Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Years of Change
By the end of the 13th century, these canyons were quiet again-filled with remnants of once thriving communities and a host of unanswered questions
[Sidebar, top right]
The Ancestral Pueblo people lived in this area for centuries. Archaeologists don't fully understand what prompted the final migration in the late 1200s. Many believe drought, resource depletion, and social conflicts may have played a role.
Why do you think the Ancestral Pueblo people left?
"From a Pueblo perspective, it was their time to go. They did what they were supposed to. The ancient ones knew that in order for them to survive and sustain, they needed to leave."
— TJ Atsye, Laguna Pueblo
"The explanation in our migration story is that they had this desire to go south. They settled in different regions, always with the urge to go farther south"
— Peter Pino, Zia Puebla
Timeline: CE=Common Era
550 CE — Semi-nomadic • 550 CE — Pithouses • 750 CE — Single-story villages • 1100 CE — Multi-story villages • 1200 CE — Cliff dwellings and late mesa top villages • 1300 CE — Migration
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° 9.751′ N, 108° 28.505′ W. Marker is in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, in Montezuma County. Marker is on Mesa Top Loop (State Highway 10), on the right when traveling north. Marker is accessible via the Sun Point View overlook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mesa Verde National Park CO 81330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Years of Activity (here, next to this marker); Split-Level History (within shouting distance of this marker); Cliff Dwelling Life (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ties that Bind (approx. 0.2 miles away); Time of Transition (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oak Tree House (approx. ¼ mile away); Fire Temple (approx. ¼ mile away); House of Many Windows (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mesa Verde National Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.