Around 650 A.D. pottery and agriculture appear, and the rise of the people now known as the Sinagua soon began. Most of the ruins in the Verde Valley are Sinaguan. Then, little more than a century later, the Sinagua mysteriously disappeared after hundreds of years of development—at the peak of their civilization!
The name Sinagua was coined in 1939 by archaeologist Harold S. Colton, founder of the Museum of Northern Arizona, from the Spanish words sin meaning “without” and agua meaning “water”, referring to the name originally given by Spanish explorers to the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, the “Sierra Sin Agua “.
Warm spring water enters at the base of the fifty-five foot deep well and escapes through a narrow opening in the side of a hill at a rate of 1.5 million gallons per day (Lamb 4). A thousand years ago, the Sinagua farmers diverted the water from this outlet into ditches to irrigate their crops.
The Hopi Tribe is a sovereign nation located in Northeastern Arizona. From Sedona your drive will take you through Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff and parts of the Navajo Reservation.
Having no connections to the Aztecs, the Montezuma Castle was given that name due to the fact that the public had this image of the Aztecs creating any archaeological site. Several Hopi clans and Yavapai communities trace their ancestries to early immigrants from the Montezuma Castle /Beaver Creek area.
$10 per adult fee. Anyone who is age 16 or younger is free. Will work at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.
I’ll cover those in-depth in a subsequent post, but the short version is that Montezuma Castle is very worthwhile to visit, and Montezuma Well is interesting, but not much to see. Nevertheless, seeing three National Monuments in one easy diversion really adds to the value of that diversion.
The pronunciation of Sinagua is “seen aug wah.”
The Sinagua used Montezuma Castle not just as their home but as a community center where they held community meetings, worked, stored crops and seeds and even buried dead family members, most of who didn’t live past their life expectancy of 40 years.
The five-story, 20-room castle is evidence of an important shift in early American Indian culture from a nomadic to a more settled way of life. Before the Sinagua built Montezuma Castle, various peoples, including the Hohokam, were in the area. The first settlements date from between 1 and 700 AD.
In 1933, ” Castle A”, a 45-50 room, pueblo ruin was excavated, uncovering a wealth of artifacts and greatly enhanced our understanding of the Sinagua people who inhabited this riparian “oasis” along Beaver Creek for over 400 years.
The four best known Sedona vortexes are found at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon—each radiating its own particular energy. Some are thought to produce energy flowing upward while at others the energy spirals downward, entering the earth.