Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument is located 52 miles south of Flagstaff near Clarkdale, Arizona.

      It crowns the summit of a long ridge that rises 120 feet above the Verde Valley.

At one time the settlement was home to around 250 people and had up to 110 rooms, some 2-3 stories high, but was abandoned sometime in the 15th century.

Here one finds the remains of one of the largest and best preserved ruins of the 12th century Sinagua Indians in the Verde River valley, built between 1000-1400 AD.

The site was excavated from 1933-1935 by the University of Arizona and the museum has a nice display of artifacts found at the site.

These were peaceful village dwellers with a nice climate, rich soil and water in the valley.

They were primarily farmers with trade connections for hundreds of miles and supplemented their crops by hunting and gathering.

Pottery from the Hopi Mesas, seashells from the Pacific Ocean, and the remains of a scarlet macaw from Mexico are all evidence of the ties to communities far from the Verde Valley.

Archaeologists found many pieces of Jeddito yellow ware-- a pottery type made only at the Hopi Mesas to the northeast.  These beautiful bowls indicate a shared religion or belief system. During gatherings or ceremonies, people may have brought them filled with food as an offering.

We will soon be heading to Hopiland and the Mesas on the Hopi Reservation to learn more about this native American culture.

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