Bandelier National Monument
On October 29th we finally made it to Bandelier National Monument. It was a really nice day and I'm glad we got to go before it gets too cold. I've always want to see the homes of the Ancestral Pueblo people since I was a kid obsessed with all things Native American and finally my dreams were fulfilled :) These people lived in Frijoles Canyon. The canyon wall rock is volcanic ash called tuff. It has eroded into a Swiss cheese look. The Ancestoral Pueblo used tools to enlarge the natural holes in the cliff and made dwellings out of them, which you can see today.
They also made a village below the cliffs and here is a depiction of what they think the Tyuonyi Pueblo looked like in the 1400's by Louis S. Glanzman.
Outside of the village is the Kiva where all the spiritual and community ceremonies took place. There was plastered mud ceiling that you could walk on and a ladder where you climbed down.
The rooms were small, but particularly these ones because they kept their turkeys and food storage on the first floor.
You can see the holes in the side of the cliff and the village down below.
We took the stroller knowing that there are some very narrow stairs. It wasn't terrible, mostly because Albert was carrying the stroller while I helped the boys down, but I would recommend if you do bring a stroller make it an umbrella stroller and make the older kid walk.
There were some old dwellings that had ladders you could climb up so you could check it out. The ceilings were smoked black which would harden the tuff.
In 1920 they reconstructed a home to give an idea of how it may have looked back in the 1400's, but they've discovered that it wasn't completely accurate. The door was most likely on the roof not the front of the structure.
There were some ancient drawings on the wall. I was suprised to read that these people on average lived until they were 35 years old. Life was so different then. You didn't have time to worry about fulfilling your dreams or figuring out what your life mission was. Strange to imagine a place where the oldest people were 35.
This dwelling was pretty spacious and we had the whole family up there.