Chaco Canyon, New Mexico: The Chaco Canyon complex was the main social and ceremonial center of the Anasazi culture. It is not known what these people called themselves, the term Anasazi is a Navaho word meaning variously "the ancient ones" or "the enemies of our ancient fathers." The early Anasazi (100 BC.) were nomadic hunter-gatherers ranging over great expanses of territory; by AD 700 they had begun to live in settled communities of which Chaco Canyon is the finest example. Intensive construction occurred throughout Chaco Canyon between AD 900 to 1100, resulting in the development of several sophisticated dwelling complexes. Pueblo Bonito (meaning "pretty village" in Spanish; the original Anasazi name is unknown) had more than six hundred rooms, numerous two- and three-storey buildings, several ceremonial structures called kivas, and a population between 800 and 1200 persons. From tree-ring dating, it is known that a period of great drought came upon the Chaco area in AD 1150, causing the abandonment of the site.
Qoyllur Riti, Peru: The festival takes place at 4,600 meters of altitude surrounding by snowy mountains, Qoyllu Rit'I in quechua means "snow star". Thousand of dancer visit the mountain and church to worship Senor Qoyllur Rit'i. It is amazing to see all the colourful costume and traditional dancer of various groups. At the end of the festival, those devoted dancer go to climb to the snow mountain carrying the huge cross. Then they bring the piece of glacier on the back to carry to their own village. There is no hotel so you have to take a tent and worm sleeping bug, there are many food stand to eat. For the altitude it is very difficult to cook by small stove.
Palenque, Mexico: Palenque is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). It is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, and bas-relief carvings the Maya produced. While the site was occupied by the middle Pre-Classic, it did not gain importance until several hundred years later. By 600 the first of the famous structures now visible were being constructed. Situated in the western reaches of Maya territory, on the edge of the southern highlands, B'aakal was a large and vital center of Maya civilization from the 5th century AD to the 9th century.
The B'aakal state had a chequered career. Its original dynasts were perhaps Olmec. Politically, the city experienced diverse fortunes, being disastrously defeated by Kalakmul in 599 and again in 611.
Devil's Tower, Wyoming, USA: The Devils Tower has been a sacred place of numerous Indian tribes since prehistoric times. Various legends are told about the origin of the tower. One story, common to the Kiowa, Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne and Sioux tribes, concerns a group of little girls pursued by a giant bear. According to this legend, seven young Indian girls were one day playing in the forest. A great bear came upon them and gave chase. The girls fled swiftly through the trees but the bear slowly gained on them. Recognizing the hopelessness of their situation, the girls jumped upon a low rock and prayed loudly to the Great Spirit to save them. Immediately the small rock began to grow upwards, lifting the seven girls higher and higher into the sky. The angry bear jumped up against the sides of the growing tower and left deep claw marks, which may be seen to this day upon the rock walls. The tower continued to soar towards the sky until the girls were pushed up into the heavens, where they became the seven stars of the Pleiades. Known to the Indians as Mateo Tepee or Grizzly Bear Lodge, the tower is actually the remnant of a volcanic extrusion that occurred 60-70 million years ago. Rising some 1,200 feet above the nearby Belle Fourche River, t
Monte Alban, Mexico: SMonte Albán was built over a period of over 2,000 years, starting about 900 BCE, by the Zapotec people. The early art shows Olmec influence. The most impressive building period was during the Mesoamerican Classic era, from about 550 CE to 1000 CE. About 1300 CE, the Zapotec were driven out of the site and surrounding area by the Mixtec people. The Mixtec made further additions to Monte Albán until they in turn were conquered by the Spanish Conquistadores in 1521, at which time Monte Albán was abandoned. Guillermo Dupaix investigated the site in the early 19th century. J. M. García published an account of the site in 1859. A. F. Bandelier visited and published further descriptions in the 1890s. The first large-scale archaeological project of the site was done in 1902 by Leopoldo Batres. Eighteen years of more extensive excavations began in 1931 under Alfonso Caso. Despite such detailed work, much of the large site, over 80%, has never been excavated.
Sacred Mountains of Mexico: Tenochtitlan was the capital of the Aztec empire, which was built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now the Federal District in central Mexico. Iztaccihuatl [Aztec,=white woman] is a dormant volcano and is the third highest mountain and the 7th highest in North America with a height of 17,343 feet (5,286 meters). Located in central Mexico, on the border between Puebla and Mexico state. Irregular in outline, and snowcapped, it is also popularly known as the Sleeping Woman. Popocatepetl is a snow capped stratovolcano that stands 13,776 ft (4200 m) above the surrounding basin. The name Popocatepetl, meaning "Smoking Mountain", was given to the volcano by the Aztecs, and suggests that the volcano has long been active. Popo, as it is often called, is built on an older volcano which adds 12,464 ft (3800 m) to Popocatepetl's elevation.
Mitla, Mexico: The Name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl word Mictlan, which means Place of the Dead. In the Language of the Zapotecans, it is called Lyobaa, which means Burial Place. The name in the language of the original builders (The Zapotecans) is probably the most accurate when one considers the tombs of the ancient kings and priests which are actually an integral part of the structures within the city. Archaeological evidence indicates that the site was actually inhabited as early as 900 BC, but the structural remains of the city itself have dates ranging between 200 AD and 900 AD. The Structural remains of the city correspond with the height of Zapotecan rule over the region from Monte Alban (500 BC to 800 AD). It must be noted, however, that Mitla experienced its greatest growth between 750 AD and 1521 AD; and this period of growth corresponds with the end of Zapotecan rule over the area and the beginning of Mixtec rule with its center of power based in Mitla.