The Anasazi Heritage Center - Dolores, CO - a look at ancient Native American cultures

A museum of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazie) and other Native cultures of the Four Corners the Anasazi Heritage Center can be found at 27501 Highway 184 in Dolores, Colorado. During the months of March through October the facility is open from nine to five and the cost of entry is $3 for adults. November through February the facility is open from ten to four and those aged seventeen and under get in free. There is also no charge for admission to school groups.

The museum features two 12th century archaeological sites, permanent and special exhibits on local history, the culture of Native Americans and archaeology. There are also traveling exhibits that can be obtained on loan and teachers can find educational resources at the facility. There is a research library with anthropology and archaeology resources.

There are more than three million records and artifacts from the research of archaeological projects in Colorado's southwest. There is also a half mile nature trail and picnic area at the museum. Canyonlands Natural History Association operates the shop at the museum. Since 1988 the museum has been operated by the Bureau of Land Management; there is wheelchair access to all of the facilities in the museum.

Archaeological sites at the museum are named for Spanish Franciscan friars. Outside of the building housing the museum is the Dominguez site which has low stone walls and four rooms. The structure or what is left of it was built around approximately 1123A.D. Take a walk half a mile up the hill away from the Anasazi Heritage Center and you will find the Escalante Pueblo.

The Escalante Pueblo has three time frames of habitation. During A.D. 1129 the main complex was built as a Chacoan outlier which was part of the trading done with Chaco Canyon located in New Mexico. In 1150 A.D. the building was occupied after being abandoned for a short period of time and the final occupation occurred during A.D. 1200 approximately. Only one of the two kivas that were included in the Pueblo has been excavated. There are native plants along the trail and a guidebook can be obtained at the trail's base.

There is a fee for admission to the Anasazi Heritage Center which has both water and restrooms available to visitors. The nearby community offers restaurants for visitors to the center to dine in. American Indian perspectives related to respecting and visiting archaeological sites can be obtained by watching the video Visit with Respect while visiting the center. There are panoramic views provided at the Escalante site of Four Corners. The trail leading to the site and the site itself are both handicapped accessible.

The variety of exhibits, historical digs and educational resources make visiting the Anasazi Heritage Center an ideal place for individual, family and other group trips. Directions and specific details about exhibits, tours and fees associated with the facility can be obtained by contacting the center directly. If you are in the Dolores, Colorado area you should make it a point to stop at the center and experience the areas rich heritage.

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