Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The area around Camp Verde and Sedona, AZ has three national monuments that provide some small insight into the lives of the Sinagua people that inhabited the area as farmers and hunters in fixed villages from around 1000 AD to 1400 AD. They apparently prospered in this area with good weather, water, food and shelter. The mystery of these people is their complete disappearance around 1400 without a trace and without any indication of why they disappeared.
These three national monuments at Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot allow a small look into their lives. The Montezuma label is a complete misnomer that was applied by early explorers, who mistakenly thought these ruins were from Aztec settlers. The structures at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot display the skills of building impressive structures for the developmental skills for the period. The well is especially interesting since it has apparently been providing over 1.5 million gallons of water from underground sources every day from prehistory right up until today without faltering, providing a pool 55 feet deep at a constant temperature of 72 degrees year around. This water then flows out to the nearby Beaver Creek which also has water in it year around.
Today modern settlers are continuing to move into the area for the same reasons as the Sinagua. I cannot help but wonder if these settlers will last as long as these earlier settlers.