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The Anasazi ruins are about one thousand years old.  A visit to an ancient structure is a humbling experience.  Some of them were dwellings, some were for storage; places where people lived had fire blacking evident on the ceiling.  Some of the structures were very complex and involved wood for scaffolding, ladders and structural beams.  One place even showed evidence of an original whitewash surface.

Triple Ruins
A set of very well preserved ruins. Most of the ruins I visited were up high in a cliff, in a shady rock overhang.  The dark portion of the roof is not fire blacking, but desert varnish.  On it were these handprints.
View from Triple Ruins
This is the view from the ruins shown at the top of this page. It's not terribly difficult to walk up to a typical ruin, but it's always steep and sometimes the path is not obvious. Sometimes it is difficult to get to a ruin, the natives built ladders and scaffolding when it was inhabited.
The "Jailhouse" ruins, so named because of some strange looking wood latticework in one of the windows of the ruin.  A close-up of the window is shown to the right.  This ruin was about 5 miles down Bullet Canyon.
This is "Perfect Kiva", it's been restored by the park service.  A Kiva is a round underground dwelling where the men gathered for ceremonial purposes.  This was about 4 miles down Bullet Canyon.


Both desert varnish and fire blacking (soot from a fire) are evident in this photograph.  The desert varnish is the dark vertical streaks running down the rock.  It is in some way related to the way water runs down the rock when it rains.  The fire blacking is on the ceiling of the rock; sometimes it was present inside the ruin itself.


The multi-story dwelling at the end of Beef Basin Wash road.  On the outside of the ruin, you can see the structural wood used for the second floor, which is not intact.  This dwelling probably had a third floor.  The road itself is very rough; I high-centered on a rock once.  *ding*

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.