oh the places you'll go

Mesa Verde National Park – Home of the Anasazi People

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906.

The Ancestral Pueblo people lived here for 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE.  There are over 5,000 archeological sites here, including 600 cliff dwellings.

These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.This park is located in southwestern Colorado , in “Four Corners” country.  This area is where Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona meet.

There are many canyons here and the ancient Anasazi people fled to the Mesa Verde area to seek safety from their enemies.  They were cliff dwellers and farmers of corn, beans and squash.  This well preserved culture is worth the trip.  

While driving the Mesa Top Loop Road, have your camera ready.  The panaramic views are undeniable!

Make sure you take time to investigate the Anasazi ruins, especially the Spiritual Center.

These people were very progressive thinkers and our cultures today can learn a great deal about their beliefs and philosophies.

Mesa Verde map

There is a new visitors cenre since 2012 for your convenience.  The building itself is worth seeing.   It is located at the park entrance.  Included at the centre is an archives and museum collection with over 3 million objects found in the area.Mesa Verde Visitors Centre

Anasazi Religion

The Grandmother, creator of all life, would summoned the Anasazi people from the underworld through a portal, or sipapu.  The people were to come to the earth’s surface and find the best location to build their pueblo or village.  This place must be balanced and harmonic.

Anasazi ceremonial center

Earth’s resources such as earth, fire, rain and sun must work together to bring a prosperous life to its people.  The importance of direction and village orientation, and its relationship to  the seasons, would yield a healthy spirituality.

The Anasazi chose village sites near water for their crops of corn, beans, and squash.  The earth needed to be tillable.  Game must be abundant as well as wild fruits and vegetables just in case of drought.  Timbers must be close at hand to create fire.  Safety was #1 so it was all about location, location, location.

The Anasazi were great builders.  They were a migratory people, always looking for balance, harmony, and safety.  Mesa Verde was one location that they believed to be almost perfect.  Thousands of people lived in this area for a very long time.

Anasazi were cliff dwellers

Anasazi Kiva

Imagine a ceremonial center like our present day churches, only a tower build from adobe (mud and plants).  It was in the center of the village.  Inside this tower was a hole leading down to a chamber where many important meetings were held and many important decisions were made.  This was the sacred Kiva.  Collaboration was something that this culture believed in and they practised it all the time.

Kiva of Anasazi

BeachBabyBob and Sue visit a Anasazi Kiva