Dean M. Chriss
Moon House, Southern Utah

Moon House, Southern Utah

(Click image to enlarge)

The image above shows part of an ancient ruin complex in the wilderness of southern Utah. These structures acted as living quarters, and were likely occupied around A.D. 1260. These and other ruins have remained intact for the better part of 1000 years only 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. These ruins are named for one room that is decorated in white, with a crescent moon uncolored on one wall, and a full moon uncolored on the other.

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.