National Geographic : 1938 May
Photograph by Margaret Bourke-White ATOP THIS ROCKY AIR-ISLAND, WHOSE FANTASTIC EROSIONS SEEM LIKE GIANT SCULPTURES, PERCHES THE ANCIENT SKY CITY OFACOMA Through centuries soft-moccasined people climbing trails up to this 70-acre rocky table top have worn deep footholds initssteep sides. Intheold church are40-foot timbers dragged up from distant mountains. Fray Marcos de Niza, in 1539, was the first white to see the rock, but hedidn't climb it.Coronado visited itthefollowing year. In 1598 Ofiate's lieutenant, Juan de Zaldivar, led soldiers up the cliffs, only to be slain with many of his men (p. 530). Five Spanish soldiers, wounded by knives, jumped over the cliffs, at whose feet sloping sand dunes broke their fall, so that only one was killed. Sight-seeing motorcars now approach Acoma up atroughlike valley.