Dwellings of several stories fill the rock alcoves that tower 2,000 feet above Montezuma Valley. There are approximately 600 dwellings discovered within Mesa Verde dating from about A.D. 550 to 1300. The Ancestral Pueblo people crafted their dwellings of sandstone, wooden beams, and mortar.
The structures range in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms.
The Ancestral Pueblo people subsisted by growing crops on nearby mesas, mostly corn. Water for farming was provided by summer rains, winter snowfall, and seeps and springs nearby. The men hunted as well. The women are famous for their beautiful baskets.
All photos here are of Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde. To visit here, we had to have a guided tour.
This dwelling was constructed in the early to mid 1200s. There are about 130 rooms and 8 kivas. It is believed to have been home for about 60 to 80 people.
This photo and the one below were taken at a distance.
Yes, we did climb up this ladder! Here is our intrepid guide Denise.
view from across the canyon (See the ladder? just below the dwellings on the right)
Mesa Verde (means Green Table) is located in the high plateau country of southwestern Colorado. The park itself lies atop a high mesa that rises from the canyon cut by the Mancos River.
a few facts:
∎ The park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
∎ Mesa Verde National Park encompasses 52,122 acres (81 square miles).
∎ Elevation on Mesa Verde varies between 6,000 and 8,500 feet.
∎ Mesa Verde is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This link will take you to a world wide list.
∎ The climate is semi-arid.
∎ Spruce Tree House was built into a natural alcove measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at its greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth.
∎ National Park website
∎ National Geographic
∎ National Park information about Spruce Tree House
∎ Maps of Mesa Verde @ Desert USA
∎ travelog- a family visits Mesa Verde @ Abingdon Outdoors
∎ maps and information about North American deserts @ Desert USA with links
Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Ms Jenny, is so much fun! This week our letter is "D." Come visit others' submissions HERE and join in the fun!
photos by me © 2007 all rights reserved