Ancients of the Southwest | Teen Ink

Ancients of the Southwest MAG

By Anonymous

   The Southwest has always been an enchanting land with aspecial aura. Rich in history, diverse in culture and uniquein landscape, the Southwest continues to attract people fromnear and far. Much of it, though, remains untouched since thetime of its early inhabitants, and silently awaitsrediscovery.

Nestled deep within the canyons andsandstone cliffs of the desert, there is a legacy that haslived on, undisturbed, for more than 500 years. It is thelegacy of the Anasazi; a civilization that rose, flourishedand died out. The jewel of the Southwest is the remains ofthese ancient people.

The Anasazi did not walk out intothe morning sun and vanish like the morning dew, leaving notrace of their presence. In fact, they left invaluabletreasures. The Southwest is the showcase of the monumentalremains of the Anasazi, and one could spent a lifetimeexploring the thousands of archeological sites located in theFour Corners area alone. Aztec Ruins, Salmon Ruins, MesaVerde, Chaco Canyon and Hovenweep are only a part of theastounding history of the Anasazi. These ruins are some of theoldest, largest and most beautiful ancient cities in NorthAmerica. They tell the story of the Anasazi to all who comeclose enough to listen. It is a story of survival in arelentless land.

There is more to the Southwest and theAnasazi besides the great accomplishments of stone dwellingsand the multitude of artifacts. The Anasazi left a rich recordto study including rock art, a record in stone of the art ofthese ancient people. Petroglyphs (images carved into rock)and pictographs (images painted onto rock) offer tantalizingaccounts of ancient art on a canvas of stone. There will neverbe any definite way to interpret rock art because it is therecord of a lost civilization and not a language. Rock art,however, is a symbolic art of great beauty and skill thatserves to remind mankind of the need for expression. Everypanel of rock will always be a unique record of thepast.

The Southwest provides a chance to explorehistory firsthand, with relatively few restrictions. This is agreat privilege no longer available at most historicalmonuments in America. If the Southwest is going to continue asa land of unlimited adventure and undisturbed history, then itis up to the present generation to preserve the past. One mustrespect the remnants of this unique past, and treat it withcaution and care. The Anasazi are a lost civilization. Mankindmust preserve their remains for the benefit of futuregenerations. Life that is not lived in correlation with thepast will never be fully meaningful.

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