A Mesa Verde Virtue

Why Are We Attracted to Mesa Verde?

After reading through many pages about the great national park in Southwestern Colorado, there was one theme that kept popping into my head.  It's a theme that will be great for you to teach to your kids when you go to the park or just something that you can take notice of yourself when you're wanderting through the amazing ruins.  The theme is:


Click Here for Picture and Video Credits

We are constantly reminded in the news or from others about how flawed the human race is.  However, to get a different side of our amazing species, just follow the story of Mesa Verde: it's peppered with reverence from the beginning to today.  

I list below some examples of just pure reverence that I have for human progression:

  1. Just like we have global trade today, the Ancient Puebloans (Anasazi) were trading 2,000 years ago with people from 1000s of miles away

  2. They valued aesthetics by creating vibrant, geometric pottery, baskets and they painted decorative motifs on their amazing cliff dwellings

  3.  They knew engineering by building in areas utilizing solar energy, constructing water reservoirs and establishing practical, defensive areas

  4.  Kivas (ceremonial areas) were built all over showing reverence to God or a higher power
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The Ancestral Puebloans Started with Baskets....
mesa verde ansazi pottery
....and progressed up to pottery....
mesa verde history lesson
....they understood solar energy...
mesa verde kivas
....and showed reverence to God with Kivas

It's also important to list the reverence that the descendants and inhabitants had/have for Mesa Verde:

  1. The Utes never settled in the dwellings feeling that the area was sacred

  2. Some of the early American visitors like Virginia McClurg and J. Walter Fewkes fought for over 20 years to make the park a national treasure in 1906

  3. The world declared it a global treasure by designating it as a World Heritage Site in 1978

  4. The U.S. Navy made a ship in honor of the park

  5. Visitors spend millions of dollars each year traveling, staying and viewing the park--a clear testament for the reverence people still have for this archeological wonder
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The Ute Indians Wouldn't Live in Mesa Verde Due to Reverence

mesa verde virginia mcclurg                 Mesa Verde J Walter Fewkes
Virginia McClurg and J. Walter Fewkes Revered the Site so Much they Spent Two Decades Making it Into a National Park
mesa verde ship
The U.S. Navy Named a Ship After the Park

Mesa Verde is the only national park devoted soley to archeology and with over 4,000 sites and constant scientific study, I'm sure it's going to reveal more virtues to us in the future.   In our world that "dishes us up" a fair amount of pessimism, it's nice to know that there are "gems" that humanity holds up in such high regard.

I would love to know your thoughts and observations about the park after you tour it.  Please comment below and if you have any great pictures, our Colorado communtiy would love to see them.  

Just click here and send me four of your best Mesa Verde pictures.  I'll make a slideshow out of them.

Thanks for your time!

P.S. Since you're in the area you might also like visiting:

More Colorado Attractions

The Four Corners Monument

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Video and Picture Credits Can Be Found At Wikimedia Commons







I want to credit PBS and the Denver Public Library for Virginia McClurg's Photo.

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