HOME
The Info List - Cliff Palace





Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The structure built by the Ancestral Puebloans
Ancestral Puebloans
is located in Mesa Verde National Park in their former homeland region. The cliff and biff dwelling and park are in the southwestern corner of Colorado, in the Southwestern United States.

Contents

1 History 2 Description

2.1 Square Tower

3 References 4 Bibliography 5 External links

History[edit] Tree-ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous approximately from 1190 CE through 1260 CE, although the major portion of the building was done within a 20-year time span. The Ancestral Pueblo that constructed this cliff dwelling and the others like it at Mesa Verde were driven to these defensible positions by "increasing competition amidst changing climatic conditions".[1] Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
was abandoned by 1300, and while debate remains as to the causes of this, some believe that a series of megadroughts interrupting food production systems is the main cause. Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
was rediscovered in 1888 by Richard Wetherill
Richard Wetherill
and Charlie Mason while out looking for stray cattle.[2][3][4] Description[edit] Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
was constructed primarily out of sandstone, mortar and wooden beams. The sandstone was shaped using harder stones, and a mortar of soil, water and ash was used to hold everything together. "Chinking" stones were placed within the mortar to fill gaps and provide stability. Many of the walls were decorated with colored earthen plasters, which were the first to erode over time.[citation needed] Many visitors wonder about the relatively small size of the doorways at Cliff Palace; the explanation being that at the time the average man was under 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m), while the average woman was closer to 5 feet (1.5 m).[citation needed] Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
contains 23 kivas (round sunken rooms of ceremonial importance) and 150 rooms and had a population of approximately 100 people. One kiva, in the center of the ruin, is at a point where the entire structure is partitioned by a series of walls with no doorways or other access portals. The walls of this kiva were plastered with one color on one side and a different color on the opposing side.[5] "It is thought that Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
was a social, administrative site with high ceremonial usage."[6] Archaeologists believe that Cliff Palace contained more clans than the surrounding Mesa Verde communities. This belief stems from the higher ratio of rooms to kivas. Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
has a room-to-kiva ratio of 9 to 1. The average room-to-kiva ratio for a Mesa Verde community is 12 to 1.[1] This ratio of kivas to rooms may suggest that Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
might have been the center of a large polity that included surrounding small communities.[1]

Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
dwellings

13th-century mural in the Square Tower, Cliff Palace

Round tower, Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
in 1941. Photograph by Ansel Adams.

Square Tower[edit] A large square tower is to the right and almost reaches the cave "roof". It was in ruins by the 1800s. The National Park Service carefully restored it to its approximate height and stature, making it one of the most memorable buildings in Cliff Palace. It is the tallest structure at Mesa Verde standing at 26 feet (7.9 m) tall, with four levels. Slightly differently colored materials were used to show that it was a restoration.[7][8] References[edit]

^ a b c Archaeology
Archaeology
of Native North America, 2010, Dean R. Snow, Prentice-Hall, New York. p. 128. ^ Turney, Chris (2008). Ice, Mud & Blood: Lessons of Climates Past. ^ People, NPS.gov, Accessed November 11, 2010. ^ Cliff Palace, NPS.gov, Accessed March 20, 2012. ^ Cliff Palace, NPS.gov, Accessed November 11, 2010. ^ Cliff Palace, NPS.gov, Accessed March 14, 2011. ^ Preservation, NPS.gov, Accessed November 11, 2010. ^ Square Tower House Description, CyArk.org, Accessed March 20, 2012.

Bibliography[edit]

North America portal

Chapen, Frederick H. The Land of the Cliff-Dwellers. Appalachian Mountain Club, W. B. Clarke and Co., Boston, 1892. Reprinted by the University of Arizona Press, with notes and forward by Robert H. Lister, 1988. ISBN 0-8165-1052-0. Noble, David Grant. "Ancient Ruins of the Southwest", pp. 36–43. Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, Arizona 1995. ISBN 0-87358-530-5. Oppelt, Norman T. "Guide to Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest", pp. 159–161. Pruett Publishing, Boulder, Colorado, 1989. ISBN 0-87108-783-9. Turney, Chris. "Ice, Mud & Blood: Lessons of Climates Past", 2008 Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Website

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cliff Palace.

National Park Service: official Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
website National Park Service: Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
website map showing location of Cliff Palace

v t e

Pre-Columbian North America

Periods Lithic Archaic Formative Classic Post-Classic

Archaeological cultures

Adena Alachua Ancient Beringian Ancient Pueblo (Anasazi) Baytown Belle Glade Buttermilk Creek Complex Caborn-Welborn Calf Creek Caloosahatchee Clovis Coles Creek Comondú Deptford Folsom Fort Ancient Fort Walton Fremont Glacial Kame Glades Hohokam Hopewell

List of Hopewell sites

La Jolla Las Palmas Leon-Jefferson Mississippian

List of Mississippian sites

Mogollon Monongahela Old Cordilleran Oneota Paleo-Arctic Paleo-Indians Patayan Plano Plaquemine Poverty Point Red Ocher Santa Rosa-Swift Creek St. Johns Steed-Kisker Tchefuncte Tocobaga Troyville

Archaeological sites

Angel Mounds Anzick Clovis burial Bandelier National Monument Blue Spring Shelter The Bluff Point Stoneworks Cahokia Candelaria Cave Casa Grande Chaco Canyon Coso Rock Art District Crystal River Archaeological State Park Cuarenta Casas Cueva de la Olla Eaker El Fin del Mundo El Vallecito Effigy Mounds National Monument Etowah Indian Mounds Eva Folsom Site Fort Ancient Fort Center Fort Juelson Four Mounds Site Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Glenwood Grimes Point Holly Bluff Site Hopewell Culture National Historical Park Huápoca Kimball Village Kincaid Mounds Kolomoki Mounds L'Anse aux Meadows Marksville Marmes Rockshelter Meadowcroft Rockshelter Mesa Verde Moaning Cavern Moorehead Circle Morrison Mounds Moundville Mummy Cave Nodena Site Ocmulgee National Monument Old Stone Fort Orwell Site Paquime Parkin Park Pinson Mounds Portsmouth Earthworks Poverty Point Pueblo Bonito Recapture Canyon Rock Eagle Rock Hawk Russell Cave National Monument Salmon Ruins Serpent Mound Sierra de San Francisco Spiro Mounds SunWatch Taos Pueblo Toltec Mounds Town Creek Indian Mound Turkey River Mounds Upward Sun River site West Oak Forest Earthlodge Winterville Wupatki National Monument

Human remains

Anzick-1 Arlington Springs Man Buhl Woman Kennewick Man La Brea Woman Leanderthal Lady Minnesota Woman Spirit Cave mummy

Miscellaneous

Aridoamerica Black drink Ceremonial pipe Chunkey Clovis point Container Revolution Eastern Agricultural Complex Eden point Effigy mound Falcon dancer Folsom point Green Corn Ceremony Horned Serpent Kiva Medicine wheel Metallurgy Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic writing Mound Builders N.A.G.P.R.A. Norse colonization of North America Oasisamerica Piasa Southeastern Ceremonial Complex Stickball Three Sisters agriculture Thunderbird Underwater panther Water glyphs

Related Genetic history Portal
Portal
of Indigenous peoples of North America Pre-Columbian era

v t e

Cliff dwellings

United States

Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Arizona Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Colorado Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Nevada Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in New Mexico Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Texas Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Utah

Mexico

Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Chihuahua Ancestral Puebloan dwellings in Sonora Cuarenta Casas Huápoca

Africa

Bandiagara Escarpment

Asia

Ellora Caves Petra

Coordinates: 37°10′00″N 108°28′22″W / 37.16667°N 108.47278°W / 37.16667

.