Native American Ancient Dwellings Gallery

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Native American Ancient Dwellings Subcategories:   [ Montezuma Castle ] [ Tuzigoot ] [ Montezuma Well ]
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Montezuma Castle

Cliff Dwelling
Cliff Dwelling 2

Cliff Pueblo
Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff
Cliff Pueblo 2

Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff 2
Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff 3
Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff 4

Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff 5
Pueblo Walls, base of Cliff 6
Cliff Pueblo 3

In a cliff recess one hundred feet above the Beaver Creek valley, stands a 20-room dwelling that was began in the 12th century by Sinagua farmers. A short distance to the west are the remains of Castle A, built against the base of the cliff. This once imposing six-story pueblo, with about 45 rooms, is now a badly deteriorated ruin. Beaver Creek was a reliable source of water, and there was fertile land on the nearby river terrace. Early settlers marveled at the structure and mistakenly thought that it was an Aztec ruin.

The Sinagua (Spanish for "without water") were pithouse dwellers and dry farmers, dependent on rain for their crops. They moved into the valley about 1125 a.d., occupying land vacated by some of the Hohokam who migrated north. The move titleered Sinagua culture in two important ways: they adopted the irrigation system of the Hohokam, and they began to build above-ground masonry dwellings, an idea they may have borrowed from the Anasazi to the north.

About 1150 a.d. the Sinagua began building their large pueblos, often on hilltops or in cliffs. The village reached its present size in the 1300's and was occupied for another century. In the early 1400's, the Sinagua abandoned the entire valley.

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