Monday, May 9, 2011

Arizona - Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma's Castle is an example of native Indian architecture dating back to 1100 AD where living units were built into cliffs far above the floor of the valley.  Some rooms were formed from natural caves and some had to be dug out.  Multiple ladders were used to climb up to the various compartments. It is unclear why they chose to live in places so difficult to get to access, unless it was for protection against predators and enemies.

This castle and other buildings were constructed by the Sinagua tribe who lived in this area several hours north of Phoenix for almost 300 years before suddenly and inexplicably abandoning their homes and migrating away in 1400AD.   It is said that many Hopi tribes are descendents of the Sinagua.  It was fascinating to see the remaining structures still standing today, as well as the miniature models depicting what life might have been like back then.

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