View Full Version : Canyon of the Ancients, Colorado
Anyone spent much time there? Any tips? I have a visiting artist gig there next month and don't know more than is available on the web which isn't much. I have been to the visitors center before and neighboring Hovenweep but not to COTA.
Lots of cylindrical towers still standing there, though quickly disintegrating and toppling.
Very picturesque in low light & long shadows.
The Anasazi probably built them to signal the aliens who, as we know, eventually whisked them away in the 1100’s.
Damn, no cosmic vortexes? :)
There were cosmic vortexes, but they happened at Mesa Verde – not COTA.
At COTA, the circular Kivas served as landing platforms for space ships, and the Anasazi simply walked on, and Swish, they were gone.
At least, this is what the current Archaeology tells us.
Roswell is south, Area 51 to the west.
Damn, no cosmic vortexes? :)
Nope, and tough to shoot... Unless you have permission to go down over the edge.
It's spread out so hard to be productive at more than one site per half-day.
I think the sites I've been to have potential, but the lighting will need to be right. I'm in a hotel right now so I can't look up which ones I've been to.
You may want to contact Tillman if you know him well enough. He did a bunch of work for the NPS for the visitor's center at Hovenweep NM which is right next door, and may have shot in the Ancients as part of that work. Not sure about that.
Access is tough by car, but your truck will be fine. Otherwise, not too big of a deal.
Most of the parks like this have a bunch of undocumented sites, and a bit of conversation with your BLM contact may tease out some great info, if they are OK with you shooting the unmapped sites, but I can understand if not.
The north sites all look south, so the lighting can be difficult, but early and late may work well.
If you can go below the rim, you will have a much easier time at some sites.
Painted hand is excellent if I recall correctly. There's many places I haven't been there though. The pictograph is especially poignant for some reason.
To get in the spirit of the trip, rent "cave of forgotten dreams" to watch before you go. That movie completely changes some people's perspective on the 'ancients'.
Anasazi America by David Stuart, University of New Mexico Press 2000, is an excellent introduction to Chaco Anasazi history, society and culture and fairly short too - about 200 pages.
Thanks Michael. So good to hear from you. That is very helpful info. Just what I was looking for. I do also know Tillman and will give him a ring. My VA gig is for a week so I have a fair amount of time. I have to give a talk one day the rest of the time is mine. I saw Cave of....wild-I would love to go there. By the way I am working with the some archaeologists this summer documenting the Great South Road out of Chaco-very cool.
Thanks Thomas. I actually know David-fine photographer. I own and have read the book and studied SW archaeology formally and informally my whole life. I was asking more about the canyon photographically from an art POV. But your right I should contact him as well.
Nice place, lots of wondering around to do :) Don't forget yer water.
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