|Hovenweep National Monument|
|Location||Montezuma County, Colorado & San Juan County, Utah, USA|
|Nearest city||Bluff, Utah, Blanding, Utah|
|Area||784 acres (317 ha)|
|Created||March 2, 1923|
|Governing body||U.S. National Park Service|
|Website||Hovenweep National Monument|
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain. Shallow tributaries run through the wide and deep canyons into the San Juan River.
Although Hovenweep National Monument is largely known for the six groups of Ancestral Puebloan villages, there is evidence of occupation by hunter-gatherers from 8,000 to 6,000 B.C. until about AD 200. Later, a succession of early puebloan cultures settled in the area and remained until the 14th century.
Hovenweep became a National Monument in 1923 and is administered by the National Park Service. In July 2014, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Hovenweep an International Dark Sky Park.
Evidence from the area indicates that there were Paleo-Indians and people of the Archaic period.During the transitional period from a traditional hunter-gatherer society to pueblo people, there were several distinct cultural changes:
Late Basketmaker II Era AD 50 to 500
Basketmaker III Era 500 to 750
Pueblo I Era 750 to 900
Pueblo II Era – 900–1150
Pueblo III Era – 1150–1350
Six clusters of pueblo buildings
Migration from Hovenweep
In 1854, William D. Huntington, on a missionary trip to the southwestern United States for Brigham Young, discovered the ruins of the present Hovenweep National Monument. The ruins were already known to the Ute and Navajo guides who considered them haunted and urged Huntington to stay away.
The name Hovenweep, which means "deserted valley" in the Ute language, was adopted by pioneer photographer William Henry Jackson and William Henry Holmes in 1878. The name is apt as a description of the area's desolate canyons and barren mesas as well as the ruins of ancient communities.
Concerned about the vandalism at the prehistoric ruins of the San Juan watershed in the Four Corner states, in 1903 T. Mitchell Pruden surveyed the ruins in those states and reported the following regarding the Hovenweep area:
Few of the mounds have escaped the hands of the destroyer. Cattlemen, ranchmen, rural picnickers, and professional collectors have turned the ground well over and have taken out much pottery, breaking more, and strewing the ground with many crumbling bones.
In 1917–18, ethnologist J. Walter Fewkes of the Smithsonian Institution included descriptions of the ruins in published archaeological survey reports, and recommended the structures be protected.Little archaeological excavation was done on sites until the 1970s.
President Warren G. Harding proclaimed Hovenweep a National Monument on March 2, 1923,which is administered by the National Park Service. On October 15, 1966 the National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to the ruins, located in the Hovenweep National Monument are:
Other neighboring Ancient Pueblo sites in Colorado
Other cultures in the Four Corners region
Early American cultures
Mesa Verde National Park is an American national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The park protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States.
The Pecos Classification is a chronological division of all known Ancestral Puebloans into periods based on changes in architecture, art, pottery, and cultural remains. The original classification dates back to consensus reached at a 1927 archæological conference held in Pecos, New Mexico, which was organized by the United States archaeologist Alfred V. Kidder.
Yucca House National Monument is a United States National Monument located in Montezuma County, Colorado between the towns of Towaoc and Cortez, Colorado. Yucca House is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site.
Hawkins Preserve is a 122-acre (0.49 km2) property within the city limits of Cortez, Colorado. It is protected by a conservation easement held by the Montezuma Land Conservancy.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a national monument protecting an archaeologically-significant landscape located in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Colorado. The monument's 176,056 acres (71,247 ha) are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as directed in the Presidential proclamation which created the site on June 9, 2000. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is part of the National Landscape Conservation System, better known as the National Conservation Lands. This system comprises 32 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management to conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values. Canyons of the Ancients encompasses and surrounds three of the four separate sections of Hovenweep National Monument, which is administered by the National Park Service. The monument was proclaimed in order to preserve the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the United States, primarily Ancestral Puebloan ruins. As of 2005, over 6,000 individual archeological sites had been identified within the monument.
The Trail of the Ancients is a National Scenic Byway located in the states of Colorado and Utah. The route highlights the archaeological and cultural history of southwestern Native American peoples, and traverses the widely diverse geological landscape of the Four Corners region of the Colorado Plateau. It was the first National Scenic Byway that was designated solely for its archaeological sites. The entire route is approximately 480 miles (772.5 km) long.
The Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum , located in Dolores, Colorado, is an archaeological museum of Native American pueblo and hunter-gatherer cultures. Two 12th-century archaeological sites, the Escalante and Dominguez Pueblos, at the center were once home to Ancient Pueblo peoples. The museum's permanent and special exhibits display some of the 3 million mostly Ancestral Puebloan artifacts curated at the facility. The center also houses a public research library, educational resources and a museum shop. Wheelchair-accessible facilities include a picnic area and an interpreted nature and cultural trail.
Hundreds of Ancestral Puebloan dwellings are found across the American Southwest. With almost all constructed well before 1492 CE, these Puebloan towns and villages are located throughout the geography of the Southwest.
The Ansel Hall Ruin, also known as Cahone Ruin, is located in Cahone, Dolores County, Colorado. A pre-historic ruins from the Pueblo II period, the Northern San Juan pueblo was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
The Pueblo I Period was the first period in which Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblo structures and realized an evolution in architecture, artistic expression, and water conservation.
The Pueblo II Period was the second pueblo period of the Ancestral Puebloans of the Four Corners region of the American southwest. During this period people lived in dwellings made of stone and mortar, enjoyed communal activities in kivas, built towers and water conversing dams, and implemented milling bins for processing maize. Communities with low-yield farms traded pottery with other settlements for maize.
The Pueblo III Period was the third period, also called the "Great Pueblo period" when Ancestral Puebloans lived in large cliff-dwelling, multi-storied pueblo, or cliff-side talus house communities. By the end of the period, the ancient people of the Four Corners region migrated south into larger, centralized pueblos in central and southern Arizona and New Mexico.
The Pueblo IV Period was the fourth period of ancient pueblo life in the American Southwest. At the end of prior Pueblo III Period, Ancestral Puebloans living in the Colorado and Utah regions abandoned their settlements and migrated south to the Pecos River and Rio Grande valleys. As a result, pueblos in those areas saw a significant increase in total population.
The Basketmaker III Era also called the "Modified Basketmaker" period, was the third period in which Ancient Pueblo People were cultivating food, began making pottery and living in more sophisticated clusters of pit-house dwellings. Hunting was easier with the adoption of the bow and arrow.
The Late Basketmaker II Era was a cultural period of Ancient Pueblo People when people began living in pit-houses, raised maize and squash, and were proficient basket makers and weavers. They also hunted game and gathered wild foods, such as pinyon nuts.
The Early Basketmaker II Era was the first Post-Archaic cultural period of Ancient Pueblo People. The era began with the cultivation of maize in the northern American southwest, although there was not a dependence upon agriculture until about 500 BC. It is preceded by the Archaic-Early Basketmaker Era, and is followed by the Late Basketmaker II Era.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the prehistoric people of Colorado, which covers the period of when Native Americans lived in Colorado prior to contact with the Domínguez–Escalante expedition in 1776. People's lifestyles included nomadic hunter-gatherering, semi-permanent village dwelling, and residing in pueblos.
The Mesa Verde Region is a portion of the Colorado Plateau in the United States that extends through parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. It is bounded by the San Juan River to the south, the Piedra River to the east, the San Juan Mountains to the north and the Colorado River to the west.
The Ancestral Puebloans were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. The Ancestral Puebloans are believed to have developed, at least in part, from the Oshara Tradition, who developed from the Picosa culture.