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La Mesa Verde, CO – Visit to the Spruce Tree House

22 Apr

The first archeological site that we chose to visit was the Spruce Tree House. Just to give you an idea of the scope of the Mesa Verde archeological sites, this house represents about 1% of what is left to visit. We would be staying about 2 weeks.

The Spruce Tree house site was constructed between A.D. 1200 and 1276. It was inhabited by the Anasazi people. The Ranger told us that it is thought that it has been home for about 100 people.

The Spruce Tree House in the background

Sabrina and Philippe at the departure of the trail leading to the Spruce Tree House

The tan cliffs are composed of sandstone. This porous rock allows rain, snow and running water to slowly seep down through it. Beneath this sandstone is a layer of shale through which the moisture cannot penetrate. As a result the water reaches the shale, flows between the two layers and emerges in the form of a spring.

The Spruce Tree house

The Spruce Tree house

Sabrina and Philippe with the Spruce Tree House in the background

Sabrina and Philippe with the Spruce Tree House in the background

My wonderful family!

My wonderful family!

A little furry friend from La Mesa Verde!

A little furry friend from La Mesa Verde!

The pictures below will provide you with an overview of the rooms and kivas. A kiva was a ceremonial chamber. This pueblo was built into a natural cave measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth.

The picture below is the first courtyard of this village. The low wall in front sets the area apart from the refuse dump which underlies the surface on which you are standing.

Mesa Verde - Cliff Palace 037

Mesa Verde - Cliff Palace 038

Mesa Verde - Cliff Palace 040

In the picture below you can notice the original wooden supports of a balcony.

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Entrance to the rooms was gained through the rectangular T-shaped doorways.

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A kiva is still used by Pueblo people who are the descendants of the Anasazi. In modern Pueblos as well as in the past a kiva is used as a ceremonial chamber to ensure favorable growing weather, curing illness, successful hunts and harvests and so on. When no ceremonies are taking place, the kiva is used as a work area and as a social gathering place.

A Kiva

A Kiva

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Mesa Verde - Cliff Palace 049

My husband looking up through the ventilation of a Kiva

Philippe going down a Kiva

Philippe going down a Kiva

Here Philippe and Sabrina are trying the mano (a hand stone) to grind corn, nuts, berries and roots on a metate which is a large flat stone. As they ground the food, the soft sandstone grit was also mixed with the food. I am sure that my dentist Dr. Gile will not be impressed of this abrasive mixture that ground down the teeth!

Sabrina and Philippe trying to grind corn using a Mano and a Metate

Sabrina and Philippe trying to grind corn using a Mano and a Metate

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Philippe inside a Kiva

Philippe inside a Kiva

The Anasazi then migrated to the South during the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Today the descendants of these people – the Hopi and others Pueblo dwellers – live in northern New Mexico and Arizona. Utes, Navajos and Apaches now occupy much of their domain.

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In the picture below if you look closely you will be able to see a white print of an hand.

Look at the print of an hand just below the bottom left hand side corner of the window!

Look at the print of an hand just below the bottom left hand side corner of the window!

Sabrina against a Mountain Mahogany bush

Sabrina against a Mountain Mahogany bush

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

3 responses to “La Mesa Verde, CO – Visit to the Spruce Tree House

  1. Terry Wilson

    April 27, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Amazing. We have similar buildings in Mali West Africa.

    Sadly they are been destroyed at the moment. Thats Africa. Love to the family Terry

    Best regards,

    Terry Wilson Construction Manager

    GR Engineering Services Ltd Ghana

    t.v.wilson@me.com Cell No GHANA 0261710195 Cell SA 0727785008 SA Landline +27317764767

     
  2. drmwilson

    April 27, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Hello Terry,
    Great to hear from you! Buy a truck and a fifth wheel and come and join us – wish you were here.
    Love to all,
    Muriel

     
  3. Jeremy Hargis

    April 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Great pictures! I remember visiting there as a kid – it was such a fascinating place. We sure miss you all and can’t wait to see more pictures – not that you take very many 😉

     

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