Artifact Gallery -- Cradleboard
Cradleboards were similar to baby backpacks used today. The styles were flexible, protective, and decorative. Between A.D. 750 and A.D. 1100, cradleboards in Mesa Verde ceased to include soft padding, resulting in babies with the backs of their skulls flattened. This change was likely a result of evolving styles and cosmetic preferences, the flat skull being a preferred look, although another possible reason is that the solid board may have provided more support for babies’ fragile necks while their mothers were working.
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.