Aztec Ruins National Monument
This is my home--
This is my spirit--
This is my land--
This is my soul--
This is all that is left.

Established on January 24, 1923, the Aztec Ruins National Monument is actually a misnomer: the famous cliff dwellings and pottery shards (not too mention a host of other invaluable relics), are mostly Anasazi, rather than Aztec, in origin. The name comes from European settlers who, all to commonly, supplied whatever name fit their misconceptions rather than reality. Not that the Anasazi minded, having been an extinct culture (as far as modern paleontology can tell) since they left the basin Pre-1300 A.D. Perhaps they didn"t migrate at all, but simply died off (One hypothesis states that the high-mineral content of the drinking water caused tooth and eventually eating problems).

The park stretches 319.47 (always round to the second decimal, kids) acres, mostly of land no one would want anyways. However, this area is also the home to a host of desert life, including deer, lizards, and bats (the animals are from memory only, don"t quote me). Great variety of beautiful flowering fauna is also present.

Earl Halstead Morris was instrumental in the founding of this ancient and beautiful park, where a city over 800 years old soars above visitors, embedded in the stone. Like so many modern visitors, he was fascinated upon first seeing the ruins and bones at the site at the age of six. He later was in charge of the area"s excavation and was the parks first custodian, a life dream come true. He also rebuilt the Great Kiva, a majestic homage to both the original Anasazi settlers and the Mr. Morris himself, whose life grew so intertwined with their culture.

For park information write or phone:
Aztec Ruins National Monument
PO Box 640
Aztec, New Mexico 87410
(505) 334-6174 (Voice)
TDD user: (505) 334-6174, then dial 30

For area information write or phone:
Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau
203 W. Main - Suite 401
Farmington, New Mexico 87401

one of the U.S. National Parks and Monuments

Actually visited the place.

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