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My husband and I are vacationing with another couple in Southern Colorado. Today we went to Mesa Verde. Everywhere we went we read about hunters and gatherers.
If you are not familiar with Mesa Verde, it is a National Park that preserves the ancient dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans. The pit houses and mesa top houses are interesting, but those kinds of Pueblo ruins are scattered all over the Southwest. What makes Mesa Verde so fascinating are the cliff dwellings. They look like complex apartment communities, but they were built under overhanging cliffs. They were secure from both enemies and predatory animals, because the only access was by ladders or toe holes in the cliffs.
The Native Americans who lived in these ruins are identified in the museums, on the park signs and in all the brochures as hunters and gatherers. Many of those exhibits talk about what these hunters and gatherers ate, and believe me it is nothing like the GenoType diet!
Meat was high on the list. They killed and ate lots of game including deer, rabbits, squirrels, and turkeys. That sounds a lot like a hunter. Their other foods were pinto-like beans, corn, and squash. Neither pinto beans nor corn are beneficial choices for either hunters or gatherers. Most squash is neutral, but many are black dot for gatherers.
One of our friends commented that it would have been heavenly to have lived in such beautiful country, out in the open, with no worries about economic crises or unemployment. We all agreed that an active outdoor life would have advantages. But in spite of the clean air and water, the life span of the Ancestral Puebloans was short and often brutal. There were no antibiotics, and limited techniques for setting broken bones. There were no bananas from Central America, no salmon from Alaska, no Romaine from California, no cherries from Washington. Most of the beneficial foods enjoyed by GTD hunters and gatherers would have been completely unknown.
I will take my computer, my modern grocery store, and the probability of seeing my grandchildren grow up over the primitive life of this very interesting culture.
Speaking of hunting, our son is taking care of our dog and our house while we are gone while he hunts for a physical therapy job. We are thankful that even in this very difficult economy he is having very positive interviews.
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