Pithouse - Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 37° 10.125 W 108° 29.367
12S E 722903 N 4116544
Quick Description: This excavated pithouse, dating from 600 C.E. is located along the southwestern portion of the Mesa Top Loop drive and is the first stop.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 2/20/2021 9:22:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM13V35
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TrailGators
Views: 2

Long Description:
My Commentary:
The pithouse excavation site has been covered by a permanent structure and interpretive signage is provided around the site. Ancient First Nations peoples first settled the mesa before moving to the more protected cliffs. It is just a short 100 yard walk on paved sidewalk from parking to the site.

Most visitors to Mesa Verde arrive in summer, when it’s hard to imagine snow on the ground or freezing temperatures. But Ancestral Pueblo farmers were used to the year-round cycle of seasons. Their first permanent homes were partially underground, so they were cool in the summer and warm in winter.

A family pithouse included a central fire hearth used for cooking, light, and warmth. It was protected by a deflector which reduced air drafts across the fire and onto people sitting, working, or sleeping on mats nearby. It also allowed smoke to rise straight up through the roof vent. Wing walls defined living spaces and may have offered options for privacy. Behind the wing walls were grinding stones, where women spent hours grinding corn into cornmeal, the basis of family meals. Baskets, pottery jars, and bowls held food such as shelled corn, wild fruit, seeds and berries, or stored water. Items such as burden baskets, cradleboards, and capes of twisted yucca fiber wrapped with rabbit fur or turkey feathers hung from the roof or main posts.

- National Park Service website

Trailhead: N 37° 10.141 W 108° 29.365

Type: Ruins

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sara et gege visited Pithouse - Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado 4/9/2021 sara et gege visited it