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Virgin River Anasazi and surroundings

"Take a left before the cinder cone.  Continue down the road (which turned out to be a dirt trail).  When you see a big piece of equipment, get off the 'road and follow the trail'."  Those were Stacey's instructions on how to find the site being run by the archaeologist we had gone to meet.

When I finally got there, the crew was in back country working the site.  It turned out to be a great little complex of pithouses.  Stacey's worked with the archaeologist on numerous Virgin (River) sites. 

The beauty of the setting is the fact that it sits on the edge of Basin and Range, the natural corridor for the Desert Cochise culture, the ancestors of the Anasazi/Hopi, and Utes.  The cliff, 1100 feet above the floor, is also the first step of the Grand Staircase.  From the air, this is a magnificent structure starting at this place and marching all the way to the Rockies in Colorado.

I couldn't resist sitting on the very edge, watching hawks picking up the thermals soaring effortlessly through the clear sky.  As I sat there, it was so easy to imagine herds of prehistoric animals filing along the edge, taking the path of least resistance...and of course, "man" following along after them in a natural prey-predator dance, atlatl in hand. 

anasazi site.JPG (55429 bytes) Anasazi pit houses being worked by the University of Southern Utah crew.  Private property. Basin and Range meets Grand Staircase.JPG (38318 bytes)

1100 cliff..the first step of the Grand Staircase and the natural corridor followed by both herds and man.

Basin and Steve.JPG (46447 bytes) basin cliff.JPG (55900 bytes)
basin nw.JPG (53359 bytes) Basin sw.JPG (43795 bytes) Basin west.JPG (39516 bytes)  Looking west toward the Sierra Nevadas chocolate cliffs.JPG (52746 bytes)   Chocolate Cliffs
 
Map of Arizona.jpg (55174 bytes)

Map of Arizona

 

The rez.jpg (39886 bytes)

Map of the reservations and Four Corners 

 

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