Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Sun Temple

Located on the mesa top across the canyon from Cliff palace, Sun Temple was built in the 1200s and may never have been completed. There is no evidence that a roof covered the rooms or kivas. Few potsherds or other household artifacts were found during the excavation of this D-shaped dwelling by Jesse Walter Fewkes in 1915.

Archaelolgists believe it may have been a ceremonial structure for a large community. No other mesa-top dwelling is enclosed by double walls with long, narrow rooms between them. The stones making up the walls are shaped by pecking. Fewkes put a concrete capping on the walls to prevent deterioration from rain and snow.

Page last updated July 20, 2000.