Visiting With The Ancients

We spent a week or so on the Colorado Plateau in Utah. Apart from the obvious landscapes of Arches NP, Canyonlands NP (both Island in the Sky and Needles) we have had the opportunity to visit several sites of the Ancients.

Anasazi, Ancient Pueblo Ruins, Colorado Plateau

Five Kiva House Cliff Dwelling

We find these absolutely fascinating, whether Petroglyphs or Ancient Pueblo Ruins, our imaginations run riot to envision these little, ancient folk, and their inhabitation and use of these structures. We try and rationalize why the locations were selected for these structures.

In order to visit the sites of these ruins we have also enjoyed the hikes up washes, over slick rock and to the top of mesas. Fortunately this area of the Colorado Plateau has an abundance of sites to visit, unfortunately we have only had a week or so to do everything (including some fantastic high clearance vehicle (HCV), 4WD park roads – the raison d’être for Snowflake – who has performed perfectly).

The Petroglyphs have been dated by the experts based on the style of the images portrayed, some of which are as old as 6,000 years BC (yes not a typing error!). The “Newspaper Rock” Petroglyphs are probably the most famous, but it was our first time to visit them. They are incredible and some are quite different from anything else we have seen over the years.

Ancient Anasazi Communications (Petroglyphs)

Petroglyphs made by the ancient Pueblo Dwellers.

The series just outside of Moab, UT cover a considerable length of the face of the mesa. Some were obviously damaged and removed as part of the road construction, but many survive at about 10 – 20 feet off of the ground. The explanation is that the Ancients bored into the rock and erected a form of scaffolding in order to reach that height. Very ingenious!

Ancient Anasazi Communications (Petroglyphs)

Unusual Petroglyphs of many of the ancients holding hands

Ancient Anasazi Communications (Petroglyphs)

Sticking Anasazi Petroglyph of large beast being captured at front and back

We also visited the sites of ancient pueblo granaries. There are many scattered over the Colorado Plateau whereas there are fewer dwellings, indicating that the Ancients were nomadic and created stores of food in the granaries marking their routes.

Anasazi, Ancient Pueblo Ruins, Colorado Plateau

Granary at Five Kiva House Cliff Dwelling

Then we finally hiked Mule Canyon to revisit one of my favorite Ancient Pueblo Ruins – the “House On Fire” ruin. I hope you enjoy finding these locations and perhaps share them with us.

"House on Fire" Ancient Pueblo Dwelling

“House on Fire” Ancient Pueblo Dwelling

The images are all in black and white as I feel this is the best way to give them a sense of history.

Gear: Nikon D800, Nikkor 80mm-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VRIII, Lexar Digital Film

This entry was posted in History, National Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Visiting With The Ancients

  1. Mary Davis says:

    The “house on fire” is an inspiration. To think it is 6000 years old is comforting and underlines the power of human creativity.
    Love you guys
    Mary xo

  2. Fred Schwering says:

    The pictures really bring the story home.

  3. Pingback: Visiting with the Ancients – a recent blog from our “” | Richard King's PhotoBlog

  4. Sandy Noden says:

    I need to add this to my bucket list of places to visit!

  5. David J. Rowe says:

    Great photos!…B&W works … 🙂
    Mother and I extend our “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year wishes!”
    Thank you very much for your updates.
    Happy trails!!
    David & Bobbie(Margaret)

  6. Bruce KAY says:

    Great story – excellent photos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.