Tuesday, April 13 in Colorado
Manitou Cliff Dwellings of the Anasazi
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Abandoned 700 years ago, opened to the public 100 years ago, folks are free to walk in, explore, climb, and imagine.

Click on the images for larger versions, click back to return

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The back side of the dwellings
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Stones for building were picked up in the area and shaped if needed to the desired size.  The stones were laid in neat, even courses with thick layers of mortar.  Small stones were forced into the mortar to compact it to the joint.  Walls were straight, corners sharp.  Upper stories used wood floors.
Funeral Home
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The interpretive notes say this is an "alter like" stone, mortar bench, and built-in water basin, which may have been used in preparations for burial.  Burials were outside in the ground except in the winter.  If the ground was frozon, bodies were buried in the trash piles at the back of the caves.

People prepared the body for burial by folding the legs up against the chest and wrapping them to the body with cotton cloth or yucca matting.  Personal possessions such as tools, food bowls, and jewelry were placed with the body for the journey to the afterworld.

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Look for the square storage bin with a small square hole at the top, a larger hole in the front.  Thin stone slabs closed the holes to keep out animals, and the inside was lined with corn shucks for dryness.
Reconstructed "horno" (bread baking oven) --a fire burns for hours inside, then loaves of bread are cooked in the hot ashes.
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Pictographs and Petrographs
This 3-story tower housed three families.  The floors collapsed with the outer corner.  The third floor has pictographs, paintings on rock. The small picture is a close up of the pictograph.
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Petroglyph (carved stone)  - bear track in upper right, 4-legged animal in the lower left
Chief Speaker Dwelling
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Bren climbed in through a back door to take a pic looking up
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Tommy gives some perspective to the size of the structures and their windows and doors.
This dwelling was likely one of the last built, just before the drought that made the Anasazi leave their homes about 1300 AD.  The casements around the doors and windows represent a new technique.  The rooms are larger, as are the windows, and was likely occupied by the Chief Speaker.
Balcony Dwelling
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This two-story, four-family structure is one of the most perfectly preserved of all the homes in the Southwest
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The inside walls of the balcony home are plastered
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I wish we'd have spent more time here both in the dwellings and the museum.  We thought we were coming back later in the day but got too tired after going through a cave. 
Manitou Cliff Dwellings Website
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The Mexican restaurant where we stopped for lunch didn't charge extra for this view of Pikes Peak.  We're going there tomorrow.

On to the Pikes Peak pictures (page 3)

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April, 2004