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Cliff Dwelling, Mesa Verde, Colorado
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member 94RedRover
N 37° 11.055 W 108° 29.306
12S E 722948 N 4118266
Quick Description: Mesa Verde National Park contains the ruins of ancestral Puebloan people, dating from 750 AD to 1300 AD. The cliff dwellings range in date from 1200 AD to 1300 AD, and may contain over 100 rooms.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 2:33:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM3Y60
Views: 40

Long Description:
In the late 1800's two ranchers on the hunt for stray cattle, turned a corner on a cliff,and there below stood the remains of a multi room dwelling, nestled in among the cliff, protected from the wind and sun...but not time.

All throughout these canyons, hundreds of such dwellings leave evidence of a metropolis of culture. Mesa Verde is here for visitors to have a glimpse of this past culture, as well as to maintain and preserve.

Many of the earliest structures in the area, dated around 750 AD, were above ground, sat on the mesa top and stood stories high. Around 1100 AD, the inhabitants began building and occupying these cliff dwellings...but by 1300 AD, they stood abandoned.

Why did these people move off the mesa tops for the cliffs? Well, judging by the amount of dwellings scattered around the area, moving into the cliffs opened the flat mesa for needed farm land. The alcoves also provided shade, a natural cooling for better food storage, so perhaps it was for food storage.

How did they get into the dwellings...some boulders bear the scars of fingertip holes...they would climb using their fingertips and toes, literally digging into the rock for traction. So perhaps they moved into these dwellings for protection from a foe?

As mysterious as the reasoning for the move into the cliffs, is the mystery of why they were all abandonded in what seemed a mass exodus.

These questions may never be answered, but here, thanks to the park system, we can imagine and admire...

So hard to keep your eyes off the canyon cliffs as you're driving through the park...there are ruins everywhere...so the GPS reading is from the Visitor Center, as I was actually able to stop for a moment to GPS.
City, State or City, Country: Mesa Verde, Colorado

Year Built: 1200 - 1300

Architect: Vernacular

Webpage from GreatBuildings.com or other approved listing: [Web Link]

Other website with more information about building: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Submit a photo you have taken of the building or an interesting detail of the building. (No GPS photos wanted) If you have additional information about the building please add it to your visit log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
Big B Bob visited Cliff Dwelling, Mesa Verde, Colorado 8/22/2003 Big B Bob visited it

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