"Medieval Arizona" Top 5 Page for this destination Montezuma Castle National Monument by mtncorg

Three separate cultures had made their appearance here in central Arizona's Verde Valley before the first Spanish showed up in 1583. Hohokam, Sinagua and Yavapai. The Hohokam came around 600 with irrigated farming, living in little stick and mud houses by their fields. Dry farming Sinaguan came in around 1125. From the Hohkam, the Sinaguans adopted irrigating techniques andfrom the Anasazi, to the north, they developed above-ground masonry dwellings, having lived in pithouses earlier. The Sinaguan pueblos gradually enlarged with time to the ones seen at both Montezuma Castle and nearby Tuzigoot National Monument in the 1300's. Early in the 1400's, they melted off the scene, possibly to meld with Anasazis into what is today the Hopi.

Montezuma Castle an Montezuma Well were built in the 12th century by the Sinaguan. At the Castle, the creek below the dwellings provided water for irrigation. At the Well, a spring feeding the lake wihtin the large limestone sinkhole provided waters. The Castle is thought of as the best preserved cliff dwelling in the Southwest.

Fees: $3 / 7 days covering both the Well and the Castle

Montezuma Castle and Well lie about one hour north of Phoenix, just off of I 17.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Native American ruins, beautiful locations - Sedona part 1
  • Cons:Hot in summer
  • In a nutshell:History on Parade
  • Intro Updated Nov 30, 2003
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Reviews (5)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2004 at 3:30 AM

    I was struck by the title of this page: Medieval Arizona! Interesting place, and good tips.

  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2004 at 7:56 AM

    thanks for some great info, I hope to visit this fall.

  • Jonathan_C's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2004 at 7:38 AM

    Wonderful intro. Seeing these stone houses and castles I am reminded of Cathar redoubts in France or Greek citadels (every town had a high city a.k.a. 'acropolis').

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2003 at 4:24 PM

    Love the way you work in the info about the ancient cultures in these Arizona pages, they were such fascinating people - cat

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2003 at 12:52 PM

    I was looking more for elks in this Flagstaff-Phoenix leg but I wondered about the Monument. Now I know!

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