Southwest American Indian Ruins
Picture Tour

Gila Cliff Dwellings (page 5 of 5)

Exterior view of a cliff dwelling. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

Entrance to a Cliff Dwelling
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico

Access to these 700+ year old cliff dwellings is via rustic stairs and ladders put out by the National Park Service.  Hardly accessible to the disabled, but certainly less treacherous than the original means of access via ladders and tiny footholds in the rock.  The human effort involved in building the rock, mortar, and mud plastered rooms must have been incredible.  Archaeologists maintain the Mogollon Indian builders used relatively primitive tools and no pack animals.  Getting all the raw construction materials up into the caves from below would have been quite a task under those circumstances.  Photograph taken in 1991 by Howard J. Partridge.
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