Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Palace built in the cliff in America

With its massive size, Cliff Palace located in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado (USA) is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.

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In 1888, two ranchers in Colorado (USA) were searching for lost cattle, accidentally discovered a giant construction below a cliff. This special stone structure has 4 floors, called Cliff Palace, located in Mesa Verde National Park, the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. Photo: YinYang.

As the park's largest and most spectacular structure, Cliff Palace has also been named North America's largest cliff dwelling. The structure was built by the ancient Pueblo people (the ancestors of the indigenous people of the American Southwest). They started building houses in the cliffs around the mid-1100s. Photo: Judson McCranie.
Of the nearly 600 cliff houses in Mesa Verde, 75% have only 1-5 rooms. Therefore, Cliff Palace becomes more special and outstanding. With its large size, the building has 150 rooms, 23 kivas, and was the residence of more than 100 inhabitants in the 13th century. Archaeologists believe that Cliff Palace is a cultural, social, administrative, and organizational site. The rituals were organized regularly here. Photo: Andreas F. Borchert.
The Pueblo people built this structure from hand-hewn stone blocks. The structure consists of sandstone, wooden beams, and a homemade mortar from soil, water and ash. Besides, small pieces of stone called "chinking" are mixed in the mortar to increase the stability of the walls. Photo: The Good The Bad and the RV.
The rooms are usually about 1.8 x 2.4 m wide, which is the living space of families. On the surface of many of the walls, the Pueblo people decorated with plaster layers of many colors: pink, brown, red, yellow, and drawings. In addition, smaller rooms are used to store plants, circular rooms called kiva are used for ceremonies and gatherings. Photo: The Good The Bad and the RV.
A landmark in Mesa Verde National Park, visitors can join a ranger-guided tour of Cliff Palace and learn more about the architecture, engineering, and ingenuity of Pueblo ancestors in building houses. Photo: Grant Ordelheide.
From the late 13th century, after the Pueblo people left the Mesa Verde area, to the 1880s, the original Cliff Palace structure was subjected to water, wind, freeze-thaw cycles, and animals. Photo: Utah.
Then, with the "discovery" of this site, the degradation process became even more rapidly due to human activities. Tours and commercial exploration used tools ranging from shovels to dynamite to attempt to unearth artifacts, leaving the Cliff Palace's form and texture severely damaged. Photo: Sankar Raman.

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