Bandelier opens iconic archaeological site

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LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — One of the most popular sites at Bandelier National Monument is open again.

Monument officials announced Friday that the public can again visit the Alcove House site. Accessible only by a series wooden ladders and steep stone steps, the site is perched in a niche along Frijoles Canyon.

The site was closed in April due to concerns over structural stability of the kiva. The walls of the structure have loosened and there are other signs of severe erosion.

The kiva is now fenced off, but visitors can still climb the ladders to access the niche. Signs are posted to keep visitors from walking around the kiva.

Monument spokeswoman Claudia Brookshire says another closure is planned in late fall 2013, when crews will repair the cracks in the kiva walls.