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Showing posts from July, 2020

Encountering Pueblo Dwellings in Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument

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When you think of ruins, what comes to your mind? Maybe the flattened apartment blocks of Roman Pompeii, a once-glistening palace for a Moorish caliph, or the spindly skeleton of a Lisbon church.

For many Americans, our imaginations often turn to history-rich Europe, where the remains of empires, wars, and natural disasters are easy to see. But that’s a shame, because we can find reminders of the past in our own backyards.


Sure, they may not be on the same scale as Mexico’s monumental pyramids in Teotihuacán or Chichén Itzá, but the cliff dwellings and villages built by Ancestral Puebloans make the Southwestern U.S. the best place in the country to encounter places that were inhabited almost a thousand years ago.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde and New Mexico’s Chaco Culture are some of the biggest marks the ancestors of today’s Puebloan peoples left on the Southwest, but they’re either in the isolated Four Corners region, off long dirt roads, or both. Wupatki National Monument, by contrast, ma…