Apartment Complex In Arizona
Wow, this post might surprise you. It staggered me.
They call it the
Montezuma Castle, but the 90ft high monument should never have been named that.
The thing is, the Aztec emperor who the ruins were named after, Montezuma,
mistakenly believed to have been connected to their construction, was not even
born until the cliff dwellings had already been abandoned for several
The European-Americans who re-discovered the ruins near Camp
Verde in Arizona during the Civil War, also christened it a “castle”, but that
wasn’t right either. In fact, modern research has revealed that these
ancient cliff dwellings functioned more like a “prehistoric high-rise apartment
over the course of three centuries by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian
civilization closely related to indigenous peoples of the
southwestern United States, they were lived in between approximately 1100
and 1425 AD, over five stories in twenty rooms overlooking the desert.
It’s still in
great shape, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America in
fact, despite having been abandoned more than 600 years ago. The reason for its
abandonment remains a mystery, although theories include the running out of
agricultural resources, prolonged drought, or conflict with other tribes. It’s
believed the Sinagua later merged with other tribes to the north and the Hopi
tribes of today believe they are their descendants.
The height and
scale of the dwelling carved out of sheer limestone cliff, indicates the
Sinagua were daring but highly skilled engineers. The structure would likely
have been accessed by a series of ladders, creating a natural defence against
intruders as well as annual flooding of the adjacent Beaver Creek.
reached their dwelling, they had almost 4,000 square feet of floor space to
make themselves at home.
due to heavy looting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, very few
original artifacts survive from the ill-named Montezuma Castle. It was declared
a U.S. National Monument in 1906, however access to the interior of the ruins
has not been allowed since 1951 due to concerns about visitor safety and damage
to the dwelling.
Clancy's comment: Wow,these discoveries fascinate me. Definitely, 'Room with a view'. However, I'm not so sure that the original inhabitants used a ladder system. I think they were smarter than that, and somewhere in years to come, they might find a secret entrance.