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Taos Pueblo, N.M., with domed oven in the foreground.—Ray Manley/Shostal Associates
(Spanish: town) Community of the Pueblo Indians of the southwestern U.S., consisting of multistoried apartment houses constructed of large adobe blocks beginning c. AD 1000. Freestanding structures up to five stories tall were built around a central court. Each floor is set back from the floor under it; the whole structure resembles a stepped pyramid, with terraces formed by the rooftops of the level below. Though rooms often have connecting doorways, movement between levels is by means of ladders through holes in the ceilings. Ground-floor rooms, used for storage, have no outside doors. Each pueblo has at least two kivas. Many of the pueblos are still occupied; Acoma pueblo is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited place in the U.S. Some of the largest pueblos are at Taos, Isleta, Laguna, and Zuni. See alsocliff dwelling.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pueblo, visit Britannica.com.