Infrastructure is what makes cities happen and the same can be said about large pueblo complexes in ancient times. A fine example of this infrastructural inkling can be found next to the Far View Sites in Mesa Verde National Park. The Far View Reservoir is an example of ancient indigenous civic design work and this landmark is located at the end of a short foot trail next to the Far View pueblo complex. The trail goes through a pine forest and there are a few shade trees next to the reservoir, so this is a nice place to be when the heat of summer rolls around!
The circular shaped Far View Reservoir is composed of a short thick stone block masonry retention wall and the diameter is over 40 yards wide. The stone wall follows the contours of the ground surface in an area that was likely used to be a natural high elevation snow melt pond. The snow does pile up several feet deep in this end of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, so building something to retain the snow melt water would be a real benefit. The mountain meadows where Far View is located actually used to be a well organized agricultural area, so water availability for the seed planting season would improve food production for the many villages in Far View.
With no natural spring to replenish the water supply and since this is an arid mountainous region, the summer rain storms probably were not enough to replenish the reservoir water supply, especially during years of drought. Because of the shape of this shallow round reservoir, this site likely served as a gathering place or ceremonial site during the dry seasons. Much ado by sensationalists has recently been made about the purpose of the Far View Reservoir not actually being a water reserve, but the snow melt retention theory still seems plausible simply because the rim of the wall is plumb level. As the seasons passed, so did the water and this is what makes the Far View Reservoir such a great infrastructural landmark to ponder over!
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