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BANDELIER Some place: Tsankawi

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By Roger Snodgrass

Tsankawi is an ancient Native American site containing unexcavated ruins dating from the 1400s. Within its scruffy surrounding landscape, there are immense views, foot-worn trails, cave-dwellings and petroglyphs.

Located several miles north of the entrance to the main reaches of Bandelier National Monument, Tsankawi is a remote and detached section of the monument, easily missed on a first or second visit to the area.

Apart from its natural beauty and its lofty ramparts atop a plateau that guards the entry into Los Alamos, Tsankawi is famous for having been immortalized in literature by the celebrated 20th Century English novelist John Fowles.

A chapter entitled “Tsankawi” which was placed both literally and figuratively at the center of Fowles 1977 novel, “Daniel Martin,” has been the subject of intense interest by literary critics and devotees of the author of “The Collector,” “The Magus" and "The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” among other works.


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