Warm Wordless Wednesday


11 responses to “Warm Wordless Wednesday

  1. Wowo what is this place? it looks like houses carved in stone.

    • It is houses, a whole town worth seen from the far side of a valley. (They aren’t carved, though – they’re built of blocks of stone.)

      I took this picture in Mesa Verde Park in Colorado – back in the 1200’s, the local people moved from the tops of the mesas (flat-topped hills, very common in the US southwest) into towns and villages built in large open caves in the cliffs.

  2. Extraordinary … and presumably a good idea so long as the overhang is sound!

    • There are (abandoned) towns like this all over that area, and they’ve been there for eight hundred years, more or less. It seems pretty stable. The real problem was getting in and out – the people who lived there must have been athletic, because what they did was clamber up and down the cliffs using shallow niches cut into the rock.* I can’t imagine how the small children and old people managed – I guess they had to stay home all the time.

      *Just think of being halfway up a cliff cutting those hand-or-footholds for a new route, with nothing to hold on to. Oh, and you don’t have metal tools – you’re cutting stone with stone. Somehow.

  3. Haven’t been there for ages. I do love cliff dwellings.


  4. It seems very extreme. Does anyone know why they did it?

    • Not exactly – we know they lived up on top of the mesas for a long time before they moved to the cliffs. There are (at least) two theories for why they went to all this trouble – either it was to make the towns hard to attack, or else the population was growing so much they needed all the flat land to farm. (And I guess they could have done it for both reasons.)

      But nobody really knows, and nobody knows for sure why they moved away.

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