March 16, 2012
The Grand Canyon posed an impassible barrier to Europeans, but a refuge for Native Americans.
Stories this photo appears in:
Archaeologists reveal research that uncovers clues to fate of vanished civilizations in the Grand Canyon
Archaeologists Ellen Brennen crouched in the relentless sun, meticulously uncovering the curious, two-chambered hearth in the floor of a sunken, circular room built 1,000 years ago in the mysterious depths of the Grand Canyon. She worked with exquisite care, filling bags with dirt from the hearth. Each bag held tiny traces of pollen, plant remains and animal bones that offered clues to how ancient people made their living on the flood-prone shores of the Colorado River and perhaps why they fled this gash in the earth in the 1300s.