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Chapin Mesa Museum, Mesa Verde National Park
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ADDRESS
Ruins Road
Mesa Verde National Park
Colorado 81330
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ACTIVITIES
Museum
 
 
 
 
 

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Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum is a great place to begin any tour of Mesa Verde. Not only do the exhibits provide an introduction Ancestral Puebloan life they provide many of the answers to the Junior Ranger activity sheets. The 25-minute orientation film offers an excellent overview of Anasazi and park history.
Anasazi Pottery
Anasazi Mug

Anasazi Mug

National Park Service

 
The Anasazi, as the Ancestral Puebloans are commonly known, used clay to make more than adobe. The Anasazi used clay to make pottery too. Here's how they did it. The Anasazi coiled clay in a spiral, just like a snake, to give each pot its shape. To ensure their pots didn't leak, the Anasazi scraped the coils together with sharp pieces of gourd or wood. They baked the clay pots in the fire and when they cooled the Anasazi used small stones to polish them smooth. The Anasazi made paint from boiled plants and from the minerals of crushed rock. And they made paintbrushes from the fibers of the yucca. The Anasazi decorated their pots with geometrical designs but didn't consider their pottery works of art. They used their pottery for cooking and storing food but never as a decoration.
 
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A great place to start

Submitted on 30 October 2007 by snowedunder from Monza, Italy
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We started our visit at the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum and we were glad we did. The short film and exhibits provide the necessary background. Pick-up a Junior Ranger activity sheet. The search for clues makes museum touring that much more fun.
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