I Was Here

I Was Here

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The imprint of a small hand, perhaps a child's, above an ancient dwelling.

Metate and Mano

Metate and Mano

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Metate (mortar) and mano (grinding stone) in an ancient puebloan dwelling, used to make maize (corn) flour.

Inner Passage

Inner Passage

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An outer wall shields these dwelling, accessible only through a narrow opening (seen at the bottom of the wall on the lower right). This is believed to be the home of religious priests, and was built up in a variety of styles in the course of centuries.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain

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Sharpening marks on sandstone, found near an archaic ceremonial site, suggesting they may be thousands of years old.

Adobe Granary

Adobe Granary

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A granary tucked in a narrow alcove high above a deep canyon.

Ceiling Above Ceiling

Ceiling Above Ceiling

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Alcove patterns above an old puebloan ruin's thatched roof.

Food Supply

Food Supply

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Large granaries used by Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) to store maize.

Decorated Dwelling

Decorated Dwelling

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The painted wall of a dwelling believed to have been used by priests conducting ceremonies in a nearby kiva.

Grinding Stone

Grinding Stone

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Metates and manos in ancient alcove dwelling.

Hunting Lodge

Hunting Lodge

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A shallow alcove under a giant boulder, decorated with hunting-related pictographs dating back to archaic times (thousands of years old).

Kitchen Counter

Kitchen Counter

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A shallow alcove under a giant boulder, decorated with hunting-related pictographs dating back to archaic times (thousands of years old).

Fremont Cyclops

Fremont Cyclops

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Anthropomorphic pictograph in the Fremont culture style.

Tightrope Walker

Tightrope Walker

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Anthropomorphic petroglyph at an ancient ceremonial site.

Curiosity

Curiosity

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Leopard lizard watching me cautiously as I photograph a bighorn sheep petroglyph.

Kiva Ghosts

Kiva Ghosts

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A kiva is an underground ceremonial chamber used by puebloan cultures (what some refer to as Anasazi, although the term—meaning, “Enemy People” in the Navajo language—is inaccurate).

Mementos

Mementos

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Bits and pieces of an ancient household.

Medicine Bowl

Medicine Bowl

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Pestle and mortar in an ancient puebloan dwelling. The small size indicates it was used to grind something in small portions, rather than major food ingredients.

Lost Point

Lost Point

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A small arrow point exposed by wind after having been lost in the sand for hundreds of years. The point likely is already covered in new sand, and may never be found again.

Some Things Never Change

Some Things Never Change

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It's easy to romanticize ancient cultures as being more peaceful and in tune with the natural world. But, they were as human as any of us, and as prone to tribalism and violence as we are.

Ancient Fingerprints

Ancient Fingerprints

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The fingerprints of ancient people preserved in mortar.

Watchful Birds

Watchful Birds

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The remains of an ancient desert dwelling. Among the rock art are depictions of large winged creatures believed to be mythical thunderbirds.

The Ties that Bind

The Ties that Bind

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Knots holding together the frame of an ancient dwelling’s window.

Walls within Walls

Walls within Walls

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A low wall marks a provate living space in an enormous alcove where several such places line the walls.