Armchair anthropology refers to the study of mankind and society from a comfortable distance, usually with a book or device in one’s lap. But, as travelers know, the best way to learn about how others live is by seeing and experiencing it firsthand.
The United States of America brims with history that is usually overlooked, whether it’s in standard education or the political sphere. These sites around the country were born of—or honor—that legacy.
Some, like the Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, the Ocmulgee National Monument and Aztec Ruins National Monument, preserve stunning examples of indigenous architecture, while others, like the Nez Perce National Historical Park and Talequah, Oklahoma’s Cherokee Heritage Center, preserve indigenous cultures that stood the test of genocide. Meanwhile Petrified Forest National Park and Horseshoe Canyon are magnificent backdrops for some of America’s oldest anthropological artifacts.
1. Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings. 2. Canyonlands Great Gallery. 3. Chaco Culture National Historical Park. 4. Nez Perce National Historic Park. 5. Cherokee Heritage Center. 6. Ocmulgee National Monument.
Sarra Sedghi is the assistant editor of Paste’s food and science sections.