Arriving at the last cave we venture upward via a small stair case, entering the the ruins through a hole in one of the dwelling walls. At the top of the stairs we turn around and are greeted to a marvelous view of the canyon: to our left are the ruins of two Kivas.
Pre-Columbian Kiva's may have been used for spiritual activities just as today some modern Pueblo communities maintain Kivas for religious ceremonies.
It is in this last cave where the residents of this cliff dwelling carried out the functions of their lives.
When I was here in the 70's it was still possible to examine the corn crib (granary), complete with small little corn cobs; the corn, long ago, digested by rodents. The guide tells us visitors are no longer allowed near the corn crib. He explained, " visitors pilfered the cobs and the granary is now only half full".
The official explanation is that 10-15 families lived here in the Gila Cave Dwelling, but I learn from one of the volunteers an alternative explanation.
Continue to Gila Cliff Dwellings - Page 3