Following in the wake of what one noted scientist called "transients who neither revered nor cared for the ruins as symbols of the past," the Wetherill family became the earliest students of Mesa Verde. Their careful excavations and record-keeping helped preserve key information, leading to a deeper understanding of the people who built and occupied the cliff dwellings. As devout Quakers, they felt they were predestined to protect the prehistoric sites from wanton destruction – a role that would not be assumed by the government or other major institutions until years later. Based on decades of meticulous research, author Fred Blackburn sets the record straight on these early protectors of Mesa Verde.
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