In December of 2002, my wife and I visited Sedona for a long weekend. We heard about a Sinagua ruin complex south of the town which had recently been opened to the public, and decided to check it out. It is worth the long drive on dirt roads to see it.
In addition to an interesting cluster of cliff dwellings, there is an alcove containing rock art which is believed to span over 6000 years. For more information on Palatki, please visit the Coconino National Forest Palatki site.
Click here to see my photos of Palatki.
In July of 2007, my daughters and I took a driving trip to Colorado, and stopped to camp at Navajo National Monument. within the boundaries of the monument are three lrge cliff dwellings, attributed to the Kayenta Anasazi. The most accessible one is Betatakin (a Navajo word meaning "ledge house"), and the others are caled Kiet Siel and Inscription House.
As acessible as it is, you still need to take a 4-hour round trip hike to get to Betatakin. Our guide was excellent, and the site looked just as it had when I visited it 20 years earlier.
Click here to see my photos of Betatakin.
In November of 2003, my Mom and I made the drive out to Chaco Canyon in Northwestern New Mexico. It was amazing! We only had time to see Pueblo Bonito and Pueblo Alto, so I hope to go back again.
Chaco is unmatched in the Southwest. The large pueblos in the canyon represent a unique architectural style, and were at the center of a large regional system. 270 miles of perfectly straight roads connect the canyon with outlying Chaco-stype pueblo communities in the area. I heartily suggest a visit to the National Park Service site for a general overview, and for more in-depth analysis, please visit this virtual conference from The University of Colorado: Evaluating Models of Chaco.
Click here to see my photos of Chaco.
In August of 2006, my wife and I took a cruise to the Caribbean. One of our stops took us to a lowland Mayan ceremonial center: Chacchoben.
The Mexican government has excavated, stabilized, and reconstructed three large temples and opened the center to tourism. There is litle information on the site (only one published work regarding the excavations exists, and it is written in spanish). Wikipedia has a brief entry on Chachoben, and I plan to pull together some information and create a more in-depth report soon.
Click here to see my photos of Chacchoben.