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Monday, March 22, 2010

~~~Montezuma Castle~~~

~~~Montezuma Castle National Monument~~~
Camp Verde, Arizona

We started out late in the morning taking a ride through the country and headed towards Montezuma's Castle. We went through Camp Verde and over hills and down in the valleys. We finally arrived at our destination...





Interestingly enough, the name Montezuma Castle was a mistaken name. Early settlers who discovered the cliff dwelling ruins connected them to the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but in-fact the Sinaqua ruins had been abandoned a hundred years before Montezuma was even born. And the dwellings weren’t a castle at all, but a multi-family “prehistoric high rise apartment complex”



The Indian Tribe(Sinaquas)who built the cliff dwellings called Montezuma Castle about 700 years ago abandoned their habitat in this Verde Valley Arizona area in the 1400s. Maybe they had over farmed the land or they could have been eliminated through conflict with the Yavapai Indians that still exist today. If there were any Sinaqua survivors, they were likely absorbed into other Indian Tribes to the north.
Close up of the top of the castle and Ralph walking Tiffy in park


The Sinaquas were daring builders climbing up the high cliffs to carve-out a recessed area into the limestone walls & built the strong dwellings high above overlooking the Beaver Creek just a few miles from what is now known as Camp Verde, Arizona.

see the holes that are left in the cliff walls from part of the dwellings

It took ladders to climb to Montezuma Castle and as the Sinaqua reached each level, the ladders made their way to the cliff community making it difficult for enemy tribes to penetrate the natural defense of straight-vertical barriers.



This was a great day and another stamp in my National Park Passport Book. What a peaceful park to sit and ponder how they lived & farmed in this area.
To me it is all amazing!

Beaver Creek

Until Later... Have FUN, Travel Safe & Enjoy Everyday!

11 comments:

Rick and Paulette said...

Great pics, Donna! They brought back a lot of good memories as we visited Montezuma's Castle during our stay in Sedona last year. I was kind of surprised when I found out that Montezuma never lived there at all!!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

When I stop and think about what kinds of tools they were using and how they didn't have a blueprint to follow, it amazes me that these kind of structures exist - and how well built they must have been to have so much of them still standing! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. laurie

Joe and Sherri said...

WOW...how cool is that! I love traveling with you...we get to see so many neat places.

Randy and Pam Warner said...

Donna,
We will have to put that on our list. Very nice job on the photos and write up.

And thanks too for regularly commenting on our blog-- I really appreciate it and need to take a page out of your book and return the favor more often...

Justine said...

That is just frickin' amazing! Too bad you couldn't get up there and see what the insides looked like, huh? Imagine living like that? I can't even believe they were able to build their homes up there!

Justine :o )

Jerry and Suzy said...

We have also visited Montezuma's Castle. What an amazing place. Our early native citizens, whom some call Our Original Foretathers, were certainly not ignorant savages, to be able to design and build such marvelous condos! We should learn what we can from them!

cindy said...

Wow! very cool! So you're in AZ, was kinda hoping you would be in south Texas..because thats where I'm gonna be next week....

Happytrails said...

Wow! This brought back memories. Each year I taught a lesson on Montezuma Castle and remember my students being in awe over these people and their ability to build such dwellings. Great discussions.

I know you all had a great day there!! :)

Travel safely,
Gerri

The Muse said...

dear donna, i have to apologize for not visiting as much lately...life is rather hectic. i am following all my blogs privately now, wanted to let you know that is why my avatar will not show openly in the google reader. i am continuing to deal with a nasty stalking issue, and so i must take this action, rest assured, i am here ... :)

your images remind me of my 4th grade social studies book...wherein we spent the latter part of the year studying american indians...
the knowledge they had...and the great use of the land, always has left me speechless! great shots!!

Diana said...

I really love your blog because you dig into the history of the place. Even though I've been to this place several times, I managed to learn new things about it today!

Monty said...

What wonderful pictures! That area of the country is so beautiful. I have written several blogs in my Monty's Musing about that area if your looking for things to do.
This link will give you the list.
http://blog.elmonterv.com/?s=arizona

Enjoy

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