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Published: December 27th 2018
To see completely different things in my trip, we decided to visit some archealogical sites.
The Sinaguas, were indigenous people living in Verde Valley and North Central Arizona. They seem to have thrived between the 1100 to early 1400 AD. They made buildings well adapted to the environments, like the Montezuma castle, neither built by Montezuma, nor a castle. The location of this site is perfect: Surrounded by a vast desert, they dig and built a structure on a cliff, facing South, warmer in winter, and shaded in the summer. They had a river below where large trees grow and where agriculture was good. The building complex, if 5 five stories high, and was accessed by ladders. They knew the desert very well and used any resources available for food, clothing, medicine, etc.... It is still not known why they disappear.
A few kilometers east of Montezuma castle, lies montezuma well: a big collapsed sinkhole, that looks like a small lake in the middle of the desert. Water is deep, walls are steep, and ducks swim there with pleasure. Going down to water level, structures were found showing that canals were dug from the well, to irrigate
farm crops nearby. The well also is a refuge for small unique invertebrates only found there.
About 25km North of Montezuma castle is Tuzigoot, an other Sinagua settlement built on a hilltop. It shows a "pueblo" kind of village arrangement: most important people on the hilltop, a central plaza , farming on the sides of the mountains, and again, structure built like an apartment complex.
Side note, there are many national monuments, national parks, and other places of interest in the USA. Some tickets to one site, allows you to visit other related sites in the region with same tickets. Other passes allows to visit all national parks during a week or a year. This can save you money.
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