by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Montezuma Castle / Tuzigoot

Guide Winter 2010/2011

brochure Montezuma Castle / Tuzigoot - Guide Winter 2010/2011
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Park News and Visitor Guide Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments V O L U M E 5 • N U M B ER 1 Fall 2010 / Winter 2011 Welcome to the Monuments of the Verde Valley The Verde Valley, lying under the spectacular pine-clad cliffs of the Mogollon Rim of central Arizona, forms an immense biological transition between desert, grassland, and forest vegetation zones. As the seasons change, this endangered riparian or streamside habitat of the Verde River serves as a migration corridor for many animals traveling from summer to winter ranges in the south. But for thousands of years, the Verde Valley was also a haven for the movement of people, providing the food and water all life needs for survival. The national monuments of the Verde Valley­—Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot—protect and interpret the legacy of the Sinagua culture, a Native people who flourished in the area for centuries, long before Columbus claimed to have discovered this New World. Montezuma Castle has been described as the best preserved and most dramatic cliff dwelling in the United States. Montezuma Well is a natural limestone sinkhole with prehistoric sites and several animal species found nowhere else in the world. Tuzigoot is the remains of a 110-room pueblo perched on a high ridge with a panoramic view of the Verde River. Today’s visitors marvel at the well-preserved Sinagua dwellings, but also allow some time to experience the oasis of the riparian area. As the seasons change, we invite you to ENJOY! — Kathy M. Davis, Superintendent Echoes from the Past Discovering the 10,000 year legacy of people in the Verde Valley A visit to Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot National Monuments provokes many questions. Why did they live here? Where did they go? And, perhaps most importantly, how did they live in this land of seemingly harsh contrasts: hot and arid in the summer, cool in the winter? continued on page 4 C O NTENT S General Information Montezuma Castle The Sinagua—Echoes from the Past Montezuma Well Tuzigoot Park Science and Outreach Flagstaff Area Monuments Become A Junior Ranger! Local Friends and Partners Western National Parks Association 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 G ENERAL IN F O R M ATI O N Protect your Monuments National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Montezuma Castle & Tuzigoot National Monuments Superintendent Kathy M. Davis Mailing Address P.O. Box 219 Camp Verde, AZ 86322 Website Park Headquarters Email ph: (928) 567-5276 fax: (928) 567-3597 Montezuma Castle 2800 Montezuma Castle Rd. Camp Verde, AZ 86322 (928) 567-3322 Montezuma Well 5525 Beaver Creek Rd. Rimrock, AZ 86335 (928) 567-4521 Tuzigoot 25 W. Tuzigoot Rd. Clarkdale, AZ 86324 (928) 634-5564 Hours of Operation (Closed Christmas Day) September–May: Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June–August: Daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Park Entrance Fees and Passes Daily Entrance Fees for Montezuma Castle or Tuzigoot: $5 per adult (16 & over) Children FREE (under 16) Combined Fees for Montezuma Castle AND Tuzigoot: $8 per adult (16 & over) Children FREE (under 16) Interagency Annual Pass: $80 Grants access to all federal fee areas in the U.S. (with some exceptions), including all national parks and monuments, for twelve months from date of purchase. Interagency Senior Pass: $10 A one-time fee grants access to all federal fee areas in the U.S. (with some exceptions). For U.S. citizens or permanent residents 62 years of age or older. Interagency Access Pass: FREE Grants access to all federal fee areas in the U.S. (with some exceptions) for permanently disabled U.S. citizens or permanent residents. • The arid desert landscape is very fragile, and wildfires are a real danger. Smoking is permitted in designated areas only. • All the monuments are protecting archeological sites, as well as natural resources. It is against the law to tamper with, deface or remove any artifact, plant, rock, or other natural feature of the park. • Hiking off the trails can damage the soil crust—a living groundcover of lichens, mosses, and other organisms. • Off-road parking or driving is prohibited. • Please help with trash removal and use the waste receptacles. We have an active recycling program for aluminum cans and plastic bottles, with designated brown receptacles. • Camping is prohibited in all areas of the monuments. • Bicycles, skateboards, and any motorized vehicle other than wheelchairs are not permitted on the trails. • Gas stoves are permitted only at the Montezuma Well picnic area. No ashproducing fires are allowed in the monuments. Protect Yourself • Remember to drink lots of water, use sunscreen, and wear a hat! If you feel thirsty, you are already on the way to being dehydrated. Be prepared with appropriate footwear and clothing for temperatures that can exceed 100°F (38°C) in the summer and fall below freezing in the winter. • Please stay on the trails. Rattlesnakes live here, though they are rarely seen. • Handrails are there for your safety; please do not go past them. Rock surfaces can be slippery; please stay away from any cliff edge. • Pets on a short leash are allowed on the trails but must be carried into visitor centers. Do not leave pets in a vehicle during warm weather. Please clean up after your pet. Ranger Programs • Ranger programs are offered at least twice daily at Montezuma Castle and as staffing allows at both Tuzigoot and Montezuma Well. These programs range in length from 20 minutes to an hour and cover topics including archeology, Sinagua culture, and the geology and biology of the Verde Valley. Ask a ranger or docent at the visitor center for program times and locations. • Education programs and classroom presentation are available to local and visiting school groups. Call Ranger Case Griffing at (928) 567-3322 x230, or e-mail ( for more information and scheduling. Accessibility • The national parks and monuments are areas of great beauty and significance, set aside for all to enjoy. Ask a ranger if there are any questions or concerns about accessibility. Audio cassettes and text in Braille are available. More details about trails and visitor centers are available under individual monument descriptions. VIP Program • Our volunteers are priceless! The National Park Service’s VolunteersIn-Parks program gives the public an opportunity to share knowledge and experience. Call (928) 567-3322 x230. “Echoes” is provided by Western National Parks Association in cooperation with: Montezuma Castle National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument P.O. Box 219, Camp Verde, AZ 86322 Editor: Case Griffing Design & Production: Amanda Summers Design, Case Griffing, Anne Worthington, Joshua Boles, and Paul Ollig Contributors and Advisors: Kathy Davis, Sherry Wood, Ed Cummins, Karen Hughes, John Reid, Rex Vanderford, Jon Fistler, Skip Larson, Penny Wagner, Anne Worthington, Ryeon Corsi, Ryan Isaac, Deb Decovis, Sharon Kim, and Dennis Casper Masthead art © 2004 Montezuma Castle National Monument Printed on recycled paper with soy inks by the Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff, AZ. MONTEZUM A C A S T L E It is not a castle, though there is a great magnificence to this prehistoric American Indian structure. Moreover, Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II was never here. The Castle that now bears his name was inhabited at least a century before he was born! R ising 100 feet (30 m) above the Beaver Creek floodplain, Montezuma Castle is a testimony to the resilience and innovation of a people labeled the “Sinagua,” named after the Spanish term for the San Francisco Peaks, la sierra sin agua—the mountains without water. Montezuma Castle is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the United States. It is 90 percent original, despite years of unauthorized excavation, visitation, and even an alleged attempt to blow apart a wall to collect artifacts. Origins Montezuma Castle was not an isolated structure where people lived generation after generation, having little contact with neighbors. The Castle instead was a small, but very dramatic, part of a large community of people spread up and down the waterways of the Verde Valley. As many as 6,000 to 8,000 people may have lived in the valley in small villages no more than two miles apart. Montezuma Castle is located along Beaver Creek, possibly a final leg in a major prehistoric trade route from northern Arizona. People following this trail were seeking salt, cotton, argillite, and other minerals. Were the residents of Montezuma Castle keeping watch on traders or other visitors entering the area, or was it simply a very nice place to live? No one really knows. The Castle Montezuma Castle is built into a deep alcove with masonry rooms added in phases. A thick roof of sycamore beams, reeds, grasses, and clay often served as the floor of the next room built on top. Entrance to most areas was usually through a hole in the roof; a ladder made access easier. The 19 rooms could have housed 35 to 50 people, conserving precious farmland near the creek. Around the corner was “Castle A,” a site with 45 to 50 rooms that also hugged the limestone cliff. These people were certainly related, sharing food, land, and friendships: all ties that bind a community. There is little evidence of conflict or warfare, but perhaps people felt more secure living in the Castle. The series of ladders used to climb to the site could be pulled in for the night and there is a panoramic view of the river and valley from the top parapet level. The remains of a small structure above the Castle, on top of the cliff, allows views of the entire countryside. A sentry would have advance warning of anyone entering the area. Just as important, the Castle is simply a wonderful place to live in all seasons. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The higher elevation gives some relief from biting mosquitoes, juniper gnats, and other pesky vermin. Daily activities, such as preparing food, were done on the roof, and most areas have an inspiring creekfront view! Moving Away Between 1380 and 1400, people began moving from the area, probably joining relatives in large pueblos to the east. As more explanations are offered for their departure, more questions arise. Stress factors may have included prolonged drought, disease, and nutrient-depleted soil from growing corn. The departure from Montezuma Castle and surrounding ancestral lands had to have been very emotional. The ties to the land crossed centuries and generations. The decision to leave could only have been one of necessity. Once Montezuma Castle was recorded on early maps, the name was accepted. When Fort Verde was established to subdue and round up the Yavapai and Apache people, a popular outing for officers and enlisted men was to visit “The Castle.” Depending on the perspective, it was either a site to preserve or a treasure chest full of curiosities to take home. Very few original artifacts remained in 1906 when President Teddy Roosevelt declared Montezuma Castle a national monument, but protection of the structure for future generations was assured. In 1933 “Castle A” was excavated, uncovering a wealth of information and artifacts that expanded our knowledge of the Sinagua. The visitor center displays at Montezuma Castle showcase this culture, a legacy that did not disappear but is still alive with the Pueblo people of today. By Anne Worthington National Park Service This cutaway diagram shows how the interior of the Castle was constructed. The “Halls of Montezuma” In 1874 some of the first Euro-American explorers to see Montezuma Castle were veterans of the Mexican-American War (1846– 1848). When they saw the great cliff dwellings and large pueblos with standing walls, they didn’t believe the local indigenous people had the knowledge or ability to construct such imposing structures. Instead, they attributed them to the Aztecs, whose magnificent ruins they had seen in Mexico. A popular Marine marching song of the time referred to the “Halls of Montezuma,” or Mexico City, center of the Aztec world. Inspired, the veterans felt the Aztec king had to have been somehow involved! Right: A view of one of two entryways to Montezuma Castle. Residents would have entered through the door and then used ladders to go from room to room. Montezuma Castle is noted for its “T-shaped door,” a style favored by Ancestral Puebloan people in the Four Corners area but not found in central Arizona. No one knows the purpose for this design. Did the Sinagua just like the way it looked, or did the shape have a function? T HE SINAGUA — E ch o e s f rom the Pa st F along with the large animals that once supplied families with food, clothing, and other needs. People had to broaden their reliance to other plants and animals, as well as develop and strengthen a network of alliances. Besides creating a market to exchange minerals, textiles, jewelry, and other resources, such commerce also provided a mechanism to share new technologies and ideas while extending family and social ties. This interaction with people from what is now Mexico introduced changes that forever altered life in the Southwest. A new idea— agriculture—challenged thousands of years of a sustainable, hunting and gathering lifestyle and revolutionized the way people interacted with and transformed the land. Two warm-weather plants native to Mesoamerica, corn and cotton, were hybridized over the centuries and traded into the desert southwest, gradually adapting to the short, arid growing season of northern Arizona. When properly tended and stored, corn, beans, and squash provided a nutritious, year-round source of food. People never gave up supplementing their diets with animals and native plants, but as larger game became The Birth of Agriculture increasingly scarce, the great hunts of the Over the millennia the climate gradually past were no longer a guaranteed method of changed, and the vast grasslands disappeared survival. or at least ten thousand years, the Verde Valley has been a corridor of movement as people followed the seasonal migrations of big game animals, raised their families, and utilized the natural resources of the land. Today, people flock to northern Arizona, both to live and to play, precisely because of this variable climate. Whether escaping the even colder northern latitudes in the winter or the oppressive heat to the south in the summer, the Verde Valley still stands as a migration corridor for people from all over the world. But the Valley we experience today is very different from what earlier inhabitants saw. Northern Arizona was once much cooler and moister, and the open range flowed with the deep, thick grasses favored by now-extinct large mammals such as prehistoric camel, giant elk, mammoths, and other big game animals. The earliest human inhabitants of the Southwest, the Paleoindians, killed these massive creatures with a distinctive stone spear tip called the Clovis point, and at least 16 of these extremely rare tools have been identified in the Verde Valley. Agriculture also changed the way human society was organized after thousands of years of hunting and gathering. Corn had to be planted and tended by people and could not survive as a wild plant. Accomplishing this required larger communities, enabling people to pool resources and provide the labor needed to weed their crops and process the harvest, not to mention enjoy new social and family connections. The earliest dwellings in these communities were partially dug into the ground and had roofs of timber, brush, and clay. By 600 C.E., small settlements of these pithouses ringed the edges of the Verde Valley and scattered along the waterways. One such dwelling, the “Pithouse Ruin,” can be seen at Montezuma Well. About the same time, durable pottery vessels for cooking and storage were first utilized, since fragile clay pots are impractical for nomadic people who are constantly on the move. Weaving technology, based on spinning cotton fiber into a thread and using a loom, traveled up the large river valleys from Mexico and was quickly mastered by the people of the Verde Valley. Five-hundred years later, around 1100 C.E., people here constructed pueblos, solid masonry structures with mud-plastered walls. They also made distinctive, polished ceramics and produced some of the finest textiles in the southwest. Archeologists call this culture the Sinagua, one of several groups in northern and central Arizona which shared basic cultural traits. “What’s That Tree With the White Bark?” The Arizona Sycamore is a Highlight of Any Visit G hostly white trunks and spreading, gnarled branches rise in stark contrast to the vivid hues of green along the riparian, or streamside, areas of the Verde Valley. The Arizona Sycamore, often reaching heights of 80 feet (24 m), is one of the most distinctive sights at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. This member of the plane tree family once blanketed Arizona, 63 million years ago when the climate was cool and moist. As the weather became drier, these deciduous trees retreated to areas close to permanent water, such as the perennial riverways and canyon bottoms that bisect the state. Some amazing adaptations help the Arizona Sycamore survive from seedling to old age, at least 200 years. Each fruit pod contains an average of 667 seeds with a protective coating designed to withstand seasonal flooding, torrents of water that reshape the land and move huge masses of rocks, earth, and debris. The roots of the young plant must be able to penetrate the rock-laden, compacted substrate. If torrential flooding scours the area, the seedlings may be left literally high and dry, with roots that have to remain in moist soil to thrive. Once established, the trees help protect against erosion, capturing precious topsoil for other plant life. The sycamore hosts a myriad of species native to Arizona. Large, palm-shaped leaves protect and shelter the many small birds using the waterways as a migration corridor. Woodpeckers and other burrowing animals nest in its spreading branches, and insects go through various life stages as they become sustenance for even more creatures. In the hot, dry summer months, sycamores offer shade and relief to all life along the banks. P eople in the Verde Valley have used the soft wood of the Arizona Sycamore for thousands of years. The ancient Sinagua used these trees for many of the support beams still visible in Montezuma Castle. Some of these beams, which were hoisted 80 feet above the valley floor, are estimated to weigh over two tons! Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the best locations to view Arizona Sycamore in its natural state. Sadly, over 90 percent of Arizona’s riparian areas, habitat necessary for the survival of these glorious trees, have been lost to development or are not accessible to the general public. Montezuma Well features a large, curved sycamore along the Outlet Trail, unchanged since it was photographed in the 1870s. This tree stands as a relic of the distant past and continues to inspire awe in visitors today. T HE SINAGUA — E ch o e s f rom the Pa st What’s In a Name? Visitors to the Southwest encounter many names associated with these prehistoric American Indian cultural groups. Names such as Anasazi, Chaco, and Mesa Verde are familiar, but these groups encompass only a tiny portion of the prehistoric Southwestern cultures, which also included the Kayenta, Salado, Hohokam, and Sinagua. Even so, these are not the names the people gave themselves. Rather, they were coined by archeologists in the 19th and 20th centuries in attempts to define and describe groups of people who interacted with extensive trade connections, practiced similar lifeways, engaged in agriculture, and shared religious concepts and practices. In 1916 Dr. Harold S. Colton, founder of the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, began extensive archeological surveys of central and northern Arizona. He was the first to recognize that the distribution of various pottery types reflected different cultural groups. Dr. Colton made an observation that “pottery equals people” and on that basis named prehistoric cultural areas using geographic terms like Mesa Verde, Chaco, and Mogollon. Within those areas he recognized even more localized groups: Salado, Sinagua, and Prescott. Dr. Colton called the early people of the Flagstaff and Verde Valley areas “Sinagua,” after the name early Spanish explorers gave the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff: la sierra sin agua, or “the mountains without water.” Chances are, since these cultures possessed no written language, we will never learn what the people called themselves. However, speaking to their descendents can give us tantalizing clues to their identities. The Hopi people of northeast Arizona, some descended from those we call Sinagua, refer to their ancestors as the Hisatsinom, or “the people of the past.” As researchers have learned more about the relationships of prehistoric groups to modern Indian cultures, the term “Ancestral Puebloan” is being used more frequently and is the name preferred by the modern Pueblo people. It is also a way to recognize that even though these people of the past had their own unique cultures, they also shared core values that united them into a larger Pueblo cultural tradition. These concepts, such as a focus on corn, clan social structures, ceremonial societies, kivas for religious structures, the katsina religion, and pueblo architecture, are still vital to the modern Pueblo people of Arizona and New Mexico. The contributions of the Hisatsinom continue to be manifest in the arts, crafts, The diorama on the loop trail at Montezuma Castle was installed in 1951 and will be 60 years ceremonies and practices of Pueblo people old in 2011. When nearby I–17 was completed, visitation increased dramatically. The fragile today, strengthening a deep connection dwelling could not withstand the added traffic, and park officials were forced to close it. with the past and preserving this traditional knowledge for future generations. National Park Service Centennial 2016 National parks are special places that unite us all as Americans. For nearly a century, the National Park Service has preserved these national treasures for everyone to enjoy. Now, the National Park Service has the opportunity to build upon this remarkable legacy as we prepare for our 100th anniversary. The Centennial Initiative From now until the centennial in 2016, the National Park Service will expand programs and complete projects at parks across the country to save America’s special places and prepare them for a second century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment. We will accomplish this work using additional operational funding from Congress and by matching federal dollars with private donations. Please visit to learn about the National Park Service, the type of programs and projects we will focus on, and how you can join us in this historic effort. They Did Not Disappear! Many theories have been proposed for why the Sinagua left their homes in the Verde Valley to move to larger pueblos in the north and east. The great, centuries-old trade networks dissolved, ending commercial and social contact between people. A prolonged period of drought, starting in 1380 C.E., made farming a challenge in areas distant from perennial waterways. Disease, conflict, and depletion of resources may have been factors. The Hopi people of today say it was a migration of their ancestors, preordained to fulfill a covenant with one of their most important spiritual beings, and they stress the fact that they did not disappear. They are still very much here. Whatever the reason for their departure, one thing remains true to this day: the Verde Valley was never completely without people. The ancestors of today’s Yavapai and Apache people became caretakers of the land after the great Sinaguan exodus. In fact, their descendants continue to live within sight of one of the most recognizable and enduring symbols of the ancient Sinagua, Montezuma Castle. Echoes of the Past A visit to Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, or Tuzigoot National Monuments is more than simply an occasion to see some impressive ruins, or a chance to take a short break during the long drive to the Grand Canyon. It is an opportunity to glimpse a 10,000-year story of the ingenuity and perseverance of a people skilled at adapting to an ever-changing and often unforgiving landscape. It is a time to listen to the echoes of a past filled with change and struggle, fear and hope, and perhaps to learn a little about how we might cope with these challenges in our own lives. And it is a chance to discover the enduring legacy of a people who, like many of us today, called northern Arizona home. By Anne Worthington National Park Service Montezuma Well As seasons change, flocks of migratory green-winged teals and mallard ducks rest briefly on the surface of Montezuma Well. Muskrats, pond sliders, and Sonoran mud turtles ply the thick beds of brown-green pondweed and algae that flourish through the year. A natural oasis, this unique refuge is like no other on Earth! T his natural, limestone sinkhole offers a unique setting as you experience the contrast of two distinct life zones along the ⅓-mile (0.5 km) trail. The Well rim, like most of the area nearby, is a high desert life zone. The riparian area along Beaver Creek creates a yellow and green ribbon of lush growth through this semi-arid countryside. The perennial flow of this spring-fed stream, together with water from Montezuma Well and its irrigation canal, truly creates a natural and soothing haven for visitors. Time And Water: The Birth Of Montezuma Well The story of Montezuma Well began 12 million years ago, when this part of the Verde Valley was covered by a large, shallow lake. Floating plants in this body of water caused dissolved calcium carbonate to form minute crystals, which slowly sank to the bottom and accumulated into thick layers of soft limestone rock. About two million years ago, the lake waters began disappearing. Underground streams started dissolving softer areas of the underground limestone, and a cavern began to form. The passage of time and the force of water carved a cavern larger and larger until, about 11,000 years ago, the roof of one of these caverns gradually crumbled, forming Montezuma Well. Underwater Chain Of Life Water enters Montezuma Well at a constant 74°F (24°C) with a flow of over 1,400,000 gallons or 5,600,000 liters every day. As the water passes through the limestone, it collects large amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide—nearly 100 times more than most natural aquatic environments. The high levels of CO2 make Montezuma Well completely inhospitable to fish, despite the presence of oxygen in the water. In their absence a community of unique species, each dependent on the others, has evolved. Four of these species are found nowhere else on the planet! Wildlife of the Verde Valley Algae, small floating plants, manufacture food from light energy and the rich supply of carbon dioxide in the water. At night, a great feeding frenzy begins among the creatures who have adapted to this harsh aquatic environment. Amphipods, tiny shrimp-like animals, feed by combing algae through appendages below their mouths. Leeches, living by day in the bottom sediments of the Well, rise at night and, searching with sensory hairs on their bodies, gulp large quantities of the small amphipods. Night-swimming water scorpions also make evening meals of the shrimp- like creatures. Over 200 species of birds inhabit the riparian and upland habitats at Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot. The number of species observed each month varies but is highest during the breeding season due to a large number of migrating birds. Even so, birding in the Verde Valley is exceptional any time of the year! The Mystery Of The Water Scientists have not discovered the origin of the consistently warm water that feeds Montezuma Well. A current research topic with scientists from Northern Arizona University is trying to decipher where the water is coming from and from what level. Scientists have noted the flow rate from the Well rarely fluctuates—but the source deep in the earth’s layers remains a mystery. By Rex Vanderford National Park Service Mammals Although Montezuma Castle, Montezuma About 50 species of mammals are known Well, and Tuzigoot are small in size, an to live inside monument boundaries. Some astonishing diversity of animal species lives animals, like desert cottontails, ground here. squirrels, and deer, are common and may be seen by a majority of visitors. Birds With the first light of day, these creatures sink back to the depths of the Well until sunset, and the beginning of another cycle. Insects & Arachnids Hundreds of species of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates find homes in the unique ecosystems of the area monuments. These include harmless tarantulas, as well as highly venomous black widow spiders and bark scorpions. These invertebrates reveal extraordinary evolutionary adaptations for survival in this arid, desert environment. Reptiles Underappreciated and sometimes feared, reptiles play an important role in the highdesert ecosystem. Lizards and snakes help control insect and rodent populations. In turn, both are potential meals for birds and mammals. Sonoran mud turtles, which are easily spotted swimming and basking in Montezuma Well, depend on the abundance of aquatic insects and other small invertebrates in the year-round supply of warm, fresh water. Other, less commonly seen reptiles include western diamondback and black-tailed rattlesnakes. TUZIGOOT Dawn comes easily to the world, touching upon the mountain ridges and then illuminating down into the valleys. As the light comes to this hill above the river, the old walls reflect again a memory of life uncovered from time’s dust. The intricate pattern of this cloth bag speaks to the aesthetic sense of the ancient peoples populating the area. Tavasci Marsh: Relic of an Ancient World T A rcheologists with a Civil Works Administration crew excavated and stabilized the ancestral village now known as Tuzigoot in 1933 and built a museum to hold its material story in 1935. Our present understanding is of hunters passing through this abundant valley perhaps 10,000 years ago, followed before 1100 C.E. by farming peoples who built their way of life on the available resources of land and water. Although the last word is yet to be written on the goings and comings of these people, we know from our scientific inquiries some clues about the climate of the times. Rainfall is sometimes marginal; the crops may have depleted the soil nutrients after years of planting. By the time the people of Tuzigoot left the region around 1400 C.E., the citadel had housed perhaps 250 people in its 110 rooms. It was the city of its day, where people learned to resolve the problems of living life together. And though with more people came more problems, there were also more of the same people to find solutions. There is a creative chain of choices and survival threading through the generations that lived here. How big was the world they called their own? By the stories of people and artifacts, we know the Sinagua traded for shells from the coast and macaws from the south. Where did they go? Depending on our use of the language, “vanished” may come to mean they moved on to other resources and other promised lands. The Hopi people of today tell, in their clan stories, of living in places like this before migrating to their present northern mesas. Why did t

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