Francisco Vaques de Coronado's army visited Acoma in the year 1540 and became the first white man to enter Sky City.
He described Acoma as:
"One of the strongest ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock. The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top. The houses are three and four stories high. The people are of the same type as those in the province of Cibola (Zuni) and they have abundant supplies of maize, beans and turkeys like those of New Spain. (Minge 1976:4)
Many people consider the location of Sky City as an ideal site for defense against enemies.
The oral heritage of Acoma tells of the origin and migration of Acoma people in search of HaK’u. Acoma (pronounced either eh-Ko-Ma or Ah-Ko-Ma) is derived from the Keresan word Hak’u. It was prophesied from the beginning that there existed a place ready for the people to occupy.
HaK’u means in a sense to prepare or plan.
Recently, archaeologists theorized the occupation of Acoma to A.D. 1150.