The Ultimate Mesa Verde National Park Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado encompasses about 4,000 prehistoric sites of the Anasazi people. The area is also famed for its splendid natural landscape and other archeological treasures. Find out more about Mesa Verde by taking this quiz.

Which people once inhabited the Mesa Verde National Park area?

The Anasazi people once inhabited this region, developing it as a highly advanced civilization for the time.

When is the Far View Visitor Center open?

The Visitor Center is open from mid-April to mid-October.

Aside from the Visitor Center, what other services are offered at Mesa Verde?

There is a museum at Mesa Verde, as well as a campground and a park lodge.

What is the meaning of the Navajo name "Anasazi"?

"Anasazi" in Navajo means "ancient ones."

Why are the cliff dwellings well preserved at Mesa Verde?

The cliff dwellings, already several hundred years old, are well preserved because of the dry climate.

What animals can you see in the high meadows?

You can see many species of animals there, including rabbits, mule deer, turkey, red foxes, coyotes and lizards.

From studying the structure and state of the ruins, what do we know about the ancient inhabitants?

We know that they left suddenly, although why remains a matter of conjecture.

How did the natural alcoves for dwelling areas get formed in ancient times?

The alcoves were formed naturally as a result of water percolating down through the sandstone.

One novelist is reported to have experienced the Anasazi ruins as "more like sculpture than anything else." Who was the novelist?

It was Willa Cather, a renowned novelist who wrote much about frontier life.

What makes the cliff dwelling known as "Cliff Palace" unique?

Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America, boasting about 200 rooms.

Which of these lends itself to a self-guided tour?

Spruce Tree House is ideal for a self-guided tour, whereas Cliff Palace and Balcony House are accessible only on a ranger-guided tour.

What did the Anasazi people harvest from the Gambel oak trees?

They harvested nuts from these trees.

What is the origin of the name "Spruce Tree House"?

The name actually came from a mistake. Early explorers climbed down a tall tree there to reach the dwelling and they thought it was spruce, which it wasn't.

What was the nature of Balcony House's natural defense?

Balcony House was perched high up in a cliff alcove and this made it easily defended.

For how long has Mesa Verde been inhabited?

It has been inhabited for about 2,500 years.

What did the early inhabitants of Mesa Verde engage in?

The early inhabitants of Mesa Verde engaged in farming corn and beans and in basket weaving.

By the eighth century A.D., the inhabitants were building houses with poles and mud. What were their "apartment buildings" called?

They were called pueblos and they were apartment-like structures surrounding an open plaza.

Why did the mesa people move down into cliff recesses in 1200 A.D.?

Archeologists aren't certain, but they believe that they may have been threatened by tribes of newcomers.

What were the kivas (underground chambers) used for?

They were used for religious ceremonies.

What was the average lifespan of the cave dweller of Mesa Verde?

The lifespan was 35 years, probably due to the harsh living conditions there.

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