This abandoned settlement, east of Mesa Verde, predates the larger sets of ruins by 300-500 years. The settlement was built by people known these days only as “Ancient Puebloans”. They are regarded as the ancestors of those who built Mesa Verde and of the modern Zuni, Keresan and Tewa peoples, of New Mexico.
Here are some scenes of the area, taken during a guided tour, on August 1. All tours begin and end HERE.
Then, visitors pile into their vehicles and follow the guide, up the road. Scenes like this may be had, from the upper parking lot, near the first ruins.
Here is an example of an unexcavated house site.
It was pretty hazy on that day, but one could get a sense of the ruggedness of this area.
Here’s a semi-excavated site. ^ Below, is a marker, used by the ancients, for astronomical positioning.
Here is one of the granite formations near the first set of dwellings.
Now, we are at the major set of structures, including the kivas and larger dwellings.
This limestone bench made for a good resting place, for some of the disabled members of our tour group.
This alcove, on the south side of the Great House, was intended to provide support for the structure.
Here are some shots of the Grand Kiva, the major ceremonial site in the complex.
These granite formations are among those which give Chimney Rock its name.
Once I had finished here, one more goal remained on this spiritual journey: Wetherill Mesa.
That was quite a hike up to the Grand Kiva. It was one of my favorite sites that we visited this past May. Seeing your photos has been like “reliving” parts of our trip
It was actually a surprise stop for me, and well-worth it.
Whenever I hear the story of those cliff dwellings, I’m amazed at the toughness and skill of the people who built them. We tried to go to Mesa Verde seveveral years ago, but it was on fire!! We went to Arches NP, instead.
I wonder if there will be a time in the future when we will be able to look from a mountain top and NOT have that haze get in the way of our view. I have very few photos from mountains that are clear in the distance.
I had better luck, on an earlier trip to Mesa Verde, with my son, in May, 2011.
The archaeological sites of that area are as fascinating as the scenery is beautiful! Great shots of the Kiva, and of Chimney Rock itself.
That is one of the great things about the mountain ruins; all is breathtaking.
This is such an awe inspired view. So much history and culture here. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
More will follow, tomorrow. I was going to post about Wetherill Mesa, but will wait until tomorrow for that. Too many fun music videos to post on Facebook. 🙂