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In Clarkdale, Arizona, just north of Jerome, sits Tuzigoot National Monument. Built atop a small 120 foot ridge, is the large pueblo. Tuzigoot, is Apache for crooked water, however, it was actually built by Sinagua Indians. With 77 ground floor rooms, this pueblo held about 50 people. After about 100 years, in the 1200’s, the population doubled and then doubled again later. At this time, the 110 room pueblo housed 250 people. An interesting fact is that Tuzigoot lacked ground level doors, having roof accessed doors instead. The history of Tuzigoot goes back well before the pueblo was constructed, and we’re here to tell you the story.
Our story begins 10,000 years ago. Hunters and gatherers passed through the lush Verde Valley in search of food. Two Native American tribes, the Hohokam (“those who have gone”) and the Northern Sinagua (“those without water”), lived in the valley and directly influenced the Sinagua Indians that lived at Tuzigoot. The Hohokam were excellent farmers and grew corn, beans, squash and cotton. They even used irrigation canals. The Northern Sinagua Indians are credited for the buildings, which were built in 1125 A.D. Built along the Verde River, resources were plentiful. The peak time of Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle came in the 1300’s.
Mysteriously however, in 1400, the Southern Sinagua (who mainly inhabited Tuzigoot) left. Reasons for moving may include over population, consumption of resources, disease, drought, or even conflict with other tribes. For whatever the reason was, the Sinagua moved south into Hohokam villages.
Tuzigoot can be found in Clarkdale, Arizona, just west of Montezuma Castle and just north of Jerome. Visiting Tuzigoot is definitely worth your while! Visit www.nps.gov/tuzi for more information.
Informational pamphlet from Tuzigoot National Monument
Large pueblo at Tuzigoot National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument