Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wupatki National Monument

Sometime around 1100 AD, after Sunset Volcano was done erupting, some early ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo people returned and settled here, just 15 miles from the volcano, near present-day Flagstaff. The thin ash layer from the eruption absorbed moisture and increased crop production.

There are other ancient pueblos in the area, but this is the biggest. Notice how they used existing rock as walls and floors when possible, and incorporated sandstone blocks to complete the rooms.

This is how it originally looked. I thought the parrots were odd, but I did some Googling and found out they did have parrots here, having traded for them with the ancient Toltecs from present-day Mexico.

With over 100 rooms, this ruin is believed to be the area's tallest and largest structure for its time period.

A round "community room" is located in front of the pueblo (on the right side of the photo) -

And a ceremonial ballcourt is down the hill.

One of the other pueblos in the National Monument is called Wukoki. It looks like a ship, and is visible for many miles around.

Here, too, the masonry is incorporated with the natural rock.

You're allowed to go into the rooms here.

Wow! Those ancient ones must have been pretty short!


  1. Amazing history. I have not heard of this area before. Definitely will be on the list if we get back in the area.

  2. I loved our visit to this place! Unfortunately, the schedule did not allow for much exploration. I would love to return!

  3. Will have to explore that area when we get down there in November. If it's not snowing that is.

  4. That looks like a great ruin to visit! They ancients were so much smarter than we are today as far as being Part of the Planet----
    Great PHotos Diana..

  5. A lovely post about a great and magical place off the beaten track. I camped there years ago in a tent and loved it. Just found your blog and I can see I should follow along!

  6. Great photos as always. Must have missed this one when at Sunset Crater. Will have to check it out when we visit the area again.

  7. You always take such beautiful photos... Great post! We love ruins also and find them so interesting!
    Have ful & travel safe

  8. Another gem you've discovered. Amazing that all those buildings stayed together with no cement between the stones.

    I have to see this place, too. You need to charge for all your tour guide work! ;c)

  9. Great post. I love the sense I get when walking or being where people from the past have been.

  10. Ah yes, another stop we made in December 1999 being featured on your blog. Isn't it an amazing place. Looking at renderings of what these places might have looked like just boggles the mind ... they certainly managed to build a great deal with fewer tools than modern man has at its disposal.

  11. Well, you would never know how interesting this place is by reading about it on the internet.

    Your blog and pictures show that it is.

    I'll be headed up to Lee's Ferry in a few days - will have to stop by on the way....

  12. Learn something new every day. The style looks like Tuzigoot.

  13. as always great pictures and a great post.

  14. Wow, I gotta check those out when I get back to that area. I love the old ruins.


I love comments!