On Exhibit in the Museum
Edge of the Cedars Museum contains one of the largest collections of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery and artifacts in the Southwest. Permanent exhibits feature one-of-a-kind objects such as the macaw feather sash (dated to AD 1150) and rare items such as the Horse Rock Ruin basket collection and turkey feather blankets. Every object tells a story that brings us closer to understanding the ancient people.
One of our most popular exhibits, Visible Storage is a combination of laboratory space and exhibit. Glass walls allow you to observe the curator at work and to see an extensive collection of pottery from southeast Utah – over 400 pots – and the ladder from Perfect Kiva Ruin. The pottery dates from the late Basketmaker III period to the Pueblo III period.
Enter Visible Storage online and learn about the pottery made by the Ancestral Puebloans. See how the pottery changed through time and how archaeologists use pottery to learn about the lifeways of the ancient people.
Imagine hiking in the canyons and finding a pot, a cache of digging sticks, or other artifacts. A special exhibit created in partnership with the Monticello Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, Discovery! tells the stories of people who did the right thing by reporting their finds. These artifacts are on view at Edge of the Cedars, where they can be studied by scholars and enjoyed by visitors for years to come.
Spirit Windows and Outdoor Sculptures
Throughout the museum, murals created by Bluff, Utah, artist Joe Pachak reproduce rock art panels of San Juan County. The Spirit Windows murals include some images that can no longer be seen because they are beneath the waters of Lake Powell.
Pachak also created rock art-inspired sculptures on the museum grounds, including the Solar Marker. Like Ancestral Puebloan archaeoastronomy sites, it is a calendar marking the movement of light and shadow at summer and winter solstice. At our sculpture, a slender beam of sunlight passes through an opening and bisects the center of the spiral at the winter solstice. View a slideshow of a solstice event. Knowing these times was important for knowing when to plant when to expect certain wild plants to ripen, and when to gather for ceremonies and special public activities. Today descendants of the Ancestral Puebloans still mark the movement of the heavens. For example, the Hopi use a horizon calendar to determine the time of the annual ceremonial cycle and the time to plant and harvest.
Farmers, Traders, Potters, and Builders: A Window on Live at the Edge in AD 1075
This exhibit allows visitors a perched view of the Chaco-era great house and a portion of its surrounding landscape through the windows of our “tower room.” Complimenting these views is a set of fine panel illustrations that prompt visitors’ imaginations to consider what might have been present at this important community center in AD 1075, probably just shortly after the great house had been built. The panels also queue us to think about how the changing seasons affected the daily life in Ancestral Pueblo farming communities. Populating these colorful murals are illustrations of artifacts that visitors can find on display in the halls of the museum. Finally, the exhibit reminds us of the amazing migrations that Puebloans undertook in the late AD 1200s and that, though they are removed far to the south, Puebloan peoples have strong connections to the landscapes in the Four Corners region.