Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homes of the Ancient Ones

Back in prehistoric times, from about 1000 AD to 1400 AD, the Sedona/Cottonwood was home to a fair number of Ancient Ones. They were primarily farmers, but also did some hunting and gathering. Montezuma Castle was a 5-story, 20-room dwelling with a view.

Nearby is Montezuma Well, fed by a continuously flowing spring.

Along the side of the well are a couple of ancient dwellings. Notice how they built where they would be in the shade during the hot summer.

Outside of Sedona, at the end of the road where I am parked, are a couple more ruins. The Honanki cliff dwelling and rock art site was pretty impressive.

But I still think the "art" was done by ancient kids when the ancient moms sent them outside to keep them out of their hair.

I visited the nearby Palatki ruins years ago, but they are now closed because of "creaking loud noises," and may be in danger of collapsing. You can just get a distant view now. They should at least cut down the tree...

There's also some rock art (ancient kid's drawings) nearby.

Near Montezuma Well is the largest petroglyph site in the Verde Valley. It's a little hard to see in the picture because of the time of day I was there.

Here's a closeup. The whole panel is just filled with etchings.

But the most important thing about the panel is those 2 rocks that stick out at the top, and form a shadow on the panel. They make a solar calendar, by pointing to different pictures on the panel for various important dates - when to plant crops, etc.

Tuzigoot is the last site we visited, and the largest, covering the top of a long ridge. It was originally 2 stories high, with 77 ground-floor rooms.

It's impossible to get a shot of the whole thing, but this is a shot of one side from the top.


  1. I wonder if they called it grafitti back then LOL! Seriously, very interesting. We were at the Tuzigoot ruins a few years ago but were not feeling able to make the climb on the day we were there. Thanks for sharing the photos...I really want to go back.

  2. Great post thanks i really enjoyed the pictures of the ruins. I want to make a trip to Mesa Verde.

  3. Your pictures bring back such fun memories of when we were there last year. But your weather looks a lot better than ours was. It was cold, even a little snow. We need to try again in warmer weather.

  4. When we visited that area, I was amazed at the structures left behind by these people. Seeing your pictures makes me want to revisit soon.

  5. And i thought Sedona was just high-end shops and some red rocks. Again, you provide the perfect tour guide experience!

  6. You should have cut down that tree. If anyone said anything, you could blame it on the ancient kids out playing... ;c)

  7. Thanks for taking me back to a couple of my favorite places near Sedona ... that last picture you have of Tuzigoot ... I have the same shot ... great minds :-))

  8. What a place! I love the ancient culture they were more in tune with the planet and the life on it including themselves. I love the art panels and that solar calendar how clever is that? Great did a great job getting that Tuzigoot foundations in a shot!!
    happy travels

  9. Thanks for the photos of Montezuma's Castle. I was there a few years ago, but I had a broken ankle so I didn't get to do much other than the Visitor Center and what you could see from the road. Someday I'll need to go back.

  10. That solar calendar is really interesting. I never saw that.

  11. I can't go on long hikes now, but I long to go to these sites.

  12. This post is just amazing and I am so glad that you did it. I loved looking at the pictures, I never knew about that place so it was so fun seeing it and reading about it. I bet it is just wonderful to see in person too. Thank you so much for sharing :o)

  13. Cool pics Diana. Thanks for sharing. We went to zero ruins when we were there so at least we get to live vicariously. All the best from Bree and the dogs and I.

  14. I messed up a little in my post. The large petroglyph panel with the solar calendar is not part of the Montezuma Well Nat'l Monument. It is actually on forest service land. It's called the V-Bar-V Cultural Site.


I love comments!