Las Cuarenta Casas

The denomination of ‘The Forty Houses’ is a toponímico coined by Alvar Nuñez Caveza de Vaca in century XVI and from then by the neighbors of the place to designate an indeterminate number of houses constructed on cliffs with earth. Archaeologists call it “Casas de los Acantilados” or “Cliff Dwellings”.

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This site is located 336 km northwest of the city of Chihuahua. The place is a prototypical settlement of the mountainous province that was inhabited by groups of hunter gatherers; basket-makers and farmers of the Casas Grandes Cliff-dwellers.

Archaeologists coined these two concepts to interpret the cultural evolution of these groups. These buildings were built inside caves and shelters formed in the cliffs of the ravines, which are believed to have functioned, as well as housing, as workshops.

The Forty Houses was officially declared an Archaeological Monuments Zone in January 2002.  The archeological site “Las Cuarenta Casas” is located in the Sierra Madre Occidental in the municipality of Madera 280 km. Away from the city of Chihuahua, state capital of the same name.


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