Sunday, November 9, 2014

Montezuma Castle and the Sinagua peoples

We're back home in Victoria now, my sister and I, but I want to tell you about the beautiful ruins we saw the last day we were in the Arizona high desert area. This is Montezuma Castle, a five-story 20-room dwelling recessed into a cliff 100 feet above the Verde River valley.

The dwelling is well preserved because of it's inaccessibility; others nearby are nothing but rubble now. Early American settlers named it after an Aztec King but it has nothing to do with Montezuma. The dwellings were occupied by people of the Northern Sinagua culture and were built between 1100 and 1300. It may be as much as a thousand years old!

As we wandered down the path along the river we heard the haunting notes of a wooden flute. The music and the sun through the Sycamore trees created a sense of being in another time.

A short drive away is a surprise in the desert called Montezuma Well. This is a limestone sink formed eons ago and still fed by a continuously flowing spring. The spots on the blue water are migrating ducks.

The Sinagua people lived nearby and irrigated their crops with its waters. Apparently some 100 plus people lived around this well between 1125 and 1400.

Now all that's left are some stone ruins and birds and other small creatures.

Both these places exude a sacred, otherworldly feeling--far removed from our current way of living.


  1. Ack ! I hit the wrong button again.
    Can't quite remember the outstanding comment I wrote but I am so happy that you and your sister where able to go on this great trip.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Thanks for your comment. It was a lovely trip.


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