After you've hiked down stairs or climbed ladders and gotten to the sites you are allowed to explore, you lose a little bit of the scale, danger and ingenuity used to build the dwellings, so I thought I would post photos looking across the canyons to see them.
There are over 10,000 know archeological sites in Mesa Verde National Park and it is still an active area...
|they are built on the edge...|
|varying in size|
|only accessed with toe holds or ropes/ladders|
|life could be a step away from disaster|
During the tour of Cliff Palace, our Ranger implored us to get the perspective of the dwellings to really see what they were up against in their daily lives and to see how different Cliff is from the others.
|it sticks out like a sore thumb, due to its massive size|
not all sites or dwellings were cliff dwellings.
The majority of the archeological sites are on top of the mesas...
The greatest threat to the sites, now, are not humans,
but Mother Nature. The plateau and its mesas get more lightning strikes than any other place in the continental United States.
Fires are such a concern that archeologists have trained as firefighters, so that every crew that goes into Mesa Verde have a archeologist with them...
|regrowth after the 2002 fire|
Who knows what was destroyed before the first excavations began in 1910?
And finally, maybe the lightning was a factor is the abandoning of the area....
It makes you wonder,
and isn't that the point of it all?