Ancestral Puebloans of Mesa Verde
About 1,400 years ago, long before Europeans explored North America, a group of people living in the Four Corners region chose Mesa Verde for their home. For more than 700 years they and their descendants lived and flourished here, eventually building elaborate stone communities in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Then, in the late A.D. 1200s, in the span of a generation or two, they left their homes and moved away. Mesa Verde National Park preserves a spectacular reminder of this ancient culture.
Use the following links to learn more about the Ancestral Puebloans of Mesa Verde. (To get the Free Adobe Reader, which is required to read the pdf file, click here.)
The National Park Service preserves historic places and stories of America's diverse cultural heritage. The newest online travel itinerary, Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures, takes you to more than 150 of these sites. Learn about the many diverse peoples who have played a role in American history, and the places that preserve and tell their stories. Use the itinerary to find maps, information, images, and essays from prominent historians; or to plan a visit.
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.