Mesa Verde - Long House

Category: Education

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Mesa Verde National Park:

Mesa Verde National Park Mrs. Berg’s Family Trip July 2009

Long House:

Long House Long House was excavated between 1959 and 1961 as part of the Wetherill Mesa Archeological Project. This project, funded by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society, excavated 15 sites on Wetherill Mesa between 1958 and 1963.

Back of the dwelling:

Back of the dwelling There is usually a source of water at the back of the dwelling. Look at the dark spot on the back of the dwelling and you’ll see where a fire burned and left soot.


Kiva Kiva is a Hopi word meaning "ceremonial room." Kivas were important ceremonial gathering places in the life of Ancestral Puebloans - comparable to the churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques of today. It appears that every clan (made up of the extended family) had its own kiva for use during ceremonies and other social events. Kivas were also used as sleeping areas, so served a multi-use concept. Notice the small hole near the firepit? This is the Sipapu, a Hopi word for "place of emergence." According to Hopi oral tradition, this hole represents the place where Ancestral Puebloan people emerged from the previous world to this one. Much like the biblical story of Noah's Ark, Hopis believe that the world before this one was destroyed, but a few chosen people were saved. Climbing a ladder up out of the smoky kiva and through the roof into the courtyard after ceremonies may have served as a powerful reminder of their salvation from the world before.

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