Friday, March 25, 2005

A Report on Escalante Ruins

I am slowly but surely working my way through the reports on all the sites we visited on our little journey through the Southwest. Today I want to report on both the Dominguez and Escalante Ruins that are associated with the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colorado.

The Dominguez Ruins are small and unimpressive, but curious in that the ruins are circular and look a little bit like a snail in terms of their floorplan. It was said in the literature given out at the museum that a large cache of artifacts were found in the excavation of the Dominguez ruin.

The Escalante ruin, on the other hand, was impressive in terms of architecture. It sits atop a prominent hill that looks out to both the East and the West. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes to climb to the top on the paved path (30 minutes with a 2-year-old), but the view and the ruins are well worth the climb. The most impressive structure is the reconstructed kiva that is about 12 feet deep and dominates the central portion of the site. The rest of the rooms are situated around the kiva and are in various stages of excavation/reconstruction. I would imagine that a group of 20 to 30 people could have inhabited the structure at its apogee. Along with the Dominguez ruin about 1/4 mile down the hill, the total population of the village was probably around 50.

They aren't the most impressive ruins in the area, but they are accessible and interesting and worth a short visit.


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