My parents came out for a visit this past extended weekend. My dad, my son, and I drove down to Mesa Verde to see the sites. We visited the Cliff Palace where we were given a $3.00 guided tour. The tour was fine, but I could do without much of the conjecture and even less with the lies.
I felt like I was in elementary school again. The teacher states something so obviously false that even a child can see right through it, but if the child says anything, he is likely to be made miserable for the rest of the year. I kept quiet.
In this case, we were told that the home sites are not touched by the forest service (or who ever maintains these grounds). It was implied, if not stated explicitly, that what we were looking at was as it was found over a century ago.
The only trouble is, before the tour began, we all were shown a photo from the turn of the century that showed that much had been changed in the past one hundred years. Whole walls have been added. It also didn’t help that Leslie and I had taken this tour a few years ago and that tour guide was much more knowledgeable. Not only had he admitted that they had made many modifications, he pointed out how we could tell where the modifications were. All you have to do is look at the plaster. Where it is falling apart, you can be fairly confident that this is the work of moderns.
The black and white below was taken by Gustaf Nordenskiold in 1891.
I took the photo below on Monday, but from a different vantage point. It may be difficult without clicking on the images to see them at full resolution, but the far tower in the older picture shows a structure that is totally destroyed. My recent photos shows that the structure has been restored. Anyway, it's still worth the $3.00 to walk through.