Anxious to catch my breath from driving Highway 12, Boomer and I arrived at Anasazi State Park Museum. Although this is a state park and their website stated that they are dog friendly, I always like to ask before I take Boomer in anywhere. I confirmed that the park was dog friendly, however I did not see how to get him into the park without taking him through the visitors center, so I left Boomer in the truck and made my visit a quick one as it was warm outside.
The visitors center was filled with artifacts and interpretive signs. I have pretty bad reading retention – which is something I have been working on since I started the blog… because you know, I sort of need to remember things if I’m going to tell you about them. Due to my reading retention problem I get easily distracted. I found that the videos playing in the background and the odd noises that played as I walked past certain sections, representing the sounds of daily life in the Anasazi community. took me slightly off course… eh I tried. I did learn that corn was a main part of the Anasazi’s diet and saw some of the tools they used for making their food. There was also an example of a pit house but there was an actual one outside… I like actual over examples.
The next stop was outside. This was in my opinion the most interesting part. There was a replica of an above ground structure called a pueblo room (seen above). Since it was a replica you could go inside, which of course I did. I assumed it was to scale and I felt like a giant as I was unable to stand up inside (I’m only 5’6” so I’m not really a giant).
I followed along the path to an excavation overlooking some of the dwellings. According to the information at the site, these multi room pueblos started off as three separate structures but later morphed into a U-shaped connected pueblo due to continual add-ons. Even back then people added on to store more of their stuff! Of course the things they were storing were most likely for survival and not because they had outgrown their home, storing the excess in the garage… I’m not talking about anyone specific (come on you know who you are… even I’ve got crap in my garage that I won’t get rid of, but haven’t used it in years)
The path led me around to the pit house where I learned about the construction of the house. At an elevation of 6700 feet it made sense to build a house in the ground. Being in the ground had advantages in both the summer months, getting the coolness from being below ground and in the winter your walls are not exposed to the elements, which resulted in less energy to heat.
I found it fascinating that with as little that was left behind, archaeologists were able to figure out so much about the daily lives of the Anasazi people. Due to the seeds and bones found they were able to identify what the diets were of the tribe as well as finding the tools where the tools were left gave perspective as to what the rooms were used for.
It is an interesting stop and I definitely got more out of the outside exhibits than the inside… most likely because it was peacefully quite outside. If you would like to visit the Anasazi State Park Museum they are located at 460 Utah 12 Boulder, UT 84716. They are open year round 7 days a week. March 1st to October 31st from 8am to 6pm and November 1st to March 1st 9am to 5pm. There is a $5 USD fee ($3 for Utah seniors) or $10 USD for families.