A lot can be learned in Mesa Verde National Park and the best place to trace the origins of the ancient cultures that first settled in this area is the Far View Sites. Far View was where it all began and evidence of more that 80 individual villages have been discovered during excavations. One of the very oldest pueblos in Far View is the Megalithic House, which actually was built upon rubbish piles from the early age of the basket weaver people. Coyote Village is another distinct village in Far View and judging by the advanced architectural designs, this pueblo complex was likely constructed at a much later date. In fact, the floor plan and craftsmanship compare to other highly developed ancient pueblos in the west, which indicates how advanced the Mesa Verde Culture once was.
Agricultural utilitarian design is what the Far View Sites have in common, yet astronomical alignments and ceremonial structures are also incorporated into the framework of these pueblo complexes. The many kiva designs to be found in Far View are a fascinating study of their own and the ones located in Coyote Village certainly are unique. The original timbers are still seated in wall alcoves in one of the round Coyote Village kivas and the purpose they served is definitely something to ponder over. The pole racks on the walls may have been used for drying food, preparing artisan weavings or something completely different altogether. The only way to find out for sure is to do some research, take a guided tour or ask a native, since kivas are still integral to indigenous cultures in modern times.
A key-hole shape kiva is also located in Coyote Village, which incorporates an earthen furnace in the "key slot" which definitely radiated heat into the round room on icy cold nights at this high elevation. Some of the rectangular rooms have unique features too, like a row of square stone slab box containers built into the middle of the floor. There are also a few stone block rubble piles in this area that have not been excavated, which still remain a mystery. Coyote Village certainly is an intriguing place to spend some quality time, so be sure to log this Mesa Verde destination on the books!
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