GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS

Possible observatory

The Gila Cliff Dwellings are at the edge of the Gila Wilderness at the headwaters of the Gila River in Catron county, New Mexico.

The cliff dwellings were built in the 1280s (A.D.) by people of the Mogollan culture, inhabited by perhaps 40 to 60 people at a time. They were abandoned after about two generations.

The dwellings are in five of six natural caves which are about 180 feet above the floor of the canyon. Access is by a steep, narrow trail.

Although the dwellings were visited and described by Adolph Francis Bandelier in 1884 and a National Monument was established in 1907, archaeological research has been somewhat haphazard over the years. Unfortunately numerous artifacts often found their way into private collections.

Many artifacts collected during archaeological excavations are kept at the Western Archaeological Conservation Center of the National Parks Service in Tucson, Arizona.

In the literature about the Gila dwellings I can find no reference to an astronomical connection; however, I believe one exists in the structure in the cave designated as CAVE 2 by researchers.

As I present my theory obout the CAVE 2 structure, which may be an solar observatory, I will show structures in other caves which are unique, and provide fine examples "of a room with a view".

Click HERE to return to content page