The Condition Assessment Project at Mesa Verde National Park began in 1996. To date, 230 of the recorded 600 cliff dwellings have been assessed. Under this program, standing walls in the alcoves are assessed for damage from such effects as water, fire, structural instability, and rodents. Recommendations are then made that will help reduce or reverse those adverse effects.
Types of Threats to Standing Architecture
If these types of problems are found, then recommendations are made for additional documentation and/or stabilization treatments which will help to preserve the archeological integrity of the sites. Often the most severe water runoff problems can be reduced by installing a bead of silicone caulk along the cliff face which directs water away from archeological features.
Did You Know?
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.