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From massive cliffs to jagged peaks to layer upon layer below the earth’s surface, rock formations hold tantalizing clues to hundreds of millions of years of geologic history along Colorado’s Front Range. These clues have revealed that over eons of time, the region has changed dramatically. Mountains, deserts, seas, and rainforests have come and gone.

Many clues to the region's storied past were unearthed when the Museum drilled a 2,256-foot-deep well through the rock layers beneath Kiowa, Colorado, in 1999. From that core, layers representing Colorado’s ancient landscapes were brought back to the surface.

Compiling direct evidence from the core’s rocks and sediment, as well as from geologic evidence gathered in other parts of the area, Museum scientists, working with local artists, re-created several ancient Denver landscapes. The results of their work are thirteen landscape paintings depicting Denver's amazingly varied past.

Visit Landscapes to begin your journey!

Photograph credits
Rick Wicker, Kirk R. Johnson, Kendra Mingo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science archives, Robert G. Raynolds, Jack Murphy


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