Houses of the Enemy Dead

Encyclopedia Article


The Houses of the Enemy of the Dead are large cliff dwellings that were originally occupied by the Ancestral Puebloans, also referred to as the Anasazi. These structures are generally made from stone masonry and are built in room blocks one on top of another, similar to apartment-style housing today. These room blocks are both residential apartments and storage rooms and are accessed through the roof.

Although the Navajo word Anaasází has been translated as "ancient enemy" by Western anthropologists, the English translation preferred by Navajo and Puebloan cultures is "ancient ones."

Photo Credit: 

"Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde, Colorado" by Massimo Catarinella.

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