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Flowers and other new undergrowth have replaced trees on a burnt mesa top in Mesa Verde National Park. As fires have burnt a large portion of the park in past years a new landscape has emerged, all part of the natural cycle of fire activity. The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde National Park, near Cortez, Co., are some of the most notable and best preserved sites in the United States. Mesa Verde offers visitors a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300 people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate cliff dwellings in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. (MARC PISCOTTY/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS)

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