By Herb Folsom
Special to the Herald
Ken Burns has a six-episode television special on our national parks starting Sept. 27 on PBS. Somehow, he must have been tipped off in regard to this week's GeoQuiz on Mesa Verde.
These quizzes are planned years in advance, and to be upstaged by a documentary filmmaker, well let's just say I'll be talking to Ken, perhaps with my buddy Bruno from Jersey in tow.
So, we better brush up fast on our national parks, and what better place to start than with one in our own backyard. You don't have to be a famous filmmaker to have fun with this week's geographical inquiry.
Answers on Page 11C:
1. Of the 391 sites administered today by the National Park Service, name the first to be designated by Congress. Grab an extra point by including the date.
2. In 1874, a photographer for the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey was led by a prospector named John Moss into the first cliff dwelling in the Mesa Verde area. Name this shutterbug.
3. After tireless work by Virginia McClurg, Lucy Peabody from the Front Range and other women from Durango, Congress declared Mesa Verde a national park in: a. 1901, b. 1906, c. 1910.
4. The Navajo name for the people who lived in this region is Anasazi; archaeologists would prefer we use the term ________ ________.
5. Twenty-four Native American tribes claim ancestry to the original culture group that inhabited the Mesa Verde region. Can you name them? Give yourself credit if you can name at least eight.
6. OK, that last question was a tough one. This might be easier. Name two of the three farmed vegetables that excavations in the area have proven sustained this population.
7. Mesa Verde National Park was declared a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, a United Nations organization, in: a. 1905, b. 1978, c. 2006.
8. What estimated percent of the 55,000-plus-acre Mesa Verde National Park burned in forest fires between 1996 and 2003: a. 15 percent, b. 50 percent, c. 85 percent.
9. Gustaf Nordenskiöld, a scholar in Sweden, excavated and photographed Mesa Verde's ruins beginning in 1891. He shipped many artifacts out of the area, and now one of the finest collections of Anasazi pottery can be found in: a. New York City, b. Helsinki, Finland, c. Bayonne, N.J.
10. Tourists who drive many miles from U.S. Highway 160 to visit Mesa Verde's ruins often ask, "Why did they build the
ruins so far from the road?" Choose the best answer: a. which road?, b. work was completed on a Friday at 4:30 p.m., c. a Ph.D. thesis awaits any scholarly answer.
Extra credit: Features Editor John Peel is attending the annual international GeoQuiz conference held this year in Timbuktu located in this African country: a. Senegal, b. Nigeria, c. Mali.
Herald employee Herb Folsom has unfortunately regressed, at least technologically. Now, not only can he not be reached via e-mail, but he has gone back to handwriting his guest GeoQuizzes. If you have questions for him, your best bet is to find him on a street corner playing the 12-bar blues.
Answers to the GeoQuiz
1. Yellowstone National Park was founded in 1872.
2. William Henry Jackson.
3. b. 1906.
4. Ancestral Puebloans.
5. The Hopi, Navajo, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain tribes, and these Pueblo tribes: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Sandia, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Ysleta del Sur, Zia, Zuni.
6. Corn, beans and squash.
7. b. 1978.
8. a. 50 percent.
9. b. Helsinki. Nordenskiold is of Finnish descent. Taking the items, which are now held by the National Museum of Finland, caused quite a stir at the time in little Durango.
Extra credit. c. Mali. It's a long way to Timbuktu.