Visiting some Southwest icons, by PENNY E. SCHWARTZ, For the Daily Facts
[mjh: this is a good, brief overview of a visit to Mesa Verde.]
Ute Mountain Tribal Park is near Mesa Verde, Colorado. mjh
SIXTH ANNUAL UTE MOUNTAIN TRIBAL PARK OPEN HOUSE
MAY 27th, 2006
The following events are scheduled:
*Porcupine House and Pictographs Tour – 8:30am – 3:00pm Cost is $22.00 per person
*North Lion Canyon Tour – 8:30am – 3:30pm Cost is $22.00 per person
*Anasazi Sun Calendars in Mancos Canyon and Anasazi Petroglyph tour
Virginia Wolf Archaeologist/Anthropologist and Ed Wheeler Archaeologist/Anthropologist
will conduct these tours from 9:00am to 12:00 (noon)
and from 1:00pm to 4:30pm the cost of this tour is $22.00 per person
Travel mag goes online
Mesa Verde Country Internet travel planner joins 150,000 print copies
By John R. Crane | Cortez Journal Staff Writer
Mesa Verde Country’s travel planner, highlighting numerous Four Corners attractions for the adventuresome, has made its way online.
An online version of the publication appeared the last week in January, said Lynn Dyer, director of Mesa Verde Tourism Information Bureau. Vacationers may download a printable version of the Mesa Verde Country Travel Planner at www.mesaverdecountry.com, view the planner on line, with hotlinks to all Travel Planner information, or fill out an online request form and have a planner mailed for free. …
The planner includes itinerary ideas, area maps, information on Mesa Verde National Park and all the other sights and attractions in Mesa Verde Country, a list of festival and event dates; a directory of area restaurants and accommodations; beautiful pictures and photo tips; and everything else visitors need to plan a memorable vacation to one of the nation’s richest archaeological areas.
Mesa Verde Country is known as the archaeological center of America and boasts beautiful landscapes, rich history, cultural heritage and endless outdoor activities. Its centerpiece is the impressive Mesa Verde National Park. Other Mesa Verde Country attractions include Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Anasazi Heritage Center and the Crow Canyon Archeological Center.
For more information about destinations and activities in Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country, including lodging and special events, call 1-800-530-2998 or visit online at www.mesaverdecountry. com.
Party’s on for Mesa Verde By Electa Draper, Denver Post Staff Writer
The park’s birthday bash reaches a climax Thursday – 100 years to the day since Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt made Mesa Verde the nation’s first national park dedicated to preserving man-made wonders. …
On Thursday, the birthday party begins with a barbecue dinner at Morefield Amphitheater followed by a special ceremony featuring the premiere of the Mesa Verde Suite, composed by Sterling Proctor.
Crew members of the U.S.S. Mesa Verde are scheduled to attend events on the landlocked mesa 8,400 feet above sea level. And live music, refreshments, craft demonstrations, quilt shows, plays, stagecoach rides, tours and other special events continue Saturday and Sunday.
Ranger-guided backcountry tours of two cliff dwellings, Mug House and Oak Tree House, not seen by the public for decades, are sold out.
[mjh: I recommend the full article because it has much more to say about Mesa Verde.]
Treading lightly in Oak Tree House By By DAVE BUCHANAN The Daily Sentinel
This particular ranger-led tour is a 90-minute out-and-back trip to Oak Tree House, which had been excavated from 1915 to 1921 by Jesse Fewkes for the Smithsonian Institute after earlier excavating Spruce Tree House in 1908 and Cliff Palace in 1909. Oak Tree House, named for a massive oak tree which since has fallen, has been closed to the public since the early 1930s.
This summer, ranger-led hikes to Oak Tree House and Mug House, which the park never has opened to public tours, will be offered on an advance registration-only basis….
Oak Tree House, like nearly all of the 600 or so known cliff dwellings in the park, is found in a shallow cave eroded by groundwater percolating through a massive layer of Cliffhouse Sandstone. It’s the topmost layer of the Mesa Verde group of shoreline sediments laid down more than 65 million years ago. …
Why did people ignore these caves for most of their occupation of Mesa Verde? Of the more than 4,500 dwellings identified in the park, only 600 or so are cliff dwellings, and their occupancy dates only from the last century the people lived here.
No one knows for sure, but some educated guesses suppose that at its peak, the local population reached nearly 3,000 and there was a growing demand to find new places to live, new resources to exploit, or perhaps new enemies to avoid.
An even bigger question is, why did they leave?
The Great Drought of 1276-1299 certainly had some impact. Perhaps overpopulation, caused in part by better nutrition as farming techniques improved, had a part, or even disease resulting from living in close quarters with tamed turkeys and dogs.
Around 1300, the residents suddenly abandoned these elaborate cliff dwellings and migrated south to the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico and to one region of northern Arizona.
Today, 24 American Indian tribes claim some connection to the people who lived in Mesa Verde.
When the environment could no longer sustain the Ancestral Puebloans, it forced total emigration, said Jim Judge, professor emeritus at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
westword.com | News | Digging Deep
On Mesa Verde’s hundredth birthday, there’s still a lot of dirt behind the “Mystery of the Anasazi.” By Joel Warner
There’s not much new in this article but it is a good summary of recent conclusions regarding what may have happened among Ancestral Puebloans (aka Anasazi) before they moved on to become Puebloans. mjh
1. Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906. When were the ruins “discovered”? a) 1874 b) 1888 c) 1892
2. The Cliff Palace is the largest of the cliff dwellings. How big is it? a) as large as a city block b) as long as a football field c) about the size of a school gymnasium
3. About how many archaeological sites have been found in the park? a) 74 b) 649 c) 4,000
4. The park encompasses some 57,000 acres of federally owned land. What size is that in relation to Rocky Mountain National Park? a) one-fifth b) one-third c) two-thirds
5. Ancestral puebloans occupied the Mesa Verde area for about 750 years, from roughly 600 A.D. to 1300 A.D. Why did they leave? a) drought b) war c) religious reasons d) possibly all of the above
6. Square Tower House was originally named a) Peabody House b) Wetherill Manor c) Chapin Chapel
7. The first white man to enter a cliff dwelling was a) a rancher b) a prospector c) a photographer
8. The largest structures were typically built in rock alcoves facing a) north, thus providing shade b) south and east, to capture the sun’s warmth in winter c) west, to gain the maximum amount of daylight
9. The earliest inhabitants of the Mesa Verde region are known to have been excellent a) basketmakers b) potters c) masons d) all of the above
10. Mesa Verde gets about a half-million visitors per year. How popular is it compared with Rocky Mountain National Park? a) much less popular b) somewhat more popular c) just about as popular