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prehistoric archaeology

Ancestral Puebloans of the Four Corners Region

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 14:21, last changed on 09/08/2016 - 17:25
Formerly labeled Anasazi, the Ancestral Puebloan culture is the most widely known of the ancient cultures of Colorado. The people who built the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the great houses of Chaco Canyon were subsistence farmers of corn, beans, and squash. The ruins of this culture date to...

Apishapa Phase

Added by yongli on 08/20/2015 - 16:22, last changed on 03/17/2017 - 13:04
The Apishapa phase is the name given to distinctive archaeological sites found primarily in southeastern Colorado that Native Americans occupied between AD 1050 and 1450. The Apishapa phase is related to both contemporaneous and more recent archaeological sites located in the Texas and Oklahoma...

Chaco Canyon

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 13:02, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
In the eleventh century, Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico was the center of a Native American cultural region about the size of the state of Indiana. It encompassed most of southwestern Colorado, from Chimney Rock National Monument on the east to Far View House at Mesa Verde National Park...

Dent Site

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 15:35, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 09:28
Early colonists occupied Colorado’s rich and ecologically diverse landscapes in the waning millennia of our planet’s most recent major Ice Age, the Pleistocene, between 14,000 and 12,000 years. Our best-documented evidence for Colorado’s earliest hunter and gatherer inhabitants, people we call...

Earth Lodge

Added by yongli on 06/23/2016 - 16:33, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
An earth lodge is a distinctive type of timber-frame house built from the early 1400s to the late 1800s by a dozen different Plains Indian tribes. These massive circular structures, often encompassing 1,500 square feet or more, featured four large support posts arranged around a central fireplace...

Far View Sites

Added by yongli on 06/23/2016 - 10:50, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 10:58
The Far View group at Mesa Verde National Park consists of more than twenty sites, five of which have been excavated. Far View House began as an eleventh-century Great House and part of the region centered on Chaco Canyon . Many of the surrounding sites in the Far View Group were first built in the...

Fluted Points

Added by yongli on 12/29/2015 - 12:38, last changed on 09/09/2016 - 10:58
Fluted projectile points represent the earliest North American stone tool technology, although they comprise a small portion of the overall stone technology observed in the New World. These easily recognized spear points represent one form of technology used by the earliest human inhabitants of...

Folsom People

Added by yongli on 06/22/2016 - 14:59, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
Folsom groups, also called Folsom peoples or Folsom culture, occupied all of Colorado between about 13,000 and 12,000 years ago. They were not the first people in these areas, although they might have been the first in some newly unglaciated portions of the high Rockies. Nevertheless, Folsom...

Franktown Cave

Added by yongli on 06/22/2016 - 13:17, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
Located two and a half miles southwest of Franktown, Franktown Cave is a prehistoric archaeological site in a large rockshelter that contained artifacts from prehistoric occupations over 8,000 years. Some of the findings include rare perishable artifacts manufactured from hide, wood and fiber, and...

Fremont Culture

Added by yongli on 05/03/2016 - 15:31, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 07:39
Although it is on the eastern fringe of the area occupied by a people known to archaeology as the Fremont, Colorado is nevertheless important in the Fremont story, since clues to their origins and end are found there. Additionally, the presence of Fremont farmers had a profound influence on the...

Great House

Added by yongli on 06/23/2016 - 11:22, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
“Great House” refers to a class of ancient Ancestral Puebloan structures from the ninth through thirteenth century. Great Houses were monumental, geometrically formal constructions, with thick stone masonry walls made with careful craftsmanship. While inspired by the regional center in Chaco Canyon...

Kivas

Added by yongli on 03/04/2016 - 10:39, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 07:48
Kivas were architecturally unique rooms or structures built by Ancestral Puebloans in southwest Colorado that served important ceremonial and social functions. Architecturally, they are recognized in the archaeological record in southwestern Colorado as far back as AD 500, although there are...

Mantle's Cave

Added by yongli on 11/16/2015 - 11:17, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 09:46
Mantle’s Cave is the most important Fremont period archaeological site excavated in northwestern Colorado. Artifacts recovered from the cave were instrumental in defining the Fremont culture. Because the cave is dry, artifacts that are not usually seen at archaeological sites were preserved and...

Paleo-Indian Period

Added by yongli on 05/02/2016 - 14:08, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The Paleo-Indian period is the era from the end of the Pleistocene (the last Ice Age) to about 9,000 years ago (7000 BC), during which the first people migrated to North and South America. This period is seen through a glass darkly: Paleo-Indian sites are few and scattered, and the material from...

Plains Woodland

Added by yongli on 02/25/2016 - 14:13, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 06:43
The Plains Woodland period covers approximately a thousand years of Colorado prehistory across a large portion of the state. Plains Woodland describes the groups of people occupying much of the western plains from present-day Nebraska and Kansas, west of the Missouri River, to the eastern plains of...

Sopris Phase

Added by yongli on 11/03/2015 - 10:35, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 11:30
Archaeologists use the term Sopris phase to refer to unique Native American sites found only on the Purgatoire River west of Trinidad, Colorado, and on the upper tributaries of the Canadian River west of Raton and Cimarron, New Mexico (Fig. 1). Sopris people were the only indigenous farmers who...

The Gateway Tradition

Added by yongli on 11/13/2015 - 09:32, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 07:46
The Gateway tradition refers to a set of archaeological sites within western Montrose and San Miguel Counties, Colorado, that appear similar to Pueblo II –period (AD 900–1150) sites to the south in the core homeland of the Ancestral Puebloans (Figs. 1 and 2). The sites in Montrose and San Miguel...

Tipi

Added by yongli on 12/28/2015 - 11:20, last changed on 12/01/2016 - 08:29
The tipi, or tepee, is an iconic form of Native American housing. It has a long history of use throughout Colorado and the western plains of North America. Sturdy and secure yet portable, the hide-covered tipi has been an ideal shelter for millennia among mobile human groups. The term comes from...

Upper Republican and Itskari Cultures

Added by yongli on 10/22/2015 - 15:03, last changed on 09/10/2016 - 21:06
Upper Republican is a name archaeologists use for a prehistoric cultural group that occupied the upper Republican River area in northeast Colorado, western Nebraska, northern Kansas, and southeast Wyoming from AD 1100–1300. As a phase of a larger cultural tradition, the Central Plains tradition,...

Yucca House National Monument

Added by yongli on 05/02/2016 - 15:29, last changed on 03/16/2017 - 09:14
Yucca House National Monument was established to protect and preserve a large Ancestral Pueblo village south of Cortez in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Yucca House is an important Ancestral Pueblo village based on its size, unique configurations, and prominent, highly visible location in the...
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