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  2. 20+ Free Mesa Verde National Park & Mesa Verde Images - Pixabay
  3. 7 Four Corners Gems Surrounding Mesa Verde National Park
  4. Park History

Created in , it preserves the sites and materials of the prehistoric Puebloan people. The park's rich archaeological history was played out amid some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the West.


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The greater story of the evolution of the park encompasses the Ute people, Theodore Roosevelt, novelist Willa Cather, and other personalities. These remarkable vintage photographs tell that saga, which is as fascinating as that of the Puebloans. Read more Read less. Amazon Global Store International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.

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Manufacturer warranty may not apply but you may have other rights under law. These sites had been plundered by "pothunters" who vandalized the ruins and sold off the antiquities piece by piece. Fortunately, Richard Wetherill had an amateur interest in archaeology. The brothers gathered artifacts as carefully as they could, hoping to sell their discoveries to museums.

Seeking greater protection of the ruins, they asked the government to make Mesa Verde a national park. Their request was denied. News of the Wetherills' discoveries at Mesa Verde attracted an unusual visitor: Gustaf Nordenskiold , a Swedish aristocrat with an interest in archaeology.

When the Wetherills showed Nordenskiold the ruins, "his enthusiasm," one of the brothers remembered, "increased almost beyond his control. The Swede taught the brothers how to excavate using more scientific methods.

20+ Free Mesa Verde National Park & Mesa Verde Images - Pixabay

He saved items that no other archaeologist of the time would have kept: ash from fire pits, trash from the floors, even dried pieces of excrement that might help determine what the ancient Puebloans had been eating so long ago. Nordenskiold's attempt to ship his artifacts back to Sweden sparked a controversy. When his pack animals, loaded down with items including a mummified corpse, reached the Durango railway station, he was accused of looting Mesa Verde and arrested.

But the charges were dropped when it was established that he could not have broken any law, since no law existed to protect antiquities at the time.

7 Four Corners Gems Surrounding Mesa Verde National Park

Nordenskiold took his shipment home to Scandinavia, where he published the first scientific study of the cliff dwellers. The controversy brought worldwide attention to the ruins, and to the fact that the treasures of the Mesa Verde were completely unprotected. Virginia McClurg , a well-known writer, poet, and lecturer, took up the cause of protecting Mesa Verde's treasures. Photo courtesy of Mesa Verde Country.

10 Things to Do in Mesa Verde National Park

Experience the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited this enchanting landscape for more than 10, years. While climbing one of the several foot ladders at Cliff Palace on a hot day, you'll realize why ancient people spent years in what is now Mesa Verde National Park. About 1, years ago, ancestral Puebloans also known as Anasazi built more than dwellings into the gorgeous sandstone cliffs that serve as nature's air conditioning in the heat of the summer.

Mesa Verde Cliff Dwelling Tour

Tour these dwellings to catch a glimpse into our nation's ancient history. Purchase your tickets for these tours in person at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center up to two days in advance.


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  • Native American home/cliff dwelling - Picture of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado - TripAdvisor;
  • The visitor center is home to exhibits, restrooms, park information and the park's museum collection of more than 3 million objects. And touring the cliff dwellings puts us in touch with our past, the ancient ones. They are our own pyramids. Mesa Verde National Park www. Here are the top 7 things to do in Mesa Verde country.

    Park History

    There's more to do beyond the main attraction of touring ancient cliff ruins. Take a hike, gaze from a fire tower or have dinner with a view. Twelve miles from Mesa Verde, this national monument often falls off travelers' radar screens, making it a fantastic place to discover solitude and ancient history.

    Download the official map to find your way around Mesa Verde National Park in Southwest Colorado including park roads, trails, visitor centers, and ruin attractions.