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David Drew Hosts, Guides And Narrates This Journey Through The American Southwest's Desert Lands That Were Once The Homelands Of The Ancestral Puebloans Known As The Anasazi, As Rediscovered, Excavated And Researched By Richard Wetherill, Coloradan Rancher Who Out Of Curiosity Concerning The Ruins And The Peoples Who Built Them Around His Ranch Turned Himself Into An Archeologist As He Revealed The Long-Lost Grandeur Of The Cliff Palace In Colorado's Mesa Verde, The Kiet Seel Ruin Now In Arizona's Navajo National Monument, And Pueblo Bonito In New Mexico's Chaco Canyon -- All Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD Or MP4 Video Download! (Color, 1987, 49 Minutes.)
The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. They are believed to have developed, at least in part, from the Oshara tradition, which developed from the Picosa culture. The people and their archaeological culture are often referred to as Anasazi, meaning "ancient enemies", as they were called by Navajo. Contemporary Puebloans object to the use of this term, with some viewing it as derogatory. The Ancestral Puebloans lived in a range of structures that included small family pit houses, larger structures to house clans, grand pueblos, and cliff-sited dwellings for defense. They had a complex network linking hundreds of communities and population centers across the Colorado Plateau. They held a distinct knowledge of celestial sciences that found form in their architecture. The kiva, a congregational space that was used mostly for ceremonies, was an integral part of the community structure. Archaeologists continue to debate when this distinct culture emerged. The current agreement, based on terminology defined by the Pecos Classification, suggests their emergence around the 12th century BC, during the archaeologically designated Early Basketmaker II Era. Beginning with the earliest explorations and excavations, researchers identified Ancestral Puebloans as the forerunners of contemporary Pueblo peoples. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the United States are credited to the Pueblos: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Taos Pueblo.
Richard Wetherill, member of a Colorado ranching family, amateur archaeologist who discovered, researched and excavated sites associated with the Ancient Pueblo People, was born June 12, 1858, in Chester, Pennsylvania. He is credited with the rediscovery of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde in Colorado and was responsible for initially selecting the term Anasazi, Navajo for ancient enemies, as the name for these ancient people. He also excavated Kiet Seel Ruin, now in Navajo National Monument in northeastern Arizona, and Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Wetherill was fascinated by the ruins and artifacts of the Southwestern United States and made a living as a rancher, guide, excavator of ancient ruins, and trading post operator. He was criticized as a "pot hunter" by his archaeologist competitors, although many of the artifacts he found were sold or donated to prominent museums and his work was often financed or overseen by museums. He was murdered in Chaco Canyon on June 10, 1910, aged 53 in mysterious circumstances. Wetherill was living in Chaco Canyon, homesteading and operating a trading post at Pueblo Bonito. On June 10, he was shot and killed by a young Navajo, Chiishchili Biye'. Depending on the source, Wetherill was either murdered in cold blood by the Navajo or, alternatively, the murderer was influenced by the local Indian Agent against the Wetherills due to political disputes over the use of Chaco Canyon. The agent, Samuel F. Statcher, wanted to dam the canyon for water, fence both ends for grazing and build an Indian School (a forced "Americanizing" of the natives) among the ruins. Biye', charged with the murder, served several years in prison, but was released in 1914 due to poor health. Often described as a wealthy or prosperous man, Wetherill's only asset at the time of his death was ranch property worth five thousand dollars. He was owed more than eleven thousand dollars by Navajos, Hispanics, and Anglos. Little of the money owed Wetherill was ever collected by his widow who lived in modest circumstances, dying in Albuquerque in 1954. Wetherill and his wife Marietta are buried in the small cemetery west of Pueblo Bonito along with several Navajos. The cemetery lies just over a hundred meters west of Bonito behind a wooden fence. Richard Wetherill's heirs donated a large collection of artifacts to the University of New Mexico in 1954. Wetherill's work was important in securing the designation of Mesa Verde as a National Park and Chaco Canyon as a National Monument.