Stephen F. Austin State University

The Travel Blog of the history faculty and students of Stephen F. Austin State University.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mesa Verde National Park

We rolled into Mesa Verde after two dusty, hot, days out in Chaco and the students were VERY happy to be up out of the desert floor.  We arrived a little later than planned due to some unexpected car sickness - but they bounced back fast and we had plenty of time in the park.  After visiting the excellent displays at Far View we visited the guided Cliff Palace tour.  It was a great comparison with Chaco's religious design versus the Cliff Palace defensive / shelter goals.  Back in camp Dr. Bremer went over Ancestral Puebloan culture.  Dr. Dormady talked about the effects of environment on social structure by highlighting the comparative case of the Andes.  We also took some time to talk about the Columbian Exchange - the exchange of bilogical material between the Afro-Eurasian Complex and the Americas.  Plants were the main focus, and students were asked to watch for and journal about the effects of the exchange as the trip continued.

Students Dan and Jordan view the Mancos Valley from an overlook in Mesa Verde.

The Cliff Palace.

Student Kayla conquered her fear of heights and shimmied down the ladders to get to the Cliff Palace.

The group takes 5 after the tour of Cliff Palace.

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