• View of Cliff Dwellings from the Island Trail

    Walnut Canyon

    National Monument Arizona

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The high arid Colorado Plateau region of the American Southwest is world-renowned for its many well-preserved archeological resources. We may think first of excavations or arrowheads, but archeology involves a wide range of structures and objects - all the things used by past peoples in their daily lives. Archeologists study all these resources - from the smallest piece of pottery, to charcoal and food remains, to the rock and wood remains of large buildings - and the places where they are found, to learn more about the people who lived here and to connect their lives with ours. Through the findings of archeologists, people from times past can speak to us today.

What did people eat? Did they hunt wildlife? Gather plants and berries? Grow crops? Did they weave cloth? Trade with others? How long did they live? Were they healthy? Modern archeologists use both shovels and high tech tools to answer questions like these. Sometimes there are glimpses, through the artifacts left behind, of how a society functioned, or what its people believed.

It is up to all of us to preserve the archeological story. Each fragment, each stone structure is a unique piece of the past. Please leave them undisturbed.

Did You Know?

photo of Willa Cather

Willa Cather (1873-1947) is best known for her novels My Antonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop. She also wrote Song of the Lark, set at what is now Walnut Canyon National Monument.