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Top Anasazi Sites in the American Southwest

Fallen Roof Ruin - Cedar Mesa - Utah
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Who were the Anasazi? The Anasazi (also known under the wider descriptor Ancestral Puebloans), were a culture of Native Americans that inhabited the Four Corners region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico from about 1 A.D. to 1300 A.D. However, depending on where you draw the line on what separates the Anasazi from earlier groups that inhabited the region, the start date may go back as far as 1500 B.C. The Anasazi are known best for their development of a sedentary lifestyle vs. the hunter/gatherer life of past groups. They engaged heavily in agriculture (growing beans, squash and corn), and developed monumental architecture to house their families, provide a defense against hostile neighbors, and to protect their food supply from rodents and other animals. Research also suggests they were loosely related to other native cultural groups that inhabited the area during the same period, including the Fremont, Mogollon, and Hohokam. Modern Puebloan tribes, such as the Zuni, Hopi,…
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Top Pictograph/Petroglyph Sites in New Mexico

Comanche Gap Petroglyph / Jerry Willis

For rock art hunters, New Mexico offers a variety of locations to explore, some with petroglyphs numbering in the thousands over a very small area. Some locations are well known, while others take a significant effort in both time and research to find. And I like many avid rock art enthusiasts tend to keep the lesser known sites close to the vest. I do it for two reasons…half the fun is the research and discovery process. Nothing that is handed to you is as rewarding as finding it yourself. And second, there is little doubt that some among us hold this ancient art in less regard than others. Which has led to widespread vandalism of some of the more well known and easily accessible sites. That being said, there are plenty of publicly known locations to start your journey. And with a little effort you’ll find many more, some perhaps not…
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Epiphany House Blessing – a Catholic Tradition

Austria Village Door with Epiphany House Blessing

While visiting Austria and Germany in August of 2014, I noticed curious chalk markings, seen in the photo above, on many buildings in the small villages we passed through.  Given the prominence of churches in these villages, I immediately assumed the writing had a religious significance, but knew little else.  As it turns out the practice is a Catholic tradition called an Epiphany house blessing, with the numbers and letters having a specific meaning centered around the current year. 20 + C + M + B +14 The 20 and 14 represent the year in which the blessing occurred, 2014, while CMB apparently has two different meanings. In one interpretation, they represent the names of the three magi (kings or wise men), in the Biblical Gospel of Matthew that visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. In the second interpretation they are an abbreviation of the Latin wordsChristus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless…
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