Pat Hyland - Dec 4, 2007

The centre of ancient culture in modern America is definitely the north part of New Mexico. It is an absolute heaven for ancient relics, monuments and culture enthusiasts and lays claim to the oldest inhabited place in the whole of today’s United States.


The locals of Acoma Pueblo, also known as the Sky City, claim that their abode was populated well before Europe had emerged from the dark ages and is therefore thousands of years old. The entire city is made of a material called adobe (earth mixed with straw), which apart from its ancient atmosphere is a point of interest in itself. Acoma Pueblo was originally constructed as a defense mechanism against raiders, especially the 357ft. sandstone mesa at the top of the whole area. However, do not be led into believing that Sky City is the only ancient attraction of New Mexico.


Indeed, the area is littered with ancient attractions and sites. One such site is the Bandelier National Monument, a 32.737 acre spectacle dedicated to the anthropologist Adolph Bandelier. Here, tourists are able to scrutinize the cave dwellings to their heart’s content. Furthermore, the area boasts another tourist lure in the form of the Frijote Canyon, often described as the area’s main attraction. It consists of mostly restored ruins of a number of dwellings, ceremonial structures, rock paintings and petroglyphs. Some of the rock structures are built into the canyon floor itself.


The area is somewhat unique in the way it portrays the ancient cultural elements mostly without the help of tour guides or commercial projects. The locals are generally more than willing to help visitors to grasp the historical importance of their area. The locals are in fact extremely proud of the ancient relics surrounding them and often tell tourists about them even when not challenged at all.


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