Greenwood Village: Fort or Sacred Site?

Informational sign in brown metal frame; title reads
A wayside exhibit with information about archeologists’ evolving understanding of this site.

NPS / Arrye Rosser

Quick Facts

Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

When Charles Whittlesey first described this site, he thought the earthen walls were used as protection, like the walls of a fort. This idea of a fort makes sense, with these earth walls, ringing around this high plateau with steep slopes below. Yet in 1983, archeologists discovered a stone ramp that led from within the earth walls to the surrounding plateau. And archeologists have found no evidence of dwellings within these walls, only a few briefly used fire hearths. Why build a fort if you were not going to live inside it? Archeologists now think these walls may have had a different purpose – more ceremonial. Ceremonial use would have no long term occupation within the walls. Perhaps the walls, now badly worn by plowing and time, did serve as a sort of protection – on the spiritual plane. What do you think?