That’s Cool – Mesa Verde National Park

That's Cool with Joe Murgo

Located in Southwestern Colorado is collection of signs of early civilizations that were in on our country. Ancestral Puebloans stopped their nomad way of life and settled into the region for more than six centuries. You can learn and see where they lived at Mesa Verde National Park.

The best thing to do is to stop at the visitor center which is located at the edge of the park. There you can get information about what is in the park. It is also suggested you download the audio tour and listen as you start into the park and this will take you through the history of the Ancient Puebloans.

The first stop will be at the Pithouse. It was the earliest signs of the people that settled here. They came around 600 A.D. built homes and started to farm in this area. An area that once supported corn and other crops, but not is too arid and harsh to farm. A sign as to why these people eventually left the region.

Through the decades and centuries, the simple pithouses were then expanded into multi-room houses that became enjoined for families to live near each other. All while still being able to farm in the immediate area.

After the turn of the millennium, some of the Ancsetral Puebloans started to build dwellings into the caves found along the massive cliffs through the region. These dwellings were 50-80 room plus buildings.

There are many theories as to why these people moved down into the side of these cliffs. Likely it was a combination of many things. There were some springs that exited through these caves, so it was a source of water. Also, the climate was shifting in the area. The more arid climate was causing harsher summers and winters and the caves sheltered citizens to both. Also, the ability to grow crops was more confined to the river valleys below where some water collected.

Around 1300 AD, the Ancestral Puebloans vacated the region. There were some rumors that something wiped out the population, but it now is believed the people just moved on. The climate was just too rough for day to day life and the people moved south to areas that were closer to water supplies.

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