Bandelier National Monument is located about 60 miles west of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the edge of the Valles Caldera, the center of a massive extinct volcano that forms the Jemez Mountains. The 50-plus-square-mile preserve was designated a national monument in 1916 and is named for anthropologist Adolph Bandelier, the first Euro-American to describe the area and encourage its preservation. Within its boundaries are some of the most important archaeological resources and the most striking scenery in the American Southwest. With deep canyons cutting through volcanic ash, the dramatic geology of the area alone would warrant national attention. However, this is also a place that shows evidence of nearly continuous human occupation for more than 10,000 years and still retains direct links between prehistoric and living Native Americans.
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