These are the stunning pictures of ancient native American caves – lived in by pre-columbian people thousands of years ago

These are the stunning pictures of ancient Native American caves – lived in by an ancient civilisation thousands of years ago.

Monarch Cave Ruins, Utah

Monarch Cave Ruins, Utah

The pictures, taken by amateur photographer Wayne Pinkston, 64, in August 2015, show the caves of the ancient Anasazi people in what is now the south-west of The United States.

The Anasazi were a pre-Columbian civilisation who built stone buildings, living in large caves or alcoves that could be easily defended, before they suddenly abandoned or disappeared in around 1300 AD.

False Kiva in Utah

False Kiva in Utah

Wayne said: “These places have lots of atmosphere and they’re fascinating at night.

“It’s enthralling and very primal to look out and see just the same thing they did so long ago.

“This photo project was to honour and celebrate this ancient culture and I’ve really enjoyed working on it because I don’t think it’s really been pursued at night before.

Sisteen Room Ruinnear Bluff, Utah

Sisteen Room Ruinnear Bluff, Utah

“It is hard for us to imagine living in the world of the ancients – we can visit these places in the daytime but perhaps the closest we can come to feeling the atmosphere of ancient times is to be there at night.

“At night we can look outward and see the world as they did 1000 years ago.”

House on Fire Ruin

House on Fire Ruin

The Anasazi thrived from around 200 AD until about 1300 AD when they unexplainably disappeared from the area.

It is thought that they migrated elsewhere and, although the reason is unknown, the most likely reason is thought to be drought.

They lived in villages built of stone walls in cliff recesses, alcoves and shallow caves with primitive rooms built for living quarters, food storage and for ceremonial structures.