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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Location of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
► Montezuma County (61) ► Dolores County (7) ► La Plata County (29) ► San Juan County (0) ► Apache County, Arizona (46) ► San Juan County, New Mexico (20) ► San Juan County, Utah (45)
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|The rocks that house Mesa Verde's cliff dwellings have their own stories to tell.
During the late Cretasceous period (about 90 million years ago) much of North America, including southwest Colorado and the present Rocky . . . — — Map (db m71530)|
|There are about 600 alcove sites in Mesa Verde National Park. About 90 percent contain fewer than 11 rooms. At least one-third are simply one room structures, probably storage rooms for a nearby cliff dwelling. There are only about a dozen cliff . . . — — Map (db m153353) HM|
|Imagine this mesa top in A.D. 1150 with fields of corn, beans, and squash; supplemented with wild plants such as amaranth, tubers, and sunflowers. Children could be seen watering corn with clay water jars (ollas), and young men could be seen cutting . . . — — Map (db m71901) HM|
Though the large alcove below is filled with Puebloan construction, there is no evidence of any habitation. The central pit – too large for domestic cook fires – held layer upon layer of ashes. Fire Temple’s size . . . — — Map (db m72559) HM|
|The cliff dwelling across the canyon is named for Mary Tileston Hemenway who funded the first scientific archaeological expedition in the southwest. At the time cultural objects were often removed for souvenirs or profit. Hemenway's support provided . . . — — Map (db m153346) HM|
The Ancestral Puebloans may have worked hard to survive here, but their lives were adorned with beauty and creativity. Intricately woven baskets, ornately decorated
pottery, and colorfully plastered interiors speak of . . . — — Map (db m153344) HM|
|A traveler in 1892 described a trail on the ridge before you as the Crinkly Edge Trail. In 1911, just five years after the park was established, the trail became the Knife Edge Road, a new section of the main park road. Although scenic, the road was . . . — — Map (db m153342) HM|
|The town of Mancos, in the valley before you, historically served as the "Gateway to Mesa Verde."
As word spread of the Wetherills' "discoveries," tourists flocked to the area. The Rio Grande Southern Railroad, serving Durano, Mancos, and . . . — — Map (db m71529) HM|
|Montezuma Valley (below you) and Mesa Verde (where you now stand) were once part of the Ancestral Pueblo homeland. Between 600 and 1280 CE*, hundreds of villages and farming communities thrived on the mesas, plateaus, and canyons that form this . . . — — Map (db m153343) HM|
|As you travel about Mesa Verde look for seep springs — ready sources of fresh water for the Ancestral Puebloans.
Where is the Water?
Moisture, in the form of rainfall or snowmelt, percolates through porous sandstone layers until it . . . — — Map (db m71531)|
|Although silent today, Cliff Palace is a reflective reminder of a people who settled
among these cliffs, canyons, and mesa tops for a time, and then migrated to establish
new communities and neighborhoods further south. Here, for 700 years, they . . . — — Map (db m153355) HM|
|You are standing in the middle of what once was a medium-sized pueblo village and one of the last mesa top pueblos built on Mesa Verde. The tower and kiva, protected today by the shelter, were central to the community and were surrounded by at least . . . — — Map (db m153349) HM|
|The move to the alcoves began around 1200 CE and by mid-century, there were more than 30 cliff dwellings in the Cliff and Fewkes Canyon neighborhood. Several are visible from here. Imagine these canyons filled with the sights and sounds of a . . . — — Map (db m153352) HM|
|Children born in one of these cliff dwellings in 1225 CE experienced many changes in
their lifetime. Over the course of roughly 75 years, they and their families witnessed the migration from mesa top villages into alcove communities; a significant . . . — — Map (db m153350) HM|