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|Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve the archeological sites that "Pre-Columbian Indians" built on the mesa tops and in the alcoves of a score of rugged canyons. The park, containing 52,073 acres of Federal land, is a unit of the National Park System and is administered by the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior.
Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table", rises high above the surrounding country. For about 1,300 years, agrarian Indians occupied the mesa and surrounding regions. From the hundreds of dwellings that remain, archeologists have compiled one of the most significant chapters in the story of prehistoric America. There are over four thousand known archeological sites in Mesa Verde National Park. Approximately 600 of these are cliff dwellings.