Aztec Ruins National Monument
Not built by Aztecs
The Aztec Ruins National Monument near Farmington, New Mexico features ruins of earlier pueblos of about 400 rooms inhabited by Native Americans from about 1050 AD to 1300 AD. In terms of cultural history, these ruins are very valuable because you can study the construction of the former inhabitants in detail.
Landscape near the ruin site in New Mexico
This settlement was not built by the Aztecs who lived in nearby Mexico. The name was wrongly given by the first settlers.
Settlers plundered the ruins
The village was probably a socially and religiously important meeting place and a major trading center for the population. Until they were placed under protection, the fields of ruins were plundered by white settlers and the stones used for their own buildings.
World Heritage Site and National Monument
Archaeologists first uncovered the ruins completely before the pueblo received national monument status in 1923. In 1987, the National Monument was granted World Heritage status.
Meeting room as a highlight
Some parts of the former pueblo are still quite well preserved despite looting. The highlight of the National Monument is the Kiva, reconstructed in 1934. The kiva is a ceremonial and meeting room of the Pueblo cultures.
View through the Aztec Ruins in New Mexico
The room was the center of community life. Rooms with original ceiling constructions can also be seen. Around AD 1300, the Native Americans left the pueblo; There are no signs of acts of war. The living conditions were probably just too hard. Aztec Ruins National Monument is open to visitors daily.
Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico
A look into the crater
Capulin Volcano National Monument is located in southeastern New Mexico, United States. The protected area includes the Capulin volcano and the area surrounding it. The size of Capulin Volcano National Monument is approximately 3 km². About 60,000 tourists visit Capulin Volcano National Monument each year. Capulin Volcano National Monument has held its status since 1916 and is located between the small towns of Capulin and Folsom.
View into the crater of the volcano
Protected volcano in New Mexico
The summit of the Capulin volcano is 2,493 meters above sea level. The view from the crater over the landscape is very impressive. The crater of Capulin Volcano is open to the public. There are short hiking trails from the visitor center to the crater or around the crater and into the interior of the crater. Geologically, Capulin Volcano is located in a transition zone between the Rocky Mountains and the plains of Texas and New Mexico.
The rock, the entire area of Capulin Volcano, is similar to that of El Mapais National Monument. Together with the “Valley of Fire” the areas belong to a once active volcanic chain in the southwest of the USA. The best preserved volcano in a whole series of extinct volcanoes and cinder cones is the Capulin volcano.
White Sands National Monument – New Mexico
Dune landscape on the edge of the desert
According to liuxers, the White Sands National Monument is located on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico – USA. The closest town to White Sands National Monument is Alamogordo, New Mexico.
White Dunes in White Sands National Monument
A US military missile test facility is located near White Sands National Monument. The White Sands National Monument is a nature reserve that covers an area of 582 km². White Sands National Monument was established in 1933.
Adapted animal and plant life
The flora of the White Sands National Monument can be described as quite sparse, but very interesting. Because only plants that have been able to adapt to the extreme climate can be found in the gypsum protection area. Also the number of animal species is apparently not very high in the area of the White Sands National Monument.
Dunes at Jetty – White Sands National Monument
In addition to coyotes, foxes, rabbits and other rodents, purely nocturnal small mammals also occur in the area. Specialized species of lizards are found in the area, as well as insects that have adapted to the climate (high heat during the day, cold at night).
The heritage of the sea
The largest part of the nature reserve is a huge gypsum field on which gigantic high dunes can be found. In ancient times there was a huge, fairly flat sea in the same place. Millions of years of uplift and subsidence of the land ultimately formed the Tularosa Basin, which is home to White Sands National Monument.
Shifting Dunes of White Sands National Monument
The huge dunes were formed when moisture dissolved the surface gypsum. The climate and the wind formed the dissolved gypsum into grains of sand, which today have piled up to form dunes. The wind in the region lets the dunes “wander”.
Sparse vegetation on the dunes in the protected area
Dunes Drive – path through the dune landscape
Dunes Drive is interesting for visitors. Coming from the Visitor Center, paths lead into the dune landscape, which can be explored on foot. Ranger tours are also available during the holiday season.