Collections and Research
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Every Thursday at 2 p.m.
May 1 - October 31

The Anasazi Heritage Center is a designated Federal Repository for archaeological materials. Tours last 45 minutes to one hour. 

Space is limited; call 970-882-5600 to reserve a place.
Please, no young children.


 Curation internThe Anasazi Heritage Center is one of three federal archaeological repositories operated by the Bureau of Land Management. It stores and protects over 3.5 million artifacts recovered from public lands in Southwest Colorado. Prehistoric pottery, woven fiber items, and stone tools are among the fragile items permanently preserved for research. 

This collection is public property, and its contents are accessible by appointment to anyone with a research question to address.

Kiva Jar, Mesa Verde Black-on-white, AD 1150-1250 (7.10.5MT765.V121-C)

The AHC was originally built to house the artifacts and associated records recovered from the Dolores Archaeological Program (DAP) , a massive project to salvage the research value of a large archaeological area in southwest Colorado, once densely settled with thousands of home sites, before construction of McPhee Dam and Reservoir. 

As a federal repository, the AHC accepts properly packaged and documented cultural materials from Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, tribal lands and state lands in southwestern Colorado. Cultural materials must be legally collected under the stipulations of the current State of Colorado permit, or a federal cultural resource use permit, in order to be accessioned. A curation agreement with the AHC must also be in place.


The AHC collections and data management programs focus primarily on the preservation of, facilitation of access to, and use of archaeological and archival collections. These programs also support and enhance museum exhibits and interpretation programs. 

All Anasazi Heritage Center and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument programs promote


    Mug, Mesa Verde Black-on-White style, Pueblo III (AD 1180-1300). From Sand Canyon Pueblo. 97.10.5MT765.RC21

    an understanding of the cultural landscape of the Four Corners in a broad context
  • an understanding and appreciation of the diverse patterns of living in this cultural landscape
  • an understanding of our region's diverse human populations, their dynamic relationships to one another and to the environment over time
  • support for the continuity of regional cultural diversity
  • landscape-level management of contextually-intertwined cultural and natural resources
  • the the mission of the BLM's  National Landcape Conservation System
  • inclusive, conscientious, transparent, and respectful decision making
  • ongoing support and good will of the local and regional community

The Anasazi Heritage Center contributes to the above mission by

  • maintaining a systematically cataloged, arranged, and described collection of artifacts and associated archival records
  • supporting regional research
  • serving as a source of expertise about the prehistory and history of the area, in consultation with tribal groups traditionally associated with the Four Corners cultural landscape
  • educating the public about the value of cultural resources in the context of multiple-use management of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and other nearby public lands.