Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument is a pueblo constructed by the Sinagua people, who also occupied the nearby cliff dwellings at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. Unlike those settlements however, the pueblo at Tuzigoot is free-standing, situated on a ridge that overlooked farm land and smaller dwellings in the valley. Eventually expanding to 110 rooms, it was occupied between 1100 and 1425 AD, with the greatest population living here in the 1300s. This site remained buried under rubble until a 1933 excavation of the hilltop unveiled not only the large pueblo but numerous finds that included a rare clay-lined basket, 21 different pigments for decoration and body adornment, intricate pottery with detailed patterning, and an abundance of jewelry.

Life at Tuzigoot appears to have been very similar to other Sinaguan communities, though in place of using a river for drinking water and irrigation of crops, the inhabitants used the Tavasci Marsh which abuts the valley below the ridge. The marsh also supplied trees and mud for construction of the pueblo as well as reeds for weaving baskets and mats, and attracted game for hunting. The rooms in the pueblo were spacious and well-protected from the cold and heat by thick masonry walls and 3 – 4 inches of interior plaster lining. Excavation revealed that nearly all the rooms had a hearth, indicating their use as a living space.

Looking down from the highest level of the pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Looking down from the highest level of the pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Me on the tower, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Me on the tower, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Inside the second story of the pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Inside the second story of the pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Rooms in pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Rooms in pueblo, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona