October 29, 2014

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park features large and well preserved cliff dwellings, such as Spruce Tree House, above. These dwellings were constructed in about 1200 AD.  All of the dwellings in the area were deserted between 1280 and 1300 A.D.  No one knows why for sure, but a widespread drought about that time was probably at least part of the reason that these ancient people moved on.
There are several kivas, which may have been used as gathering places for social or sacred functions.
Note the T-shape (larger on top than on the bottom) of some of the doorways.  These may have been designed to allow entry for someone carrying a large load, or perhaps they marked shared or sacred rooms.
We also saw the Cliff Palace from a distance.  It's larger than Spruce Tree House.  We would have enjoyed exploring it, but we were running out of daylight.
The Mesa Verde Museum, located at the beginning of Spruce Tree House trail, contains an amazing collection of pottery found in the area.  This large vessel was filled with corn kernels when found in a cave nearby, and topped with the lid shown to the left.
Here's the sign displayed with the corn exhibit.
There are numerous glass cases of pottery.  I like the double mugs,
and the duck and the 3 lobed pot,
the ladles,
as well as the colorful pot and the deer/mountain sheep design. 


  1. What an impressive place to visit -- it's on my bucket list. I enjoyed your photos of the museum exhibits very much. The pottery is fascinating.

  2. As George says, this is on our 'list' of places to see. Thanks for telling us about the museum. Love seeing all of that pottery... AMAZING....

    Great post. Thanks.

  3. You've done some fabulous exploring in the last weeks, Janie! I have never been to Mesa Verde - can't believe it, since I'm fairly close. Seeing the remains of the ancient civilization makes you wonder how they created such architectural wonders as well as the beautiful and functional utensils and implements.

  4. I've never been, but I've always wanted too. Your post makes me want to go even more.

  5. The cliff dwellings look amazing and I enjoyed seeing the pottery. I love the duck pot and the ladles.

  6. Mesa Verde is on our bucket list, and hopefully within the next year or two at the latest. These are wonderful images of the cliff dwellings and pottery. Glad to know there is a museum there, so we can plan accordingly!


  7. A beautiful area! The cliff palace is fascinating and I love the displays. Thanks Janie!

  8. Mesa Verde is very special. When working there I loved to hang out in the museum.

  9. I was at Mesa Verde many years ago and your photos are making me want to visit this site again!

  10. i love archeology and to visit places like this!

  11. It's definitely on my "bucket list."

  12. It's definitely on my "bucket list."

  13. Beautiful. We will be visiting that area this next fall or spring. With retirement and kids living in Southern Utah, we will have time to make the trip enjoyable.

    Did you publish your booklet or who did you have it done by??



  14. I somehow missed this post! I'm glad I saw it because we were not able to see Mesa Verde when my family went out west due to fire.

    It looks amazing.



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