This was a natural after our recent exposure to Mesa Verde and the high deserts of Northern New Mexico and SW Colorado.
After storming through it I wished I had had a chance to read it much earlier in my life, in a time when clambering among boulders and across rubble strewn mountain sides could have been rather easily accomplished by my much sprier self. :-)
In the hours of reading about his hikes among the ruins, known and unknown, of vanished civilizations commonly referred to as Anasazi (not a 'good' name) or Salado, etc. with references to even earlier tribes stemming, perhaps, from Aztec culture, I was drawn back to my youth when becoming an Ethnologist seemed my real future. Of course, when I realized that there were few peoples and areas left to be discovered I switched to a medical career.
Ethnoarcheology, Ethnoecology, Maritime ethnology, study of middens, etc, just did not seem as fascinating as the discovery of unknown species, not adventurous enough, perhaps.
On the other hand, not having to fight off leeches, spiders, ticks and other creepy crawlies did seem much more comfortable, :-), as I aged!
In my heart I am still that one who would have loved to discover the unusual, and to delve into old mysteries.
Now, of course, only as an armchair traveller (lol), who gives thanks for the abundance of books written by more intrepid men and women.
During the hours spend immersing myself in the presumed lives of these people, albeit only via the words - and how polished and poetic they were - by Mr. Childs, the question why did they vanish continues to be as fascinating to me as it appears to all those researchers. Numerous conjectures abound, none of which give really satisfying answers. Drought, wars, annihilation of complete tribes, barbarianism and, even cannibalism, in its purest (?) as religious cult offering, or circumstantial due to adverse conditions, all are named, but questions remain.
|Acoma, New Mexico|
|Montezumas Castle, Arizona|
|Manitou Springs Colorado|
|Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde|
|Excavations of underground house with sipapu -airshaft? Mesa Verde|