Those early houses are completely gone, but their stones and timbers were reused in the final village built here about 1250. Unlike [Bitát'ahkin], where the inhabitants apparently came as a group, Keet Seel was a place of random arrivals and departures. There are even more kivas here than at [Bitát'ahkin] and more variation in room design and construction, indicating that different groups built the two villages.

In 1272 there was a surge of building activity and new types of pottery show up, suggesting a new group of people. Their arrival, along with normal family growth, soon taxed the capacity of the alcove, and more rooms were built nearby. The population may have reached 150 at this time, but the crest did not last. There is no indication of warfare. It's more likely that arroyo-cutting threatenedtheir agricultural fields. families began moving out, and those who remained converted the abandoned rooms into granaries, apparently storing food against hard times. About 1300 they too began leaving, but not in a hurry. They sealed many doorways, perhaps hoping to return someday.

Taken from a National Park Service brochure.
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