This week’s “sciencey” tourist picture comes from the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, USA. Bandelier is just a few minutes south of Los Alamos, and an easy drive from Santa Fe should you find yourself in the “neighborhood.” Most scenic and easily accessible are the cliff dwellings and associated ruins in Frijoles Canyon, an easy hike from the National Monument’s visitor’s center. This photo is the view from the doorway of one of the cliff dwellings (essentially caves, hand-carved from the volcanic tuff).
The cliff dwellings and other structures at Bandelier were built by the ancestors of modern day Pueblo dwellers, who lived in the canyon from the 1100s into the mid 1500s. Since these are considerably later than the dates for most ancestral puebloan sites, the inhabitants of Bandelier were among the last to move downstream to pueblos along the Rio Grande.
As usual, click on the above picture to get to the Flickr version of this image — it’ll give you lots of options for resizing and otherwise manipulating the source photo.