Wednesday, May 11, 2011

THE Trip, Tuzigoot National Monument, near Clarkdale Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The area around Camp Verde is steeped in history of "the ancient ones".  After visiting Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well, there was no way we were going to skip Tuzigoot.

The neat part about this park is that you can walk around, very close to the ruins, and in fact, inside part of it.

Tuzigoot is the Apache word for crooked water.  The Monument is a remnant of a village built by the Southern Singuas sometime between 1125 and 1400.  Yea, read that again, between 1125 and 1400!  Boggles the mind, doesn't it??

The original pueblo (as the brochure calls it) was 2 stories high in places.  There were between 77 and 86 ground floor rooms, almost no exterior doors, as entry was via ladders and openings in the roof.

It is estimated that the village was home for about 50 people at first and that the population stayed at about 50 for some 100 years.  The population did double during the 1200's.  It doubled again, as farmers and families fleeing from drought in nearby, but outlying areas moved into the village.  (Later during our stay near Camp Verde we actually visited one of the outlying villages that abandoned their village to move to Tuzigoot.)

View of Tuzigoot Ruins as you approach.  That hill/ridge is about 120 feet
above the Valley floor.  The park covers about 42 acres.
This is the tallest section, 2 stories, with a flat roof.  You are allowed up there.
Current entrance, I am guessing not original.  This allows
access for visitors.  In the rear of these rooms, you can
barely see a stairwell which gains access to the roof.
Stairwell is not original.
Inside the same room, you can see the walls built of soft limestone and sandstone.
Logs of juniper, pine and cottonwood were used to form roofs.  On top of
the logs there is another layer of plant matter. Other photos show
this to be a straw or reed type plant.  The signage also tells us that the
walls are in constant need of stabilization and repair, and in fact repairs

were being done while we were there.  (This roof is a reproduction.)
Above, looking down from the 2 story structure to the Valley floor.
The entire structure measures about 500 feet by 100 feet.  There were
approximately 77 to 86 ground floor rooms and about 15 in the 2 story structure.
This is looking back up the hill, over the tops of the remains of
many of the rooms of the village.
The living quarters here were so much different than the cliff dwellings of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well.  Many of the cliff dwellings had 2 to 3 walls and maybe even part of a ceiling already in place and the ancient ones only had to add an outside wall, and entrances.  This village had no natural "walls" in place.  The signage indicates that if the structure deteriorated a new room would be built on the ruins of the old.

Man and I enjoyed our visit to Tuzigoot, it was totally awesome.


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