5/11/10, Dolores, CO - Most of day we traveled with the towering ramparts of Mesa Verde filling the southern horizon. Trekking slowly past this huge mesa, which covers several hundred square miles, leaves plenty of time for reflection.
900 years ago, an advanced civilization of several thousand people lived on the mesa. They lived primarily from agriculture, and build several large pueblo type cities. In spite of this, disease and warfare caused most people to live less than thirty five years.
At the same time, Europe was in the midst of the middle ages, with most of the continent under local rule. Disease, hunger, and warfare also caused most Europeans to have a relatively short life spans.
Life for both the ancient Puebloeans and Europeans was both short and tough. Most of the day was spent just trying to stay alive.