Cliff Palace is 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 Montezuma County, in the southwestern corner of Colorado, in the Southwestern United States. Tree-ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous approximately from 1190 through 1260, although the major portion of the building was done within a 20-year time span. The Ancestral Puebloans who constructed this cliff dwelling and the others like it at Mesa Verde were driven to these defensible positions by increasing competition amidst changing climatic conditions. Cliff Palace was abandoned by 1300, and while debate remains as to the causes of this, some believe that a series of megadroughts interrupting food production systems is the main cause.
I do not typically have people in my landscape photos, but thought that their inclusion in this photo puts the scale of this dwelling in real perspective!
May 24th, 2021
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