Message #214:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Review of Mesa Verde National Park CD ROM
Date: Fri Jun 28 11:40:58 1996
Mime-Version: 1.0 is the URL for
InfoMagic's web page offering the Mesa Verde National Park CD ROM Sampler.
 The CD was produced in 1995 and retails for $15.00.  You can order on-line,
or write InfoMagic at 11950 North Highway 89, Flagstaff AZ  86004  [ Phone:
1-800-800-6613 / (520) 5269565 / FAX (520) 526-9573 ].  E-mail:

I recently wrote IM and asked if they would provide a copy of the CD for
review by SWA.  The CD is pretty darn neat.  It can run on Windows or
Macintosh systems, and requires a minimum of 8mb RAM and 256 colors, and of
course, a CD ROM player.

The Mesa Verde CD recounts the discovery of Mesa Verde and combines natural
history, culture history and archaeological interpretation from a National
Park Service perspective.  There is a lot of good data intelligently
presented.  There are included over 100 photographs of Mesa Verde National
Park.  Also included are photos of sunsets and the natural environment.  All
of these photos can be downloaded and used as monitor screensavers or
enjoyed with the text and music.

On the downside, the brief drumming interludes demarcating story segments
become a little wearysome after a time.  We also spied a map of the Colorado
Plateau which may be incorrect.  The map purported to show the extent of the
Colorado Plateau, but the boundaries shown on the graphic were not expansive
enough if the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau is the Mogollon Rim.
 From a 'jaded archaeologist' position one might note some normative history
and a taste of 'new age' elements in the presentation (e.g., Native
Americans lived in harmony with the land, then mysteriously disappeared;
 European despoilers of the land were living in chaos and dark ages at the
time the people of Mesa Verde were living their architectural and cultural
pinnacle).  Of course, there are competing models of how these cultures and
ruins might be interpreted, and the model presented by the CD is the one the
public will buy.  In fact, it probably is the right CD at the right time.
 The 'jaded' point of view makes little sense to the public.

Stylistically, the CD is a gem.  It also is a great marketing tool for
additional products and services -- it includes discount coupons for the
"Trails of Time" CD and information for Mesa Verde Museum Association
membership.  The Mesa Verde National Park CD ROM Sampler would make an
excellent inexpensive birthday gift or doorprize.  If you are planning a
trip to Mesa Verde, the CD prepares you for the journey and allows you to
formulate the questions you'll want to ask the Park interpreters staff.
 Students will find the CD an excellent source of information for school
projects and reports.  SWA recommends that you add this CD to your
collection.  It is worth the purchase price.  SWA rates this CD with four
Marshaltown trowels!

Southwestern Archaeology (SWA)

Brian Kenny