Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is in the Gila area of New Mexico. This was the Nation's First Wilderness Area.
The national monument covers an area of thirty-three acres and is situated seven thousand three hundred feet above sea level. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument has been granted a national monument in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Gila Cliff Dwellings were built in the thirteenth century by people known as Mogollons. They formed the walls of their homes, using natural caves. Ancient builders used material for bonding stone and on pieces of it are still visible imprints of their hands. The rock itself was created by a volcanic eruption.
People of culture Mogollon lived in these rock dwellings from 1275 to 1300. This is the only place where historical evidence is reserved for people of culture Mogollon. Archaeologists have found forty-six rooms in five caves. They were inhabited by ten to fifteen families. It is not known why the rock homes have been suddenly abandoned by their inhabitants.
Rock homes were ideal for shelter as there was quite a few nearby trees and rocks were a favorite place where you can find shelter from the vagaries of weather. The logs that are found within the rock houses are cut from their ancient inhabitants in 1276.
The first Europeans who saw the beauty of Gila Cliff Dwellings, was an emigrant Henry Ailman. In 1878 he lived in Silver City. Together with friends he decided to make the long walk and came across an amazing discovery.
In recent years, many tourists visited the ancient dwellings. The place became a favorite of many people and in 1890 the Hill brothers built the nearby resort Gila hot springs.
Hill Brothers offers guests a trip to the magnificent Gila Cliff Dwellings that were located near the resort. In 1906, came out a decree for the regulation of prehistoric monuments. Thus, emerged national monuments.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument had an acute need of the status of a national monument, so they can be protected from vandalism and constant raids of prehistoric hunters for valuables left by the ancient builders of the homes.
Several mummified bodies were found in the rock dwellings, but most of them disappeared in the collections of individuals. In 1912 a burial ground was discovered and mummy taken from the tomb was named Zeke. THE Mummified body belonged to a child. This discovery attracted a huge amount of tourists to the monument.
On the territory of the monument are located museum and visitor center. The museum artifacts are found in rock dwellings. Among the most interesting artifacts exhibited in the museum is a shell bracelet that has been resold several times over the years and finally came back to where it is taken from.