The Anasazi Heritage Center
The entryway at the Anasazi Heritage Center
The Anasazi Heritage Center is a place I wanted to get to for a long time. The displays inside are among the best in the world in regards to the Anasazi people, their way of life, what they left behind, and the archaeologists who have explored what has been found. I was not disappointed: I found even more than I expected.
The displays were excellent. The artifacts that were on display when I arrived are some that usually don't come out in public. Like almost any large museum, only about 10% of what they have is on display. But when I arrived, they had a large display of pottery that usually stays hidden because of its fragility. After 20 years in this area I've seen a fair bit of pottery, but this was looking at the 700-to-1200 year old sources of today's designs. Such a treat!
There was also another large room full of their regular displays: a pithouse with artifacts, tools, calendar explanations, more pottery, photos of excavations, charred remains of stuff... Even the entry lobby was full of displays. And the bookstore had a couple things I haven't seen anywhere else yet.
The Anasazi Heritage Center has also excavated, stabilized and preserved two pueblo ruins on site: the Dominguez and the Escalante. The Dominguez Pueblo was built for a typical family unit of 4 to 8 people. It's right in front of the Center (see the photo just below). 18 similar sites were found all around this hill with Escalante Pueblo at the top. I was here for several hours and took the walk to Escalante Pueblo, enjoying some great views of McPhee Reservoir along the way.
One of the surprises when I came here was the parking lot: it was full at mid-day. Half the folks were in large RV's towing vehicles. I really didn't expect to see so many people here at the end of September.
Dominguez Pueblo, in front of the Anasazi Heritage Center
A pithouse display
Sleeping Ute Mountain to the south
Anasazi Heritage Center area map
McPhee Reservoir - Montezuma County - Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Trails of the Ancients Scenic and Historic Byway - San Juan Skyway
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument - Hovenweep National Monument
Yucca House National Monument
National Park Service Sites - BLM Sites - National Wilderness Areas - Unique Natural Features
Outdoor Sports & Recreation - Ski & Snowboard Areas - Photo Galleries - Colorado Mountains