April 24, 27, 28, & May 1, 2019.
Last spring we visited Mesa Verde National Park, and Bandelier and Navajo National Monuments. These sites contain prehistoric dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo peoples. I’m combining the three sites into one post.
The desert area surrounding Four Corners, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet, is one of my favorite places to visit. Here in the high Colorado Plateau, history and pre-history are exposed in stark beauty. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate the area. The tales told by each of these sites can be enjoyed even by casual observers.
The first people to arrive here came 12K years ago. The last ice age was ending and the environment was more lush then. They hunted large mammals and left behind spearheads and atlatl throwing sticks as evidence they had been here.
The population grew. Big ideas, the same ideas occurring to people all over the world, helped these folks survive. Atlatls were replaced by bows and arrows. Weaving was used to make sandals, textiles, and baskets. Pottery was developed and refined. Animals were domesticated. And crops were planted and irrigated.
And, just as other people around the globe, these folks personified and deified the forces they could not explain or harness. They didn’t even suspect that their own big ideas were the neatest things happening. Why didn’t any of those ancient cultures have a god of cool ideas?
6 thoughts on “Ancestral Pueblos”
Very similar to Gorame Turkey. Thanks!
Wow! Gorame Turkey looks like an interesting place. We have got to get the van over to Europe one of these days!
Amazing sites, aren’t they? I’m glad you managed to stop by these three wonders. Your photos look very familiar. 🙂 We were mostly impressed with Mesa Verde. Nice you found a campsite in the free area close to the park this time.
The Cliff House photos are spectacular. The trail to Spruce Tree House at Mesa Verde was closed when we were there last year as well. You must have a fantastic zoom lens to photograph the cliff dwellings at Navajo Monument. Or, did you do a tour? Awesome stuff, Greg!
We must have just had bad timing with the campsite last time. We got one of the first sites closed to the turn off on to the road – with a great view of the mesa!
Mesa Verde is amazing. So much more than what I expected!
We did a tour of Cliff House (we love National Park tours – always worth it). We didn’t do a tour at Navajo – I was afraid it would be too strenuous. I don’t think my zoom is extra-long – I just have a steady hand, I guess. I really do need to get a good camera with a longer zoom – it is on my project list for the summer.
Guess who is back at reading your old posts? 😉 I’m hoping to go to Mesa Verde and looking at your blog for the good details. I’ll look at that free parking nearby, hopefully I luck out or there is the Walmart in town. I’m not a fan of heights so not sure about going up those ladders. I really loved Bandelier and recommend it to everyone. Awesome photos!! 🙂
Tina – It makes me so happy that you find our blog informative when planning trips! This is part of the reason we do it.
The free camping near the park is limited. This was our second time we visited Mesa Verde but the first time we didn’t stay because we couldn’t find a camping spot – and then subsequently just moved on to something else. I think we ended up in Cortez at the Walmart when couldn’t find a spot near Mesa Verde. Hopefully, they still allow overnights.