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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Explore The World Of The Anasazi On Cedar Mesa

Shards in Grand Gulch - photo by Dave Webb
I've long been fascinated by the Anasazi culture (Ancient Pueblo peoples) and I often make treks to explore their ruins. The greater Cedar Mesa area and Grand Gulch in particular are favorite destinations. So I was naturally interested when the LA Times ran these two features:

Author David Kelly provides accurate and interesting information that provides a great overview for people interested in this area and its ancient culture. It is fun to see how he describes places and situations I've experienced.

The photo that illustrates this posted is one I took in Grand Gulch some years ago. I need to go back and see if all that stuff is still there. 

Below are excerpts from Kelly's narrative.

They are still watching - photo by Dave Webb
"When you go to the Smithsonian, you don't smash the glass and take what you want," Hadenfeldt said. "It's the same here. Treat it like an outdoor museum."

At a junction near the lush canyon floor, I noticed what looked like puzzle pieces in the sand. High on a ledge stood five cliff houses, with more below. A haunting face, pecked into stone, kept watch.

I had stumbled into a prehistoric Anasazi village with all the detritus of daily life — grinding stones, mortars, bone tools — scattered about. Granaries holding ancient corncobs were tucked tightly against rock ceilings. Red handprints covered the walls.

Those "puzzle pieces" were actually shattered pottery, probably 1,000 years old.

"These are places where people lived and died and left the remnants of their lives behind," he said. "Think how wonderful it would be if your grandchildren could come here some day and find everything as it was."

Yes, it is time to go back.

– Dave Webb


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