San Diego, CA
Antelope House Ruins Blending In
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© Christine Till
Canyon de Chelly National Monument on Navajo Nation land near Chinle, Arizona, is truly a Gem of the Southwest United States. The natural beauty is unsurpassed, with breathtaking sandstone walls, wild animals, and Navajo farms and flocks. A sense of history mingles with this beauty, with ruins and rock art that stretch far back into human history.
The Antelope House Ruin exists of ancient ruins set in a secretive alcove near the canyon floor. The entire complex is made up of two main building areas that border a central type plaza structure. The area was once inhabited by the Kayenta Anasazi Indians from about 1050 AD to 1270 AD. Researchers and archaeologists have determined that the complex once consisted of over 91 rooms and reached four stories in height. There were two or three large kivas and several smaller kivas. The walls were once plastered on all sides by the tribe members to protect the masonry. Today, some of the remaining walls boast decorative paintings and designs. There are paintings of antelope grazing on a nearby cliff which aids in giving the ruins its appropriate name.
The area is full of places to explore and venture. Some of the caves are open to the general public. Some local artists can be seen sitting on a rock painting the landscape or an antelope feeding off in the distance. Great Navajo art has been created from this location and is on display at many area studios.
September 14th, 2013
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