Posted at: 01/23/2013 11:40 AM
Updated at: 01/23/2013 12:50 PM
By: The Associated Press
AZTEC, N.M. (AP) - Aztec Ruins National Monument in northwestern New Mexico's San Juan County is celebrating its 90th birthday as part of the national park system.
The site's designation as a monument on Jan. 24, 1923 was followed by extensive stabilization work that saved the 900-year-old ruins from being destroyed by erosion damage that initially wasn't halted by ineffective attempts at preservation.
Carla Van West of the Rio Rancho-based SRI Foundation says the work done by the New Deal's Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s Great Depression turned things around with the reconstruction of the ruins' Great Kiva.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that the work included rebuilding the Great Kiva stone by stone after drainage pipes were installed to divert irrigation water away from the site.
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