Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Posted by: 94RedRover
N 37° 09.902 W 108° 28.554
12S E 724117 N 4116163
Quick Description: Along Ruins Road in Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado offers one of the best "top cliff" views of Cliff Palace, but along Mesa Top Ruins Road is the meeting area for the tours.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 3/7/2008 6:42:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM3B0Z
Cliff Palace is Mesa Verde's largest cliff dwelling. Tours of this 150 room, 23 kiva structure, built around AD 1100 run about an hour long...and tickets must be purchased at the Far View Visitor Center. It is worth taking the tour...the rangers are very knowledgeable and will describe more points of interest.
We learned that possibly 100 people lived here in cliff palace, but that a number of the rooms did not have any signs of domestic life, such as fires or wall paintings. Artifacts found in some of these rooms lead archeologists to believe most of these rooms were used for storage, such as food grown on the mesa top above. This dwelling may have acted as a "market" for nearby villages.
It is believed that the ancestral Puebloan people inhabited Cliff Palace for about 100 years. Different stages of construction are apparent in the different styles of structures and mortar. Some walls have been plastered, some still have wall paintings. Visitors can see soot deposits from home fires, and identify which areas acted as community spots, or just living quarters within the alcoves.
Getting down to the cliff dwelling is via a steep "staircase" and climbing back up to the mesa top involves climbing five 8-10 foot ladders. After the dwelling was discovered in 1888, many visitors gained access to these sites, and now you are treading on the same steps engineered by the archeologists over one hundred years ago.
Reason for Abandonment: Economic
Date Abandoned: 01/01/1300
Related Web Page: [Web Link]
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