A podcast series about the history of ancestral Puebloans in the Four Corners region launched Friday with three introductory episodes, according to a news release from Mesa Verde National Park.
The first three episodes of the “Mesa Verde Voices” series – “Revealed by Fire,” “Corn=Life” and “Moving On” – focus on different aspects of the ancestral Puebloans’ way of life and how modern archaeology is uncovering it in places like the park’s Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House.
The series is the result of a partnership of the park, Mesa Verde Museum Association, KSJD Public Radio and Mesa Verde Country Tourism Bureau. The episodes will be available for free on iTunes or at mesaverdevoices.org.
The release described the podcast as a way of “connecting the experiences of people from the past with the people of today.” While Mesa Verde will act as a “jumping-off point” for most of the episodes, the series will also explore Puebloan history in other parts of the Four Corners region, the release said.
“This project represents the highest ideals of the National Park Service around education, inspiration, conservation and action,” Kristy Sholly, Mesa Verde’s chief of interpretation, said in the release. “And we’re really proud to be able to bring the relevance of ancient cultures forward to our challenges today.”
After the debut of the first three episodes, producers will begin work on a second season. According to the release, the partners have enough funding to create five episodes for the 2018 tourist season. The project is funded by grants from the Ballantine Family Fund, Mesa Verde Museum Association and Mesa Verde Country, with technical support provided by KSJD.
While tourists can listen to the podcast almost anywhere, it was also designed to be used as a driving tour of Mesa Verde National Park. Teri Paul, executive director of the Mesa Verde Museum Association, encouraged visitors to download episodes in advance, since Wi-Fi can be unreliable in the park. The series may also be downloaded at the Visitor and Research Center, which has free Wi-Fi, at the entrance to the park.
“We hope this will be an ongoing project,” she said. “I’d like to see it go for three to five years, so we can build up a library of podcasts.”
In July, Mesa Verde Country launched the “Ancient Voices” podcast, which is designed to guide visitors through the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Funded by a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office, that series is also available for free on Mesa Verde Country’s website.