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Tuzigoot National Monument


Tuzigoot National Monument
©iStock
Tuzigoot National Monument offers a
glimpse at life in a Sinagua community.

The prehistoric dwellings at Tuzigoot, like those at nearby Montezuma Castle, were built by Sinagua farmers, yet their different styles of architecture are striking. Montezuma Castle is built into a cliff recess, while the Tuzigoot pueblo sprawls along an open ridge 120 feet above the Verde Valley. The Sinagua began building their pueblo in A.D. 1125 and continued adding to it until 1425. At first, about 50 people lived in a small cluster of rooms, but during the 1200s, the number increased to as many as 200 people.

The ground floor of the pueblo had 77 rooms, and in some places it stood two stories high. A few exterior doors led into the pueblo, but the Sinagua generally climbed ladders to enter their rooms through openings in the roof. The Park Service has recreated a typical Sinagua room in the visitor center to provide a glimpse of what life was like in a pueblo. In addition to their day-to-day work in the fields, the Indians prepared food, dried animal skins, and made baskets and other items, some necessary, some decorative. They also made tools out of stone and bone, wove cloth out of locally grown cotton, and created attractive ornaments out of shells, turquoise, and a local red stone.

In the early 1400s, for reasons not fully understood, the Sinagua abandoned the Verde Valley, never to return.

Tuzigoot National Monument Information

Address: 527 S. Main St, Camp Verde, AZ
Telephone: 928/567-5276
Hours of Operation:

  • Memorial Day - Labor Day 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Labor Day - Memorial Day 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission: Admission: $8

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To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.