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Intensive archaeological survey on Chapin Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park disclosed remains of soil and water conservation devices built and used by the Pueblo II and III inhabitants. Low stone masonry check-dams across intermittent drainages formed farming terraces, while associated seasonal field houses sheltered their tillers. Larger dams near clusters of house sites stored water for domestic use. Water from the extensive collection system for the largest of these, Mummy Lake, was subsequently led through the long Far View Ditch to the late Pueblo III Cliff-Fewkes Canyon cliff dwelling group. These various adaptations to an undependable environment may be symptomatic of the underlying causes for the ultimate abandonment of the Mesa Verde.
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