Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Mysteries of Mesa Verde and Creation of the Antiquities Act

In December of 1882, two Colorado cowboys were tracking a lost cow when they stumbled on a breathtaking sight: an ancient village built into the side of a towering sandstone cliff. The cowboys and their family quickly went from ranchers to self-taught archaeologists. Their obsession with the Ancestral Puebloan ruins sparked a chain of events that led both to the creation of Mesa Verde National Park and something even more consequential: the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Ever since, discussion about what our role is in protecting unique natural and historic places in our country has raged on and even made significant news within the last few days. Join us as we talk about the Antiquities Act, Ancient Puebloan history, and the ongoing conversation of preservation sparked by the discoveries and passion of the Wetherill brothers.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde

The Five Wetherill Brothers

Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico


  1. My brother and I just spent a few days at Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly. And visited Mesa Verde National Park about a year ago. Fantastic information. I learned a lot, and it only piques my interest more. Thanks!

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