Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Here is a section of Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The structure built by the Ancestral Puebloans is located in Mesa Verde National Park in their former homeland region.
The cliff dwelling and park are in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Cliff Palace contains 23 kivas (round sunken rooms of ceremonial importance), and 150 rooms and had a population of about 100 people. 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.
Tree ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous from around 1190 through 1260, although the major portion of the building was done within a twenty-year time span.


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About Catherine Sherman
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