Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Today, we went by Honda to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. A very slow drive on switch back roads.

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We had lunch at the trail head then went off to the cliff dwellings.

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The Mogollon

The people who built the cliff dwellings were part of the Mogollon culture. They combined hunting and gathering with faming and traditionally built pit houses or surface pueblos in the mountainous areas of Arizona and New Mexico. The Mogollon found abundant game and fertile soil in the Gila River Valley for both native vegetation and their crops of corn, beans and squash. Breaking with tradition, the Tularosa Mogollon built inside the caves of Cliff Dweller Canyon with rock, mortar and timbers from trees cut between 1276 and 1287. But by 1300 the Gila Cliff Dwellers had moved on.

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Approximately 40 rooms were built inside several natural caves in Cliff Dweller Canyon. Artifacts and architectural elements show that these ancient cultures traded not only materials but ideas. The Gila Cliff Dwellers left behind macaw feathers from Central America, and the built T-shaped doorways also used by other cultures.

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We did see some small wildlife:

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And some large trees on the trail

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More Photos:

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! That looks like an awesome place to go.

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