Square Tower House, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, USA
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Mesa Verde National Park
We’re visiting the impressive Square Tower House in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Square Tower House is one of many cliff dwellings constructed by the Ancestral Puebloans in what is now the American Southwest. About eight metres high, it's the tallest structure in the park. Square Tower House is also notable for its kiva, a round, sunken room used for ceremonies. Unlike most of the ancient kivas found in the area, the kiva at Square Tower House has an intact original clay roof supported by wooden beams.
It is said Ancestral Puebloans appeared in this area a little more than 3,000 years ago. They're believed to have built the cliff dwellings for defensive reasons as various factions competed for scarce resources when the region suffered from a prolonged drought. It's thought that the changing climate eventually became so severe that it likely drove them from the cliff dwellings sometime around 1300 CE, just a century or so after construction began. Today, many of the cliff dwellings have been restored and visitors can view the homes and kivas of the builders.