Mesa Verde is the biggest archaeological preserve in the US and is the only cultural national park preserved by the National Park system. Mesa Verde covers an area of approximately 52,000 acres (Zentner para 1). Down in the recess there are Pinyon pine, ponderosa pine, Utah Juniper as well as gamble oak. As compared to the living in the mesa tops, Down in the alcove is quite favorable because of the good climatic conditions and favorable temperatures that support farming. The heat down in the alcove, which is 100 C cooler as compared to the mesa tops, is suitable for agriculture. This is evident by the fact that, the early Anasazi lived Down in the alcove as pit house growers who grew crops that originated from Mexico including corn, beans as well as squash (Zentner para 1). The alcoves are huge, domed recesses that are found in a cliff wall. Down in the alcove, construction of dwelling places is also easy. It is easy to build the lodges as well as other structures as adjacent rooms on the ground surface. The creation of the alcoves is as a result of water that leaks into fissures, moving down through the permeable sandstone film, solidifying and liquefying inside them. This as a result enlarges and pushes the rock separately. The cliff lodgings down in the alcove are also designed to utilize the power from the sun. The angle of the sun during winter warms the masonry of the cliff dwellings, warm breezes blows from the valley, which makes the air down in the alcove warmer than at the mesa tops by ten to twenty degrees. For the duration of the hot seasons, when the sun is high above, much of the area is usually protected from direct sunbeams. Down in the alcove, it is also possible to build the jacal-style walls. These are walls of adjacent vertical staffs that are coated with sludge or adobe. The Anasazi constructed their cabins over the squarer and the rectangular shaped pits .The structures found within the alcoves are mainly blocks f hard sandstone that are joined and coated with adobe mortar. As most of the structures down the recesses are conventional to the ordinary Pueblo architectural types, which includes the kivas, towers as well as the lodges, the space constraint of the recesses imposed what appeared to have been a greater concentration of their population (Zentner para 6).
Anasazi utilized crude wooded equipments for the purpose of excavating the pits. They utilized crude wooded equipments for the purpose of excavating the pits together with the woven basket for the purpose of hauling away excess soil. Down in the alcove is preferable because it is favorable for other economic activities such as hunting and pottery. The Anasazi stalked rabbits as well as deer, collected undomesticated plants, involved in pottery activities, utilized bow and arrow and also made baskets (Zentner para 4). Generally, the quality of life down in the alcove is excellent. This is because of the favorable climatic conditions and temperatures that support agriculture, the availability of construction materials as well as the alcoves that make it easy to construct dwelling structures. It is fairly appealing down in the alcoves because of the geology as well as erosive forces that are responsible for shaping the gorges of the area. It is this amazing geology that made the Ancestral Puebloans to populate the rock faces that were formed by these gorges. Life down in the alcoves in intertwined with the earth together with all of the nature that surrounds them (Zentner para 10).
Zentner, Joe. Explore Mesa Verde and its Prehistoric Mystries. 1996. Available at http://www.desertusa.com/mag05/apr/Mesa.html