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Ancient Indian dwellings built into a cliff

Ancient Indian dwellings built into a cliff

E905/0030

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Credit

TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cave dwellings. Houses built into a cave or overhang in the side of a cliff. The site was settled about 1400 years ago by American Indians of the Anasazi tribe, the ancestors of the modern Pueblo tribe. The multi-storeyed dwellings acted as protection from the elements and from other tribes of nomads. Groups of cliff dwellings formed complete towns. The Anasazi grew irrigated crops of maize, beans and squash in the valleys below their dwellings, and produced pottery and woven goods. These cliff dwellings were abandoned in about 1200 AD, probably due to encroaching drought or warfare with other tribes. Photographed in Mesa Verde, Arizona, USA.

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