Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde

3D Image

James Blake Wiener
by John Toeppen
published on 24 October 2018

Spruce Tree House at Mesa Verde National Monument is not accessible except from a viewpoint across the canyon. Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling (Cliff Palace and Long House are larger), was constructed between A.D. 1211 and 1278 by the ancestors of the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest. The dwelling contains about 130 rooms and 8 kivas (kee-vahs), or ceremonial chambers, built into a natural alcove measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth. It is thought to have been home for about 60 to 80 people. The cliff dwelling was first discovered in 1888, when two local ranchers chanced upon it while searching for stray cattle. A large tree, which they identified as a Douglas Spruce (later called Douglas Fir), was found growing from the front of the dwelling to the mesa top. It is said that the men first entered the dwelling by climbing down this tree, which was later cut down by another early explorer.

Remove Ads

Free for the World, Supported by You

World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide.

Become a Member  

Cite This Work

APA Style

Toeppen, J. (2018, October 24). Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image3d/338/spruce-tree-house-mesa-verde/

Chicago Style

Toeppen, John. "Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 24, 2018. https://www.worldhistory.org/image3d/338/spruce-tree-house-mesa-verde/.

MLA Style

Toeppen, John. "Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 24 Oct 2018. Web. 17 Apr 2024.