Saturday, 9 June 2012

How they lived 700 years ago

Mesa Verde National Park, CO

This park showcases the dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans who made this place their home for more than 750 years, from A.D. 550 to A.D. 1300. The first afternoon we drove the Wetherill Mesa and took the “tram” which has tyres not metal wheels! around to some outlooks that allow you to photograph some of the cliff dwellings from across the other cliff. Mesa Verde (may-sa ver-dee) means green table.

The following day we took the Mesa Top Loop road and toured the Spruce Tree house and the Cliff Palace, the later is a ranger led tour that you pay for in advance. There are two other ranger led tours, but we felt that one was enough and had given us an insight into how these people had lived. Not much is known about them as they didn’t leave any written records, so much of what they know is a guess. These communities were built high above the valley floor for security against attacks, all food and water would have had to have been carried in. They had a bush fire here about 20 years ago and the area still has not recovered, the trees here take hundreds of years to grow.

Cliff Palace

There are hundreds of these dwellings but not all have been preserved

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