Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is home to remarkably well-preserved archaeological sites constructed more than 1200 years ago. The ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesa tops and in the cliffs beneath them. The Pueblo lived in the four corners region of the southwestern United States for more than 700 years. Towards the end of their time in the Mesa Verde area, during the 1100’s, the Pueblo began constructing elaborate cliff dwellings and villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls.
Mesa Verde National Park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. There are nearly 5,000 recorded archaeological sites within Mesa Verde, including 600 sandstone cliff dwellings such as the famous multi-story Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Square Tower House. Other sites feature preserved pit houses, towers and farming structures.
The Pueblo people began migrating away from the Mesa Verde in the 1200’s, eventually settling in New Mexico and Arizona. Mesa Verde National Park preserves and protects the rich cultural heritage of the Pueblo people and their former villages and dwellings.