Dean M. Chriss
Three Windows, Anasazi Ruins, Southern Utah
(Click image to enlarge)
The image above shows part of an ancient ruin in the wilderness of southern Utah. These and other ruins have remained intact for the better part of 1000 years because they are remote and difficult to access. Pottery shards and even miniature corn cobs grown by the residents of these structures can still be found in or around them. As is often the case, light bouncing upward from the sandstone canyon ledge upon which the ruin sits illuminates the ceiling more than it does the ruin walls, lending an other worldly effect to the scene.
The ancient ruins and rock art present here and in other areas is irreplaceable, priceless, and fragile. The act of entering a ruin can deteriorate it more than would a hundred of years of sitting undisturbed. Touching rock art, even lightly and only once, causes eventual staining from oils that are present in human skin. It can also cause flaking of the ancient paint. Small things have huge impacts over time that spans thousands of years. If you are fortunate enough to visit one of these places, please be extremely careful to leave it exactly as you found it.