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Archaeotrek—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, June 2016

The Anasazi Towers

by: Jeanne Gripp

(Hovenweep Tower)

The disappearance of the ancient Anasazi is but one of the mysteries found in the American Southwest. This land is filled with enigmas and one of those puzzles are the round tower kivas whose ruins can be seen stark against the landscape. The Anasazi built massive complexes consisting of pueblos and kivas, many complete with astronomical observatories. But they didn't stop there. Tucked away under the overhang of cliff edges, more pueblos can be seen, cliff dwellings they are called. Their stark emptiness a haunting legacy of an unknown people.

The remains of many smaller pueblos, called pueblitos, are found scattered throughout the mesas and arroyos of this desolate area. Often these smaller pueblitos only consisted of a few rooms. Perhaps they were way-stations, 'bed and breakfasts' of a sort, for those who traveled to and from the populous center of Chaco Canyon.

But another type of ruin is also seen here, some on mesa tops, others scatter on valley floors. They are the Towers built by the Anasazi. They're often referred to as Tower Kivas. But their true purpose and intent is unknown. Most people in the archaeological community are of the belief that these towers served as vantage points from which to observe the landscape and possible hostile adversaries. Evidence of warfare and aggression have been found at other Chacoan sites. Other researchers summarize that the towers were part of a signaling system like the one used between Chimney Rock, Colorado and Mesa Verde, Colorado and Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Most often the towers are square and stand alone. Very little evidence of outlying buildings can be found near these towers. Actual kivas are almost always round and often built next to a pueblo, if not having had the pueblo built around it. These square towers are most noticeably found near a water source, the head of canyon or in an area that looks like it could have sustained farming. Hovenweep National Monument, which straddles the Colorado/Utah border near Mesa Verde, contains a large number of these towers. The rock work in the construction of these towers is more advanced than that found at Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon leading many researchers to believe that a more advanced people constructed them.

The Towers of the Anasazi are all mostly in ruins now. Rubble can be found strewn around them. But is there more rubble on the ground than what is needed for the construction of the tower? Hard to say. Later peoples to this territory could have used some of the stones for their own construction purposes, further compounding the mystery of the towers and their purpose. Seeing these towers stand stark and lonely against the landscape, another image is brought to mind. The Round Towers of Ireland who also stand as solitary sentinels guarding their secrets. The round towers of Ireland are theorized to have been built to enhance the agricultural aspect of the surrounding countryside. (Read my article on the Round Towers of Ireland in the February issue of AP magazine HERE) Could the towers of the Anasazi have been built for the same reason?

The location of the Anasazi towers is almost always near a water source or what might have been a water source hundreds of years ago. There are theories that taller pyramidal type structures (round towers with a pointed roof would fall into that category) bring forth enriching energies from the earth. Were these towers built to bring fertility to a semi-arid land? Were the crops grown here a food source for the people of Chaco Canyon and its outlying areas? If the towers did enhance the arability of the land, why were they abandoned? Was the climate change too severe and the towers could no longer help? Did hostile intruders drive the people away? Or was ancient knowledge lost? We may never know the real answers to some of these questions. But with an open mind and a desire to delve deeper, we may someday have an answer.









Image Source:

National Park Service Photo by Andrew Kuhn

Jeanne Gripp is a freelance writer, dowser and subtle energy worker who lives in the shadow of Pikes Peak. A Colorado native, Jeanne explores the connection between unknown lights, strange creatures, ancient legends, and earth energy lines. Jeanne has spent a lifetime of searching for answers. Only to find more questions. Her articles and books are an attempt to compile and explain the relationship between many of the anomalies that she has seen and experienced over time.

Sunday, December 10, 2023