Why You’d Enjoy a Summer Journey to Native American Ancient Sites

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A summer journey to the ancient Native American sites around the country will be an enriching experience for you. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the history of the United States. Since it’s estimated that Native Americans that the First Nations ancestor crossed the Bering Strait over 12,000 years ago. Native Americans are rich in history and helpful to understand their lives and contribute to the United States.







Pack your bag and enjoy a rewarding vacation this summer at one of these fantastic ancient sites.

“Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” —Native American

Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

Mesa Verde was the first national park designated with the express purpose of preserving “the works of man.” Here, the remnants of 6th-12th century Ancestral Pueblo, as exemplified by over 4,000 known archeological sites, including some of the most notable and well-preserved in the U.S. The park’s signature attractions are some 600 ancient dwellings carved into rock alcoves, stumbled upon by a pair of cowboys called it “Cliff Palace”—in the late 19th century.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (Ohio)

This park protects five different archaeological sites containing artifacts of the broadly defined Hopewell culture, chiefly earthworks and ancient mounds. The people who flourished in this area practiced an array of spiritual, political, and social customs. They are the elements this park preserves. Hence the construction of earthen-walled enclosures and mounds, with the former often appearing as squares, circles, and other geometrically precise shapes. A variety of archaeological figures have devoted their careers to find out more about the Hopewell culture.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Colorado)

This sprawling, landscape-scale monument in southwest Colorado contains thousands of known archaeological sites. That has yielded invaluable historical information on Ancestral parboiling (sometimes referred to as “Anasazi”) and other indigenous cultures. A nearby museum holds millions of items that chronicle the Ute and Navajo populations (the protected area has ancestral links to dozens of modern-day tribal nations). Within the monument, three original villages are open for visitors. They have interpretive signage, making it an essential destination for anyone with an abiding interest in Native American culture.

Aztec Ruins National Monument (New Mexico)

Aztec Ruins National Monument a national monument in 1923 and named a World Heritage site in 1987 (as part of Chaco Culture National Historical Park) for its well-preserved examples of Pueblo architecture. The same features still draw tourists from around the country. So why is it called “Aztec Ruins”? Early white explorers initially mistakenly identified the buildings on-site as traces of the Mexican Aztec culture instead of (even older) indigenous peoples. Despite this, the monument is an important place for Ancestral Puebloans, its ancient “great houses” and associated “kivas”—ceremonial chambers—serving testament to the legacy of its old inhabitants.

Artifacts discovered in ruins have included food remnants, clothing, tools, and jewelry, offering a glimpse of how Ancestral Puebloans used natural resources and traded with other peoples.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (New Mexico)

Surrounded by the Gila National Forest (and at the edge of the Gila Wilderness), this monument, protected by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, is named for its most striking feature—the ruins of interlinked cave dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by the Mogollon peoples who lived in the area in the late 13th- and early 14th century. While the monument covers comparatively little physical ground, it offers a wealth of things for visitors to do once they’ve finished exploring these rare traces of ancient Puebloan culture: activities in the broader area include hiking, bird-watching, camping, fishing, and horseback riding.

Discover the Native American Culture

Native American culture goes back thousands of years; to a time when these indigenous people lived in what is now known as North America.


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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at www.judykundert.com.You can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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