10 Fascinating Discoveries About The Anasazi


8. Far View Reservoir


A new study changed the purpose of an ancient Pueblo structure in Colorado. Thought to be a water reservoir, the 1,000-year-old sandstone pit was shown to be really bad at the job. In 1917, one naturalist decided it was built to store water, and the idea stuck. Its name also reflects this, when it was decided to officially call it the Far View Reservoir. The location was wrong.

The Pueblos were knowledgeable about the land, building, and keeping water. The structure, which measures 90 feet (27.5 meters) across and 22 feet (6.65 meters) deep, sits on a ridge, which isn’t optimal at all. Past researchers theorized about a “now missing” gathering basin connected to the less elevated reservoir. The more recent study dispelled that notion.

The pit is connected to several ancient structures via ditches, but these are too shallow to transfer water effectively. Climate models showed it couldn’t have collected rainwater sufficiently either. The reservoir resembles Pueblo architecture found elsewhere, including a great kiva, ball court, and amphitheater. The ditches were likely ceremonial, much like Chacoan ceremony roads.

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