TRAVELERS find in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado, numerous ruins of ancient buildings that show that that region of country was once inhabited by a people well advanced in civilization.

The most interesting of these buildings are what are called the "cliff houses," perched like swallows' nests in the cliffs bordering some narrow valley, perhaps as high as eight hundred feet above its level. One of these houses in the Mancos Canyon stands on a narrow platform of the cliff, up to which a stairway, cut in the rock, once led. The house was of two stories, twelve feet high in all, with a few feet to spare between the top of the wall and the overhanging rock. The roof, if there ever was one, has been removed. 

The rooms in the house were small; a front room, about six by nine feet, and others, five by seven feet, are found. The rooms in the rear have the face of the cliff for a back wall. 

A few cedar splinters sticking in the wall show where there have been floor beams. The stones of the front wall are all squared and smoothly faced. The partitions are similar to the front walls, and seem to have been rubbed smooth after being built. The doorways and windows were small. The walls of the lower and upper front rooms are plastered with a layer of firm cement, of a deep maroon color, with a dingy white band, eight inches broad, running around floor, sides, and ceiling. The floor seems also to have been leveled with cement.

The perseverance and ingenuity of the builders are shown in this house. 

The ledge was once quite thickly populated, as a good many other ruins are found near by this one. The people are believed to have been farmers, who built these cliff houses as places of refuge from the attacks of their enemies.

Who these people were we are not now able to say. They seem to have vanished. Perhaps something will be learned about them by more study of these ruins. At any rate these cliff houses are very curious and interesting, and well worth reading about.