This past April 1999, Beth and I, along with our friends John Gilliat and Barbara Stagg, hiked the canyons and escarpments of Southeast Utah. We found some incredible rock art and habitation sites. These were the ancient sites inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo (AP), formally know as the Anasazi. There are many web sites and books that will give you the history of the AP, so I will not go into details here. But, basically these Native Americans thrived in this area until 1250 when they abandoned their homes and by 1300 they were gone. The reason for their abandonment remains a mystery. Evidence from tree rings shows a severe drought hit the area during this time, but there had been droughts before. As we hiked and found one habitation site after another, we couldn't help but continue to ask the question - what happened? Maybe one day archeologists will find an answer. But until then, we will just have to guess.
This brings up an important point about this area. Many of these sites are on BLM land and even though it is against the law to take home artifacts, it would be very easy to pocket a piece of pottery or two. This is exactly what people used to do. Now we try and treat the sites as an outdoor museum. That is we can enjoy the sites, look at them, walk carefully through them and take pictures. Any artifacts we found were enjoyed, photographed and left in place.
Some of the sites we visited are well known and just off the highway, some are tucked back in a canyon and require map reading skills and strenuous hiking to find. Part of the excitement is the work and adventure involved in finding a site. We had an incredible time.
I have placed from 3-10 small pictures on each page. The pages are roughly in the chronological order of our trip. As you go from page to page, click on any small pictures to see a larger version and use your "back" button to return. Most of the detail is lost in the small pictures, especially the small pictures of the rock art. So definitely view the larger pictures to see the detail. On with the show.
Want to find out more about the Anasazi, then click on the link below.