Ancient Ruins In The U.S.

Usually when we think of ancient ruins, we think of countries in the Mideast or Europe or even South or Central America. There are rich ruins in many places of the world. I guess I should say that there are ancient ruins in most places in the world. When we think of ruins, we don't seem to think about places like the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the poles. Why is it that ancient civilizations could spring up in these other places and not spring up in some fertile area in America? I mean, what would have stopped human life from developing along the Mississippi delta or in the lush woods of the northwest? It is sort of a puzzle when you really think about it. You had countries in Asia that developed in the harshest imaginable conditions in deserts, yet the deserts here at the time remained pristine.

But wait, we do have some ancient ruins here. The ancient Anasazi left their mark on this country, yet we tend to think of them as just another indian tribe. Most indians were quite smart and had a knowledge of nature that even today surpasses ours. So why can't we find a lot of indian ruins. Most tribes built portable structures, not permanent ones. They probably could have built more permanent structures if they had wanted, but they had to go where the game went since they were hunters. They needed to be able to pack up and go on a minute's notice and be able to set up again quickly to avoid the perils of weather. Not only would it have taken too long to build permanent structures, but these structures would have to remain empty a good part of the year when the herds moved. So does this mean that we have very few ancient American Indian ruins. Relatively speaking, yes.

Other ruins have been talked about in this country that tickle the imagination. Years ago it was reported that underground structures were found in Death Valley that contained ancient Egyptian relics and even mummies. How could this be? There is a story that a ship set said from ancient Egypt and landed in what is now the U.S. Supposedly the structure was found in 1931 by Dr. F. Bruce Russell. He stated that it was composed of several rooms and tunnels. It is even said that the Phoenix Gazette ran an article in 1909 about explorations in the Grand Canyon. Supposedly Egyptian artifacts and mummies were found by the Smithsonian but never put on display or spoken of again. The story states that there were hundreds of rooms found. I have to tell you the truth, I don't seen how hundreds of room could have been built unless there were massive sources of labor available. I am not saying that this would have been impossible, what I am saying is that the Egyptians would have had to enlist members of the indigenous population into helping them with the construction and there would have had to have been a lot of them around. But this might just be a case of a story getting exaggerated over the many years that have passed. Maybe a structure with a few rooms was found and maybe there were Egyptian mummies in it. Why would the Smithsonian have kept quite about a find like this? Maybe they thought it was a setup. Even if the mummies were Egyptian maybe something made them suspect that they had been moved there. Who knows?

So we have at least two stories indicating ancient Egyptians came to this country and left ruins and relics. Maybe I shouldn't say ruins but tombs. If these stories are true, maybe some of the tribes in the area descended from Egyptians.

Ruins have been discovered in south Florida. It is thought that this ruin is thousands of years old and most likely native American. The monument is thought to be prehistoric. It is a huge intricately carved circle that had been carved into the bedrock which was limestone. This dig is very close to Miami. Beside finding the huge, perfectly executed, circle, tools have been found along with beads and shells. There is also evidence of animals being sacrificed at the site. Axes have been found at the site that are made of basaltic stone, this is not native to Florida but is usually found in the Caribbean basin. Scientists believe that the site most likely dates back to 1100 B.C. Unfortunately for us, this site is owned by a developer and he wants to build a condo on it and is not interested in preserving anything. Archeologists plan to move the site to another location by taking it away in slices. I hope they don't miss anything that could be buried under it.

There is a place in Arizona that is called Casa Grande. It means Big House. It is a ruin that was left by the prehistoric farmers that populated the Arizona area. The people who built this structure have vanished without a trace.

Photo of Casa Grande taken in 1892
Photo Source: National Park Service

Other ruins exist in Arizona, they are the ruins of the Cliff dwellers who built large apartment house type structures on the cliffs of the area. It is believed that they were built by the Sinagua and the buildings were abandoned about 1300 A.D. These buildings averaged about four stories high with about 100 rooms. Two Circular buildings remain a mystery to this day. No one knows why all these building were abandoned but there is a theory that a warring tribe became too strong to defend against.

Cliff Dwellings
Photo Source: National Park Service

Ancient ruins have been found in Utah. They have been known about for over 50 years but kept secret by a rancher who discovered them. The ruins are thought to date back to about 900 A.D. This makes them a lot newer than ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Grain storage vaults still had grain in them, entire arrows laid on the ground where they had been dropped 1100 years before. But this isn't only one site, amazingly over 225 have been found in the area. Archeologists believe that there may be thousands of these sites. It is believed that the structures were created by the Fremont people. These people constructed their structures on sheer cliffs and ridges and they were only accessible by going through a narrow canyon which protected them. Because of this they remain well preserved.

Vikings are said to have come to North America and to what is now the U.S. Many believe that there are lost Viking settlements on our east coast, maybe in the New England area. There is a map that is know as the Vineland Map that supposedly shows all the places the Vikings had already explored in America and supposedly the map is from the 15th century and before the time of Columbus. Some don't believe the map is authentic and indeed a group of scientists in 1992 stated it was a forgery since, they claimed, the ink used was of a modern type. Even if the map is a forgery it doesn't mean that the Vikings weren't here, it only means that someone tried to forge an instrument for their own benefit. There are other controversial finding such as the Kensington Runestone that seems to indicate that Vikings were here early on but the stone inscription date is controversial Some say it was carved in the 1800s while others say it is a definite 14th century inscription. There are no ruins to back any of this up.

So ruin hunters will have to be happy with mostly native american ruins unless older ruins are found in the future in this country.

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