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The Land Before Time—PART 30: The New Way of Life

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Take a moment to review some statements made about the Anasazi cliff dwellings by David Roberts, author and writer for Smithsonian magazine:

They (had) lived the open or in easily accessible sites within canyons. But about 1250…began constructing settlements high in the cliffs…that offered defense and protection.…Toward the end of the 13th century, some cataclysmic event forced the Anasazi to flee those cliff houses and their homeland and to move.[i]

He goes on to describe a cliff dwelling he visited as a settlement that “seemed to exude paranoia, as if its builders lived in constant fear of attack.”[ii] In his continued work, he also discusses cannibalism, executions, scalping, decapitating, “face removing” as we discussed earlier, and trophy bone collecting. On top of all of this, he documents a case of fossilized human excrement containing the human protein called myoglobin, which occurs only in cases of cannibalism and is irrefutable proof that the cannibalism did indeed occur.

Neighboring Gallina people also lived in cliff dwellings, had defensive towers, and sometimes even had underground tunnels interconnecting with buildings that were built at ground level. More recent excavations have shown that, at times, entire villages of theirs were massacred. Of this, archaeologist Tony Largaespada said, “Almost all of [the Gallina ever found] were murdered,” he said. “[Someone] was just killing them, case after case, every single time.”[iii] When discussing the cliff dwellings that these people lived in, Tony Largaespada said the dwellings provided “an excellent example of just how scared these people must have been.” He then went on to say, “It was occupied right at the end, and it was only occupied for a short period of time. It may have been all that was left, their last stronghold.”[iv]

Gallina ruins that have been excavated were also said to have valuable items that had been left behind, and it would appear that, like many Anasazi sites abandoned within this era, the decision to leave was unexpected, hasty, and prompted by violence.

Sand Canyon

Sand Canyon was constructed around A.D. 1250. During excavation, without even trying, researchers found more than two thousand identifiable human bones and fragments. Archaeologists estimated these came from between forty and forty-five individuals, only nine of which were formally buried. Some skeletons were complete and some were scattered, and some piled “disarticulated.”[v] It is clearly stated many times in the reports made by excavators that many of the skeletons found were killed by a sudden, violent event that caused remaining occupants to vacate. While excavators are forthcoming about the fact that they did not excavate anywhere near the entire site, of what they did dig, the ratio of women and children was higher than typical. Although the report never mentions cannibalism or human sacrifice, the account of this site reads similarly to accounts from digs in locations where we know such activities occurred. Many bones found were burned, displayed perimortem cut and chopping marks, and were carelessly discarded in a pile. Loose, disembodied teeth were found in floors of kivas, a common anomaly within sites where cannibalism had occurred. Only one of the bodies unearthed was confirmed to be male; all others were women and children, and many were under the age of 10.

Of particular interest at Sand Canyon were two skeletons of people who appeared to be related to each other. One, the only confirmed male unearthed at the location, age 40–45 years old, was the tallest at this location, with a clavicle said to be “large and massive.” His female relative, second only to him in height at this location, possessed “thin, curved, porous bones; hundreds of wormian bones along the lamboidal suture; and extreme amount of cranial deformation; and an unusually pointed chin.”[vi] The excavators use possible bone disorders as a reason for these formations, but I could not help think of worldwide testaments that the children born to those women that had been raped by the Cloudeaters (Nephilim) had similar features of six fingers, six toes, distorted mandibles, and double rows of teeth, just as the skeletons discovered at Sand Canyon in this gravesite where sudden and unexplainable violence and cannibalism had occurred. They each had clavicles of unusual size, and the male showed polydactyly, having six toes on his right foot. Both were missing certain teeth congenitally, and the male had double-peg teeth in place of third molars.

Like many other reports I came across in my studies, this was yet another that described, in many different places, that a sudden, violent event had caused rapid, unexpected evacuation.




One Last Appeal?

Sun Temple, excavated in the early 1900s by archaeologist Jesse W. Fewkes, was an uncovered anomaly within Mesa Verde, where many cliff dwellings were unearthed as well. The cliff dwellers were said to be sun worshippers, and of the nature of the Sun Temple, although in entirety still a mystery, is suspected to be a last appeal to their gods before migrating out of the area. In one area, where a stone fossil shaped like the sun is enveloped by three walls, Fewkes reported: “There can be no doubt that the walled enclosures was a shrine and the figure in it may be a key to the purpose of the building. The shape of the figure on the rock suggests a symbol of the sun, and if this suggestion be correct, there can hardly be a doubt that solar rites were performed about it.”[vii] Because the building was never roofed, it is debated that it was intended to never be covered, but as evidence shows, more likely, it was left unfinished. This makes sense, since it is dated to approximately A.D. 1225, and abandonment was approximately A.D. 1250–A.D. 1275. Also worth noting is that many of the structures from this era show evidence of having been built, then added to sporadically over time, always changing and being often repurposed within lifetimes. The Sun Temple, however, was a preconceived notion that was built at once from a premade plan, an ancient blueprint, pursued by many people of like mind, in unison. Fewkes describes in his report that few household goods or other items were found in this excavation. This lends itself to the notion that the building was not finished yet, as it was probably not yet being used. The walls, many of which were not yet plastered, show a Mexican-style masonry, at this time new to the Mesa Verde region. Could this be an indicator that it was even possibly an interracial effort? It was reported by Fewkes, leading archaeologist at its excavation, to have construction properties of both the original Chaco style and of the newer towers, such as were found at Ruin Canyon and Mancos Valley. See Fewkes’ statement of the construction of this building:

The argument that appeals most strongly to my mind supporting the theory that Sun Temple was a ceremonial building is the unity shown in its construction. A preconceived plan existed in the minds of the builders before they began work on the main building. Sun Temple was not constructed haphazard nor was its form due to addition of one clan after another, each adding rooms to an existing nucleus.… Those who made it must have belonged to several clans fused together, and if they united for this common work they were in a higher stage of sociological development than the loosely connected population of a cliff dwelling.… This building was constructed for worship, and its size is such that we may practically call it a temple.… Sun Temple was not built by an alien people, but by the cliff dwellers as a specialized building mainly for religious purposes and so far as known is the first of its type recognized in the Mesa Verde area.[viii]

In the book On the Path of the Immortals (Defender Publishing, 2015), I also noted of the Sun Temple:

The Sun Temple was indeed ruins that I [Tom] wanted to see, because it is a large and significant site that holds much mystery in that nobody, including archaeologists and cultural historians, know what it was for. An eroded stone basin with three indentations at the southwest corner of the structure suggests that it may have been purposed as a sundial to mark the changes in the seasons. Two kivas on top of the structure, together with the lack of windows or doors elsewhere, intimates that it was not meant for housing, which has led modern Pueblo Indians to propose that it was some type of ceremonial structure probably planned for ritual purposes dedicated to the Sun God. The amount of fallen stone that was removed during its excavation is said to indicate that the original walls were between eleven and fourteen feet tall. These walls were thick, double-coursed construction, with a rubble core placed between the panels for strength and insulation. After studying the Sun Temple and comparing it to ancient Mesoamerican culture and edifices, it is this author’s opinion (which is as good as anybody else’s, since we don’t really know) that this site may have been intended as a place for human sacrifice similar to those of the Aztec and Maya. I say this for a couple reasons. First, Dr. Don Mose Jr., a third-generation medicine man we met with for a large part of a day during this investigation (more about him later in this chapter), told us that the oldest legends of the Anasazi, which he had been told by his great-grandfather(who likewise had been told by his ancestors) included stories of the Anasazi turning to sorcery, sacrifice, and cannibalism after they “lost their way” and were driven insane by a reptilian creature, which they depict with a halo above his head. (Images of this being are included in the petroglyphs we filmed inside the canyons, and I believe they likely attest to the fallen reptile [or reptiles] of biblical fame, which also misled humanity.) Second, blood sacrifice was a religious activity in most premodern cultures during some stage of their development, especially as it involved invoking the gods, and the “Sun God” was typically chief among them. This included animals and humans or the bloodletting of community members during rituals overseen by their priests. In fact, the Mayans—who may have influenced the Anasazi or vice versa—believed “that the only way for the sun to rise was for them to sacrifice someone or something every day to the gods.”[ix]




Putting it Together

Judging here, from the events that led up to this point and the approximate date of the abandonment of the Sun Temple, our theory is this: The Anasazi were a peaceful people, living an agrarian lifestyle, maybe even as they are so often romanticized. As Teotihuacan fell—and even if we preclude the giants that may have come with or led them to these new feeding grounds—Mesoamerican influence migrated northward and settled into the Chacoan region, where a mingling of two cultures began. With such gruesome, grizzly practices becoming more and more the norm, it seems that the populace would polarize between the “old way” and the “new way.” As would presumably be the case in this type of setting, we propose that there was a culture split, leaving some behind at Chaco and other converted locations to practice their dark religion, while those wanting no part of such practices fled, grouping up, possibly regardless of race or previous social distance, creating defensive living quarters, and uniting toward the common goal of surviving. Perhaps the Sun Temple was, as others have claimed, a “final appeal” to their god or gods to save them. Alternatively, it may have been the darker project I suspect where human sacrifice was intended. Before it was completed, however, they were gone. Perhaps the twenty-five-year drought that started in A.D. 1276 gave them the answer they were looking for. They had survived a fifty-year drought during the 1100s. But of course, at the onset of a new drought, one could never know just how long this one would last. Perhaps as they appealed to their gods for mercy, they received the message they were so fervently seeking: Move on.

Preserving History

I would like to take a moment to say that each National Park Service employee, guide, ranger, clerical worker, and every other person whom I interacted with during my research of the Anasazi was kind, passionate about his or her job, which he or she took personally. All of these people went completely and utterly out of their way to help us. They deserve a ton of gratitude here, and everything included in this work has been intended with all due respect.

That having been said, I sometimes wonder if the powers that be somewhere decided to water down the stories. If so, why? I suppose I should defer to Christy Turner’s answer when Douglas Preston asked him why he endured such opposition to his own life’s work:

There’s a simple answer.… In our culture, [some information is] taboo. That’s the essence of this whole problem.[x]

Fair enough; no one wants to believe that one’s ancestors committed such heinous acts or worshipped human-sacrifice-demanding gods. But if we take a minute to let the facts speak for themselves, the story tells itself. America is a great and diverse country, but if we find ourselves constantly afraid of seeming offensive, is the price the deleting of our history?

Is this advantageous?

One frustratingly common issue I saw repeatedly in my studies was that artifacts, bones, or other pertinent documents appeared to either be missing or behind the lock and key of bureaucracy. Truth-seekers’ access was repeatedly denied to locations, files, and material items that may have helped unearth answers to long-asked questions. Fewkes himself was even rumored to have kept other notes on his Hopi observations in his home, “concerned about how his notes would be viewed by others, or cognizant of how his Smithsonian supervisors would react.”[xi]

Allow me to recall your attention to the Parks & Recreation Hovenweep brochure, which claimed on the front cover that its structures were indeed defensive. Here is the current-day Parks & Recreation statement regarding those same structures:

Many theories attempt to explain the use of the buildings at Hovenweep. The striking towers might have been celestial observatories, defensive structures, storage facilities, civil buildings, homes or any combination of the above. While archeologists have found that most towers were associated with kivas, their actual function remains a mystery.[xii]

At some point, we become so concerned with being politically correct that we have watered down, possibly even abandoned, the truth?

A measure of responsibility falls on us to take the truth from previous generations and pass it on to the next. We are part of a greater story, merely a link in a much longer chain. As a testament to those who have gone before us and to those who will come after, don’t we owe it to them to be honest? And if that future includes the fulfillment of biblical prophecy—including predictions regarding the return of violent giants—than we must accept and report it for what it is.

UP NEXT: Shapeshifters, Skinwalkers, Sky People

[i] David Roberts, “Riddles of the Anasazi,” July, 2003, Smithsonian Magazine Online, last accessed December 12, 2016,

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Blake de Pastino, “Ancient Massacre Discovered in New Mexico—Was it Genocide?” July 12, 2007, National Geographic Online, last accessed December 13, 2016,

[iv] “Photo Gallery: Ancient Massacre Reveals Mysterious American Culture,” July 12, 2007, National Geographic Online, last accessed December 13, 2016,

[v] Kristin A. Kuckelman and Debra L. Martin, “The Archaeology of Sand Canyon Pueblo, Chapter 7, Human Skeletal Remains,” 2007, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Online, last accessed December 13, 2016,

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Paul R. Franke, “Mesa Verde Notes, Vol. 5, Number 1, Sun Symbol Markings,” July 1933, National Parks Services History Online, last accessed December 13, 2016,

[viii] Jesse W. Fewkes, Rules and Regulations, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, Excavation and Repair of Sun Temple, (Washington: Government Printing Office 1926), 37-38, last accessed December 12, 2016, as seen online

[ix] Thomas Horn, On the Path of the Immortals, (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2015), pgs 48–49

[x] Douglas Preston, “Cannibals of the Canyon,” November 30, 1998, The New Yorker; as quoted by Preston & Child Online, last accessed December 12, 2016,;art46,62.

[xi] Christy and Jacqueline Turner, Man Corn, 199.

[xii] “Hovenweep: History and Culture,” National Parks Services Online, last accessed December 12, 2016,

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