Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, finally, and we set out to checkout Montezuma to learn about prehistoric cultures, the Hohokam to the south and the Northern Sinagua to the north, that once lived in the Verde Valley, present day Flagstaff.

First we went to the Montezuma Castle, a 5 story, 20 room dwelling built into a cliff 100 feet up by the Southern Sinagua in the 1100s CE. Next door is another castle that used to be a 6-story building with 45 rooms.
Next we drove over to the Montezuma Well. It is a limestone sink formed by the collapse of an underground cavern. It is spring fed continuously and was used by the Southern Sinagua farmers for their crops.

There are many dwellings that range from large 50 room houses to single room pueblos. 150 - 200 Southern Sinagua people lived here from 1125 - 1400.

The Southern Sinagua disappeared in the early 1400's. The cause is unknown, but possible reasons are population, lack of natural resources, disease, conflicts, weather changes or spiritual beliefs. They may have migrated to the pueblo villages to the north or Hohokam villages in the south.

Pretty interesting history!

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