Cliff Palace ruins at Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado's Montezuma County. The Anasazi, or "ancient ones" — ancestors of later Puebloan Indians — who constructed this cliff dwelling had abandoned it by 1300, for reasons that are debated to this day. Causal theories range from the ravages of drought and flight from enemies to (in the extreme) the demands of a religiously fanatic leader. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

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