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The Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores

#22 of 267 in Museums in Colorado
Must see · Natural History Museum · History Museum
Anasazi Heritage Center, located in Dolores, Colorado, is an archaeological museum of Native American pueblo and hunter-gatherer cultures. Two 12th-century archaeological sites, the Escalante and Dominguez Pueblos, at the center were once home to Ancient Pueblo Peoples. The museum's permanent and special exhibits display some of its 3 million artifacts and information it owns of native pueblo and other regional native people. The center offers a research library, educational resources and museum shop. Wheelchair-accessible facilities include a picnic area and nature trail.Ancient Pueblo PeopleWhile other native peoples were hunters and gatherers, pueblo people resided in permanent communities called pueblos and grew their own crops. The Ancient Pueblo people may have lived in the Four Corners area as early as 1500 BC. As many as 20,000 people may have lived and farmed in the Montezuma County, Colorado area. Each person required about one acre of land for up to 40 harvested bushels of corn per year. Other sources of food were obtained through gathering wild plants, like berries and piƱon nuts, growth of beans and squash and hunting. The area was affected by periods of drought, including one in the late 13th century. That and other factors resulted in the permanent move by 1300 AD of area pueblo people south to present-day New Mexico and Arizona. Anasazi, a term commonly attributed to ancient pueblo people, has been used since its publication in the 1930s. The Navajo word does not represent specific tribes but means enemy or outsider. The term is disliked by the modern Pueblo people who hold their ancient ancestors sacred and celebrated through spiritual rituals and journeys.
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  • Even though the center itself was closed (CO VID restrictions), maps were available to use for planning our explorations of the pueblos in the area. Maps had route marked from the center to the...  more »
  • Due to COVID, the Visitor Center is closed. I appreciate the sensitivity and COVID awareness of the BLM in closing the Center. We've been there before and hope to come back when it's open. It is an...  more »
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