Sunday, 12 May 2019

New Mexico National Parks: Ancestral Pueblo History, Unique Geology.

New Mexico National Parks: Ancestral Pueblo History, Unique Geology.

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves the remains of an Ancestral Pueblo (formerly Anasazi) village on the terraces of the Animas River. The site was called Aztec because early settlers believed that the Aztecs had built it, but it was actually constructed several hundred years before the Aztec civilization's time.
Built and used between 1100 and 1300 CE, Aztec Ruins includes several Pueblo Great Houses, the largest containing 400 masonry rooms. Several rooms still contain the original beams of pine, spruce, and aspen extracted from the distant mountains. Those beams are sufficiently intact and are used to peg the chronology of the occupation using dendrochonology (tree rings). 
Each great house has a great kiva, a large circular subterranean chamber used for ceremonies, and room blocks built around an open plaza. Three unique above-ground kivas encircled by three concentric walls can be found at Aztec Ruins. The Ancestral Puebloan people also built roads, earthen berms, and platforms, as well as irrigation ditches to sustain an agriculture based on the "three sisters" of corn, beans, and squash. 
At an elevation between 5,630–5,820 feet above sea level, the environment of the ruins is a diverse habitat of grasslands, piñon pine, and juniper trees, supporting a wide variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

Bandelier National Monument

Cave Dwellings in New Mexico

Bandelier National Monument, located near Los Alamos, was named after anthropologist Adolph Bandelier, who was taken to the ruins by Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo in 1880. Montoya told Bandelier that these were the home of his ancestors, and archaeological research supports Cochiti oral history.  
The park is set at the southern end of the Pajarito Plateau, a region formed by volcanic eruptions about 1.5 million years ago. Several rivers cut narrow canyons into the plateau, which eventually empty into the Rio Grande River. Between 1150–1550 CE, the Ancestral Pueblo people built homes in the canyon walls carved out of the volcanic tuff, as well as masonry houses along the rivers and on the top of the mesas.
Bandelier contains the Bandelier Wilderness, a protected area of diverse habitats, including piñon-juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine savannas, mixed conifer forests, desert grasslands, montane meadows, and riparian areas in the canyon bottoms.

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument, in the northeastern part of the state, near Capulin, is dedicated to the preservation of the geological landscape created by a 60,000-year-old volcanic eruption. Capulin is the Mexican-Spanish name for chokecherry trees, a common sight at the park. 
Capulin contains the cinder cone and crater lake of the now-extinct volcano, lava flows, tuff rings, domes and part of the immense andesite shield volcano called Sierra Grande. The volcano is part of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field, the eastern most Cenozoic-era volcanic field in the United States. The field is presently dormant, with no activity in the past 30,000-40,000 years. 
The location of a volcanic field in the interior of a continental plate rather than at its edges has been attributed to the Rio Grande rift, an elongated valley of rifting that extends from Colorado to central Mexico. The park combines the great plains and forests of the Rocky Mountains, harboring 73 species of birds, as well as mule deer, elk, black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.
Share This
Previous Post
Next Post

Pellentesque vitae lectus in mauris sollicitudin ornare sit amet eget ligula. Donec pharetra, arcu eu consectetur semper, est nulla sodales risus, vel efficitur orci justo quis tellus. Phasellus sit amet est pharetra

0 comments: