By A.D. 1300 nearly everyone had left Mesa Verde, and in fact the entire Four Corners area that had been the center of Ancestral Puebloan culture. They departed for a number of possible reasons. A long-term drought at the end of the 1200s had been documented. Without water, crops would shrivel and people would be thirsty. Essential resources such as fertile soils, wood, and wildlife might have been exhausted after centuries of harvest and use. Warfare, disease, and internal disputes have also been offered as explanations. . . . but people did not “vanish.” By all evidence, they went south to the Hopi villages in northern Arizona, to Zuni, Acoma, Laguna, and the pueblos along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. To some of them, Cliff Palace remains a special place.” Rose Houk, Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde Museum Association (Mesa Verde National Park, n.d.), p. 15.

Photo Pat Jette

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4 Responses to

  1. Barbara Estinson says:

    This is interesting, Sandy. I was at Mesa Verda long, long ago …. I had forgotten the historical aspects, but the cliff dwellings are clear in my memory. I thought they were amazing.

  2. Barbara Estinson says:

    Oops, typo … Mesa Verde, not Mesa Verda.

  3. Jesse says:

    Man the photos are extra incredible this year! Loving the bald eagle header too! Eagle week!

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