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Posts Tagged ‘cliff dwellings’

Mesa Verde National Park

September 22, 2013 1 comment

Mesa Verde is best known for cliff dwellings, which are structures built within caves and under outcroppings in cliffs.  They were occupied by the Anasazi indians from about 700 to 1300.   There was a 24 year drought (beginning in 1274) and the native population moved away, leaving villages and cliff dwellings.

The Anasazi were well known for their pottery and basket weaving.  They left a rich history of an age now almost forgotten.  We were privileged to visit this site, which was set aside as a National Park by President Roosevelt in 1904.

A corn grinding room

A corn grinding room

Looking inside one of the kivas

Looking inside one of the kivas

Some decorations at the entry to a Kiva

Some decorations at the entry to a Kiva

They built all the way up to the roof

They built all the way up to the “roof”

 Must take a lot of work

Must take a lot of work

 Inside a cliff dwelling kiva

Looking inside a cliff dwelling kiva

 The structure was quite advanced

There are rooms below the floor, climb the ladder to get down

 A lot of work went into these, especially since materials were hard to find

A lot of work went into these, everything had to be carried in

Tonto National Monument

November 6, 2011 1 comment

We were very fortunate to be able to join a guided hike to the upper dwellings at Tonto National Monument.  Only 900 people get to go up here a year as the site is historically sensitive.  We were even more fortunate to have Eddie give the tour; he has been a Ranger at this park for 31 years.  Plus,he is an archeologist and an anthropologist.  Fabulous source of information, really made the dwelling come alive, historically speaking.

Local populations have lived here for thousands of years, then around 1400 AD they just disappeared.  There is lots of speculation why, but no one knows, as the Indians had no written language.  Fortunately, the remnants of their civilization gives a good idea how they lived.  There are literally thousands of remnants to help us piece together a good image.  Fascinating!

Also, I have many more pictures on our Flickr album, a link is provided on the front page.

Part of the way up is through a rich valley

Now we're getting a good view of the dwellings

Looking back into Tonto Basin

Now we're getting closer

Inside one of the rooms

A view from the back of the dwelling

Looking from one room into others

The beams are old, the grafitti isn't

Roosevelt bridge, especially for my riding buddies