We recently visited Mesa Verde National Park, which is in the Four Corners Region of the United States, located one hour east of Cortez, Colorado, or 1 1/2 hours from Durango, Colorado. It is the largest archaeological preserve in the US. Created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, there are more than 600 cliff dwellings within the park’s boundaries.
The real treasures of Mesa Verde are those created by ancestral puebloans. They occupied, built ans left complex structures more than 300 years before the pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. They are sometimes called Anasazi, they inhibited the region 1,400 to 700 years ago. Early structures called pit houses, were drug into the earth and topped with wooden roof.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt designated the area a national park, and today UNESCO recognizes it as a World Heritage Site. The Natioal Park Services has restored
35-40 structures, but officials estimate there may be 4,500 within the parks boundaries.
House of Many Windows
Oak Tree House
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum ExhibitsThe museum displays dioramas illustrating Ancestral Puebloan life. There are also many exhibits of prehistoric artifacts, a chronology of Ancestral Puebloan culture, and other items related to the park.