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Websites Cited Arizona's Most Interesting Native American Indian Ruins. Arizona leisure. Arizona Leisure. 9 Sep 2009 . Ancient Indian Ruins in Arizona . Arizona Ruins. march 2009. Arizona Ruins. 9 Sep 2009 . Arizona's Most Interesting Native American Indian Ruins Ancient Indian Ruins can be found and enjoyed throughout the state of Arizona but the greatest concentration of prehistoric cliff dwe
  Websites Cited Arizona's Most Interesting Native American IndianRuins.  Arizona leisure . Arizona Leisure. 9 Sep2009 <>. Ancient Indian Ruins in Arizona .  Arizona Ruins .march 2009. Arizona Ruins. 9 Sep 2009<>.  Arizona's Most InterestingNative American Indian Ruins Ancient Indian Ruins can be found and enjoyed throughout the state of Arizona but the greatestconcentration of prehistoric cliff dwellings, mud-walled structures and pueblos are in NorthernArizona in the Flagstaff and Sedona areas as well as on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northeast Arizona.For the convenience of both residents and Arizona tourists, following are the most visited prehistoric Indian ruins inArizona. We've also provided links to other sites and pages within this website for more detailed information. Central Arizona Including Phoenix Area. Unfortunately, due to poorly-planned archaeological diggings before rapid commercial building construction many of theancient Indian community sites around the Phoenix have been destroyed or permanently covered by modern day construction. Much of the irrigation canals found in the area follow the same paths of irrigation networks that were hand-dug by prehistoric Indian civilizations.The Pueblo Grande Museum & Cultural Park   located near the Sky Harbor International Airport preserves theremnants of an ancient Hohokam Indian Village and features informative exhibits. South of Phoenix in Coolidge,Arizona, you'll find the  Casa Grande Ruins National Monument .About 80 miles northeast of Phoenix in GlobeArizona, you'll find the Besh-ba-Gowah Archaeological Park  where you can step back into time over 700 years agoand see one of the most complex ancient Indian communities. For more information on the Park, call (928) 425-0320. Sedona & Verde Valley Area Ruins. Some of the more impressive ruins can be found about 90 miles north of Phoenix in the Sedona, Verde Valley area. Within an hour's drive of  Sedona,you'll find not only numerous small ruin sites, but several larger sites. Just outside the town of Clarkdale, on the Verde River, stands the ruins of  Tuzigoot , a Sinagua pueblo that was built atop a hilloverlooking the river valley. Today the ruins are preserved as Tuzigoot National Monument , and an interpretive trailwinds through the partially restored ruins.The impressive Sinagua ruins in Verde Valley are those at Montezuma Castle National Monument . Here a five-story12th-century cliff dwelling constructed by the Sinagua people has been preserved, and although you cannot enter the ruinsthemselves, there are good views from the base of the cliff. Eleven miles north lies  Montezuma Well ,a natural sink holearound the walls of which the Sinagua built many small dwellings. The sinkhole, which you can't even see until you areright on top of it, is an altogether unexpected sight In this dry landscape. Incidentally, neither of these sites has anythingto do with the Aztec ruler Montezuma. Just a short distance northeast of Sedona, you'll discover the Ruins of Palatki  which require advance reservations. Flagstaff Area Indian Ruins. In Flagstaff you'll find  Walnut Canyon National Monument , which lies just east of the city off I-40. In this 400-footdeep limestone-walled canyon, the Sinagua built many small dwellings on narrow ledges. A trail leads down into thecanyon and into many of the cliff dwellings, in some of which 600-year-old handprints can still be seen in mud used to plaster the stone walls. North of Flagstaff, in the windswept high plains east of theSan Francisco Peaks,lies  WupatkiNational Monument , which preserves several small Sinagua pueblos. Wupatki pueblo, the largest of the ruin sites, was built on the site of a natural blow hole that either blows or sucks air depending on atmospheric conditions. Wupatki is alsonoteworthy for its restored ball court, which is similar to the better-known ball courts built by the Aztecs and Mayans.  Navajo Nation Indian Reservation Area. Within Navajo National Monument, which is east of  Lake Powellnorth of the Navajo Reservation, there are two large cliff dwelling sites- Keet Seel  and  Betatakin . These two sites, which are built beneath the overhangs of large caves, canonly be reached on foot or horseback and the number of visitors allowed to the sites and the times of year that the sitescan be visited are limited. It's a 5-mile round-trip hike to Betatakin and a 17-mile round-trip hike or horseback ride toKeet Seel, although there is a campground at the latter ruin site.Other significant concentrations of cliff dwellings is in  Canyon de Chelly National Monument , which is 110 milessoutheast of   Navajo National Monument . Although many cliff dwelling can be seen from the two rim drives within themonument, only one of these, the White House Ruins , can be visited without a Navajo guide. To get a close-up canyon- bottom look at other ruins, you'll need to either take a shake-and-bake tour of the canyon in one of the six-wheel-drivetrucks that carries visitors deep into the canyon or hire a guide or drive your own sport utility vehicle into the canyon.You can also ride horses into the canyon or hire a hiking guide and trek in by foot. White Mountains Area Ruins. In the town of  Springervillein Arizona's White Mountains you'll find both Casa Malpais Archaeological Park  and White Mountain Archaeological Center . The former is an unusual site in that some of the rooms were built intoexisting shallow caves to form a sort of catacomb system. The latter center is a privately owned ruin site that allows the paying public to participate in the excavation of  Raven Site Ruins . Ancient Indian Ruins in Arizona The purpose of this website is to document some of the lesser-known prehistoric archeological sites throughout Arizona.Many of the most spectacular Native American ruins in the state are operated as tourist attractions, with parking lots,sidewalks, guardrails, descriptive signs, and tour guides or Park Rangers keeping an eye on things. Although some of these are included here, the primary emphasis is on unknown or unpublicized sites located in National Forests, State Trustland, and other public places. Generally these are not as large or impressive as the public sites, and many have beenseverely damaged by looters and careless hikers. But as a general rule, the harder a site is to get to the better its conditionwill be, and there exist some pretty spectacular ruins in the dark recessed of Arizona's wilderness areas.  Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations in Arizona. (Adapted from the book  “A.D. 1250” by Lawrence W. Cheek)(Click on the image for a larger version) Vanished Civilizations: Humans have occupied the Southwestern United States for over eleven thousand years. For virtually all of that time theylived in small bands of hunter-gatherers, moving from place to place with the seasons, following wild game and living off the land.Then, almost two thousand years ago, a renaissance occurred in the region. People began to cluster into permanentsettlements; agriculture developed; an extensive network of trade routes was established; and, most dramatically,complicated architectural structures began to appear, including platform mounds, multi-story cliff dwellings and extensivecanal systems for irrigation.These emergent civilizations flourished in the Southwest for hundreds of years, reaching their peak approximately sevenhundred years ago around 1250 AD. Then they all went into a sudden and permanent decline: By the time the earliestEuropeans arrived in the 1500’s, all that was left were silent and deserted ruins, broken potsherds and enigmatic petroglyphs. The reasons for the rise and fall of this great civilization are not well understood, although many theorieshave been postulated.Archeologists have identified five distinct cultures or “traditions” that comprised this renaissance: the Anasazi , in theFour Corners region where present-day Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico meet; the Hohokam , centered in present-day Phoenix; the Sinagua in Flagstaff and along the Verde River valley; the Salado along the Salt River east of Phoenix; and the Mogollon , who’s range extended from eastern Arizona into New Mexico and south into Mexico. Theanimated map above shows the regions inhabited by these five traditions, and how they changed over time.
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