|Six-room replica of ancient dwelling at Anasazi State Park (Julianne G. Crane)|
Anasazi State Park Museum sits on National Scenic Byway Hwy 12 in southcentral Utah, between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks in Boulder, Utah. It is located on the site of an Ancestral Puebloan habitation believed to have been occupied between A.D. 1050 and 1175.
According to museum sources: This is one of the largest communities of the ‘ancient ones’ west of the Colorado River, it was opened to the public as a state park in 1970.
This partially excavated and reconstructed village consists of almost 100 rooms. Outside the museum, visitors can tour a life-sized, six-room replica (above) of an ancient dwelling and view a portion of the original site.
“The Coombs Site is unique in comparison to many other Ancestral Puebloan sites in the southwest. It is located near what is considered to be the border of the Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont cultures. The Fremont were a prehistoric group that occupied most of Utah during the same period as the Ancestral Puebloans. The result is a blending of traits or a prehistoric ‘melting pot’ that is reflected in the artifacts recovered from this site, as well as in the architecture. In addition, elements from other branches of the Ancestral Puebloan have been identified here, suggesting the presence of an extensive trade network.”
“Anasazi is a Navajo word that is now referred to as the ancient ones. Anasazi refers to village-dwelling farmers who existed on the Colorado Plateau between A.D. 1 and 1300. They eventually cultivated crops, and the primary products were corn, beans, squash, and cotton. They domesticated the turkey, and continued to gather wild plant foods and hunt game in order to supplement their diet.”
|Underground ‘pithouse’ (Julianne G. Crane)|
“The Ancestral Puebloans are known for their extraordinary building techniques. From underground pithouses (right) to multi-storied cliff dwellings, these structures remain as a tribute to their outstanding architectural abilities.”
Because pithouses are better insulted that surface dwellings, they were perfect for higher elevations of 6,700 feet. They remained cooler in the extremely hot summers and warmer in the frigid winters.
In addition they were also highly skilled potters. View artifacts excavated from this site including beautifully decorated pots, bowls, and mugs inside, the visitor center. Learn about the the lifeways of these people through displays of artifacts excavated on-site and a theater. There is a gift shop that offers local art and photography.
There are picnic tables and restrooms. The small community of Boulder has basic supplies, however. don’t expect a large selection of groceries or other travelers’ needs.
If you go:
Anasazi State Park Museum
On Hwy 12, in the town of Boulder, Utah, approximately 248 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Elevation: 6,700 feet
Park hours: Open year-round, seven days a week
March 1-Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 1-March 1: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Holiday Closures: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Fee: $5 admission; $3 Utah seniors; $10 for families
Address: PO Box 1429, Boulder, UT
Photos: (Julianne G. Crane)