Mesa Verde - Fire Temple House

This is a photo of Fire Temple House.

Detailed Description

Fire Temple House is located near many large cliffhouses visible from the Cliff Palace Loop Road. This view shows how the builders used natural layers in the sandstone to construct the split-level dwelling and ceremonial center. Note the line of holes on the cliff edge between the two ruins on the upper ledge. These footholds led to a ladder that connected the two levels. Also note the dark streaks of desert varnish on the cliffs. The thin layer desert varnish forms from manganese oxide, iron minerals, clay, and organic residues that accumulate where water from the mesa top streams down and evaporates on the cliff face (Dorn and Oberlander, 1982; Garvey and others, 2008). The thick and well developed desert varnish shows how slowly erosion proceeds on the actual cliff face.


Image Dimensions: 800 x 600

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US