Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Ancient Ones

I have long been interested in the American Southwest and one cannot visit there and not hear about the many, many ruins of former homes, villages and trading centers of the people who were here a thousand years before Columbus, or the Vikings, or the Irish or whomever actually got here from Europe, first. I even spent some time, quite some years ago, on a "dig" in Cortez, Colorado. I was lucky enough to uncover sherds of pottery that were a thousand, or so, years old. It was quite a thrill for me to hold in my hand parts of a pot of some kind made 1000 years earlier and perhaps the last time it was touched was that long ago, too.

For years we have heard these ancient people referred to as Anasazi, but this is a Navajo word meaning, loosely, ancient enemy, a pejorative and the descendants of the often cliff dwelling people do not like it. There is still some discussion about exactly what they should be called, but, for now, Puebloan people seems to be favored.

I would guess that the most famous relic of this noble past is Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado, but there are many, many others.

This past summer I had the chance to revisit Manitou Springs, a well restored and kept cliff dwelling site.

In keeping with my "don;t write about Vietnam during the holidays" policy, here are a few pics from this awe inspiring site.

These multistory building were filled with rooms and storage facilities and were easy to defend.

The cliff dwellers lived primarily in the four corners area of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, not in the Manitou Springs area, so in the early 1900's this cliff dwelling was dismantled, stone by stone and brought to the area and completely reassembled, on site,  as a museum.

Here, you can see some of the internal rooms and the view as it might have been seen by the ancient Puebloans.

So, next time on the 29th, we will pick up again with the previously promised site from Florida and to those who celebrate Christmas, on this eve of the day, I wish you the best. Take just a moment today to remember all the men and women in Uniform who cannot be home with their loved ones including all those who are first responders who are on duty today, too.

To see other sites from anywhere in the country, click on the state name on the left side of this page.

No comments:

Post a Comment