DOLORES, Colo. (AP) – The federal government has bought nearly three square miles within Canyons of the Ancients National Monument from a private landowner.

The Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday it bought the land last week for $974,000 from Corey Veach.

Monument officials say the land has significant cultural prehistoric resources, including architecture and rock art.

The BLM says the area was occupied as early as around 10,500 B.C., with later use by ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Navajos and Euro-Americans. BLM archaeologist Vince MacMillan says the degree of physical preservation at some of the recorded sites is exceptional.

State officials say 11 oil exploration or production sites are on the parcel, including one that is producing oil.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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