A podcast series about the prehistory of ancestral Puebloans in the Four Corners will launch Friday with three introductory episodes, according to a news release from the park.
“Mesa Verde Voices” will connect the issues the ancestral Puebloans faced with the issues residents of the region face today. The podcast is a result of a partnership between the national park, Mesa Verde Museum Association, KSJD Public Radio and Mesa Verde Country Tourism Bureau. The first three episodes – “Revealed by Fire,” “Corn = Life” and “Moving On” – focus on different aspects ancestral Puebloan life and how modern archaeology is uncovering it in places such as Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House. The episodes will be available for free on iTunes or at mesaverdevoices.org.
The podcasts are a way of “connecting the experiences of people from the past with the people of today.” While Mesa Verde will act as a “jumping off point” for most of the episodes, the series will also explore Puebloan history in other parts of the Four Corners, the news release said.
“This project represents the highest ideals of the National Park Service around education, inspiration, conservation and action,” said Kristy Sholly, Mesa Verde’s chief of interpretation, in the news release. “And we’re really proud to be able to bring the relevance of ancient cultures forward to our challenges today.”
After the debut of the first three episodes, producers will begin work on a second season. They have enough funding to create five new episodes for the 2018 tourist season. The project is funded by grants from the Ballantine Family Fund, Mesa Verde Museum Association and Mesa Verde Country, with technical support provided by KSJD.
While interested tourists can listen to the podcast anywhere, it is also designed to be used as a driving tour of Mesa Verde National Park. Teri Paul, executive director of the Museum Association, encouraged visitors to download episodes in advance because Wi-Fi can be unreliable in the park.
“We hope this will be an ongoing project,” she said. “I’d like to see it go for three to five years, so we can build up a library of podcasts.”
In July, Mesa Verde Country launched the “Ancient Voices” podcast, which is designed to guide visitors through the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Funded by a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office, that series is also available for free on Mesa Verde Country’s website.
This story has been corrected to reflect that the subject of the podcast will be about the prehistory of ancestral Puebloans.