Where in the USA is the CoCo Locomoto? travel blog

Tuzigoot Ruins

Tuzigoot Ruins

Tuzigoot Ruins

Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle

Description of how the Castle was built

The next door neighbors homes destroyed by fire

How the Castle may have looked during the 1200-1400's

How the Castle may have looked


Having spent a couple of days in Prescott which is very pretty, we toured "Whiskey Row" which is a street in downtown Prescott which boasted having over 40 saloons in the late 1800's as Prescott was the territorial capital of Arizona at that time and mining was huge in the area. Whiskey Row was totally destroyed by fire in July 1900 and it is reported that the patrons of the Palace Saloon hauled the bar, the back bar and most of the liquor across the street during the fire and saved those things from being destroyed. Construction began immediately to rebuilt the Palace and the beautiful bar and back bar are still in place today. It is the oldest frontier salon in the state of Arizona. We were unable to get any photos as it is very dark in the bar. Driving through the ghost town of Jerome which once was a booming copper mining town was a unique experience as it is all built on a steep hillside. The Copper Mine has been closed for many years but there has been talk of reopening it. We then moved to Camp Verde which is just south of Sedona. Yesterday was spent touring ancient ruins of the native people that lived in the area from the 1100's to the 1400's. As with the Hohokam tribe in the Casa Grande area, these tribes also vanished from the face of the earth in the 1400's with no explanation. However parts of the ruins are still very much in tact. The first ruin we toured was the Tuzigoot who first built their homes on the hillside of the river bank. They later moved the village to the top of the hill which was two stories high, had 77 ground-floor rooms with very few doors, entry being made by ladders for protection. One of the photos shows the remains of their hillside home. They were farmers and gatherers and grew corn, beans, squash and cotton and hunted animals that came to the nearby river and creek to water. Can you guess some of the animals they would have hunted to eat? Bones have been found of antelope, rabbits and birds in the ruins. About 20 miles east is Montezuma Castle which was build in a cave in the hillside, is 5 stories high, has 20 rooms and stands 100 feet above the valley floor. Both prehistoric cultures were Sinagua and were fine artisans crafting bone awls, needles, woven garments made of the cotton they grew, beautiful pottery, beads made out of sandstone and shells and weaving baskets. While you see the amazing structure some of them built, in that same rock outcropping there was another village that had 45 rooms, housed 100 people but was totally destroyed by fire sometime before 1450. Can you guess how they got in to the Castle? They used homemade ladders which they pulled up at night or when there was a threat. How do you think they got the timbers and water up to the cave to build the structure? It all had to be carried up the ladders. Again the culture disappeared in the mid 1400's. What would you guess happened to them? The Castle was so well built it has stood for over 600 years and is one of the best-preserved prehistoric structures in the Southwest. The Montezuma Castle is one of the most awesome and unique experiences we have had and both truly enjoyed all the history there. We also visited Fort Verde State Historical Park which was built in it's current location in 1873. 4 of the original buildings are still standing, the Administration building, the Commanding Officer's Quarters, Bachelor Officers' Quarters and the Surgeon's Quarters. We didn't get any photos as it was raining heavily while we were there but it was very interesting.



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