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Archaeology as Built for the Tourists: The Anasazi Cliff Dwellings of Manitou Springs, Colorado

by Troy R. Lovata
International Journal of Historical Archaeology ()

Abstract

Anasazi-era archaeology sites have been extremely popular tourist attractions since the 1890s, but one site—the cliff dwellings in Manitou Springs, Colorado—stands apart because it is a fake. The site was constructed at the turn of the twentieth century as a more accessible tourist alternative to Four Corners-area Anasazi ruins. The story of its construction and how it continues to cater to its visitors offers insight into the ways in which archaeology sites function as tourist destination. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings forces scholars to consider questions of authenticity, authority, and how people engage the past.

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