Posts Tagged ‘Montezuma Castle’

One of the pleasures of visiting my parents in Arizona is not only the opportunity to be warm in winter, but to sometimes dip into another culture.  Montezuma Castle, not far from Sedona, looks great for being over 800 years old.  The Sinagua who lived here used a combination of hunting/gathering and subsistence agriculture to live until sometime in the 15th century, they left for no apparent reason.

Originally, visitors were allowed to go through the cliff dwellings, but that eventually stopped to better preserve the site.  That move allowed the site to be one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States.  Visit if you get a chance.

© janet m. webb

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I’m popping in for just enough time to answer the Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way.  Then it’s back to very little internet until next week.  I’m enjoying my unconnected time, connecingt instead with family and nature.  But I do miss all of you and look forward to being able to interact more.  As I said in a previous post, thanks very much to everyone who visits and comments even when I can’t return the favor right now.

Michelle mentioned how she takes her camera with her on her trips and often comes across many wonderful photo opportunities “on the way” to her ultimate destination.  That’s one blessing of a phone camera: it’s always with me!  While her lovely photo was taken from a plane, I mostly drive, so my photo is one from a stop on the way from one place to another.  On our way from Mesa to Sedona, Arizona, we stopped at Montezuma Castle, where we saw this cliff dwelling.  The Sinagua lived here for about 250 years before abandoning it for unknown reasons.  Designated a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, visitors could originally climb into the cliff dwelling.  But the practice was discontinued in 1951 to prevent further damage. The area has nothing to do with Montezuma, but was coined by early settlers.

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As the end of the month approaches, we participants in the Phoneography Challenge are loosed to choose our theme (from a suggesed list.) 🙂 I just returned from two lovely, warm weeks in Arizona, so my choice this month is “Travel.” I hope you’re somewhere warm right now, but if not, take a bit of warmth from these photos. You won’t even need suntan lotion.

The first photo was taken with an iPad 5s, using the panoramic feature (love that feature!!)   The other two were taken with my iPad.  There was no editing used on any of the photos.

Sunrise in Mesa, from behind my parents’ house…

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Cliff dwellings at Montezuma Castle

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Friendly natives at Gilbert Ortega Museum and Gallery in Scottsdale…

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Quite a few people these days live or work in highrises, but the original highrise dwellers lived in cliffs. We visited one such cliff dwelling near Sedona, Arizona. Dubbed Montezuma Castle by the early American settlers in the area who erroneously assumed Aztec origin, this small cliff dwelling (about 35 people) and the area around it were populated sometime between 1100 and 1400 BC by the Southern Sinagua. Well-protected from the elements, it’s one of the best-preserved prehistoric structures in the Southwest.

The Sinagua were farmers and hunter-gatherers who built a riverside, five-story, apartment-style building with about 45 rooms. Ladders allowed access and could be pulled up at night or if danger threatened, although this was a peaceful time and area. The river provided water for farming on the fertile land and there were other Indians in the neighborhood. Game provided meat and the Indians mined a nearby salt deposit. Salt was likely used for trade.

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