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Title: Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona
Author: Hastings, Homer F., Schroeder, Albert H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona" ***

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    [Illustration: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: March 3, 1849]

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE


This publication is one of a series of handbooks describing the
historical and archeological areas in the National Park System
administered by the National Park Service of the United States
Department of the Interior. It is printed by the Government Printing
Office and may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
Washington 25, D. C.

 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
                         Washington, D.C. 20402
           Stock No. 024-005-00176-0 / Catalog No. I 29.58:27

                            MONTEZUMA CASTLE
                           NATIONAL MONUMENT

              by Albert H. Schroeder and Homer F. Hastings

    [Illustration: Decorated bowl]

                        Washington, D. C. - 1958
                             (Reprint 1961)

_The National Park System, of which Montezuma Castle National Monument
is a unit, is dedicated to conserving the scenic, scientific, and
historic heritage of the United States for the benefit and enjoyment of
its people._



  FORCES OF EARTH                                                       1
  MAN IN THE VERDE VALLEY                                               4
  SINAGUA PUEBLO LIFE                                                  11
  MONTEZUMA CASTLE                                                     19
  MONTEZUMA WELL                                                       26
  HISTORY OF THE MONUMENT                                              31
  THE NATURAL SCENE                                                    33
  HOW TO REACH THE MONUMENT                                            36
  ABOUT YOUR VISIT                                                     36
  RELATED AREAS                                                        36
  ADMINISTRATION                                                       38
  GLOSSARY OF SPANISH AND INDIAN WORDS                                 39
  SUGGESTED READINGS                                                   40

    [Illustration: _Montezuma Castle._]

    [Illustration: Metate.]

MONTEZUMA CASTLE, _a pueblo ruin in the Verde River valley of central
Arizona, has no connection with the Aztec emperor whose name it bears.
The name was given by early settlers in the Verde Valley in the belief
that the striking 5-story ruin with its 20 rooms had been built by Aztec
refugees, fleeing from central Mexico at the time of the Spanish
conquest. It follows naturally that the small lake inside a hill 7 miles
away should be named Montezuma Well. While the story of the flight is
known to be false, the names remain._

The aboriginal builders of the Castle left no records, but they did
leave broken pottery, trash, and other debris of their everyday life.
The analysis of this material tells us that these people, whom we call
Sinagua (see glossary), were peaceful farmers who occupied this area
from the 1100’s until the 1400’s; that they were similar in physical
type to many of today’s Pueblo peoples in northern Arizona and New
Mexico; and that they differed somewhat in their daily life from their
neighbors in the desert to the south and in the mountains and plateaus
to the north.

This is their story, and we hope that it can take you back in your
mind’s eye to the time when their fingers left marks as they plastered
the walls of Montezuma Castle, and to the time when their fires left the
smoke deposits you still see on those walls. But this story must begin
with the land itself....

                           _Forces of Earth_

Montezuma Well and the cave in which Montezuma Castle is built both
exist today because of a series of events that began over 1 million
years ago. A flow of lava coming from the Black Hills at the south end
of the Verde Valley closed the narrow canyon through which the Verde
River then ran. This formed a natural dam and the river backed up
against it to form a lake. Other rivers farther upstream added more
water, and carried in large quantities of dissolved limestone from the
higher elevations which they drained.

    [Illustration: _Bird’s-eye view of Verde Valley landscape and

Consequently, in late Pliocene times (perhaps 1 million years ago), the
Verde Valley was covered by a shallow lake or marsh 25 to 40 miles long
and 12 to 15 miles wide. Its extent can be determined by noting the
boundary between the light-colored sedimentary limestone and the dark
basalts or the red sandstone marking the old shoreline.

This light-colored rock was redeposited from the original limestone beds
upriver and, therefore, the entire formation is almost devoid of
fossils. Well preserved cougar tracks, however, imbedded in a slab of
limestone, were found a few miles north of Montezuma Castle near
Cornville, Ariz.

When the lake was at its maximum size the water reached a height where
it began to flow over the top of the lava dam. During thousands of years
of spilling over, the water gradually wore down through the lava until
the entire lake drained away. The limestone that had been carried in and
deposited on the lake bottom then became the new ground surface.

Salts left by the evaporation of water were also deposited on the lake
bottom. A deposit of this type can now be seen near Camp Verde. Although
the formation is principally sodium carbonate, sodium chloride (common
table salt) and sodium sulphate are also found. For many centuries early
Indians mined salt deposits in this locality and a few years ago a
deposit of sodium sulphate near Camp Verde was worked commercially.

The same streams which brought lime in solution to the lake were
sometimes turned into torrents by desert cloudbursts. At such times,
they became muddy and left sand and silt among the lime deposits which
were accumulating on the bottom of the lake. When the lake drained away,
these deposits were exposed to erosion—the clay and silt were softer
than the lime and eroded more rapidly leaving irregular cavities and
caves of all sizes. It is in one of these caves that the Indians built
Montezuma Castle.

Today the pitted and jagged surface of the cliff appears like crumbling
limestone. In places it is so soft it can be removed by the pressure of
a finger.

After the ancient lake drained, rain and melting snows from higher
elevations continued to find their way into the valley where the water
seeped below the ground, dissolving the limestone as it went.
Underground river channels and caves were slowly formed by this water.

One such channel, leading from a cave, was eventually cut through from
the surface by the eroding waters of Beaver Creek. This allowed the
water in the underground cave to pour out into the creek. The roof of
the cave, weakened by the removal of this water and by solution cracks
forming from the surface, soon collapsed to form Montezuma Well as it is
seen today. It is due to this action that the Well is technically
referred to as a limestone sink.

Thus the slow, but powerful forces of earth shaped the Verde Valley into
a congenial environment for man.

                       _Man in the Verde Valley_

The first human occupation of central Arizona began several thousand
years ago. Very little is known about these Indians, but there is
archeological evidence which indicates that they were hunters and food
gatherers. These people had no pottery, and probably had no permanent
houses or farms. The only objects recovered from their campsites have
been their crude stone tools. One such site was discovered and
investigated a short distance north of Montezuma Castle National
Monument in 1949.

Shortly after A. D. 600, the Verde Valley attracted another group of
people. They were farmers who came from the south, near the vicinity of
modern Phoenix. We call these people of southern Arizona, who were the
first known permanent settlers in the Verde Valley, the “Hohokam.” They
planted their crops in the bottom lands and built their houses on the
adjacent terraces so they could overlook their fields. Their homes of
poles, brush, and mud were individual dwellings large enough to house
one family.

Utensils in the home were few, but important. They consisted of plain,
unpolished, gray-brown pottery, used to hold water and food; grinding
stones on which corn, nuts, and berries were ground; and hammerstones
for crushing or mashing food. Also, such objects as scrapers for working
hides, points for arrows, and knives for skinning game have been
recovered by archeologists.

The Hohokam built a specialized structure not found among other
prehistoric Indians of the Southwest. It was a prepared court, oval in
shape, which bears a close similarity to the ball courts of Mexico. They
may have played a game of some type on these courts which had some
connection with their ceremonial rites, such as appears to have been the
case in Central America. These people also had another trait which set
them apart from other tribes—they cremated their dead.

There is no evidence of Hohokam occupation at Montezuma Castle, but
remains of Hohokam type are found at Montezuma Well. We can imagine that
a party of Indian colonists, about 1200 years ago, was very pleased to
discover the Well and was as startled as we are to find a lake inside a

In looking further, the Hohokam found the outlet on the south side of
the Well through which a steady stream of water flowed, falling into
Beaver Creek a few feet away. Here was a place to live! If this water
could be diverted to the nearby flatlands, they would no longer need to
depend on rain for their crops.

The Indians set about their task. They fashioned some stone hoes and dug
a small section of ditch at the base of the cliff between the Well and
Beaver Creek. After reaching the proper depth, a brush dam was made and
the water was diverted from the outlet. Eager eyes watched the water
enter and gradually fill their ditch. Another section was dug and water
was again turned into it. High spots were noted and dug lower so the
water would flow through. Rocky obstructions were broken with stone
picks and river rocks. Sometimes the ground was too hard for their hoes,
and water was allowed to flow in to soften it. Gradually their ditch was
lengthened until it reached the flats which they planned to farm.

Their work was not yet complete, for the fields had to be cleared. Brush
was cut, and fires were built at the base of large trees to burn the
trunks until they weakened and fell.

    [Illustration: _Aerial view showing Montezuma Well and Beaver

Rocks which were cleared from the farm areas were lined up to mark the
edges of small plots. Dirt was thrown over these rocks so water would
not escape when the plots were irrigated. Some of the brush was saved
for making dams to divert water from the main ditch to each of the farm
plots. Small limbs from fallen trees were fashioned into digging and
planting sticks. The fields were leveled with their stone hoes and tree
limbs were dragged over the soil in a final smoothing process.

    [Illustration: _Yucca-fiber sandal made by prehistoric Indians of
    Montezuma Castle._]

Finally they were ready for their planting. They had brought seeds of
food crops—corn, beans, and squash—which were planted in these plots.
Cotton was also planted. Then the water was turned onto the fields to
complete their labor.

During the course of their pioneering work, this small group of Indians
probably lived on the edge of the bluff above the fields and in three
small caves along the bluff bordering their ditch. Food was not lacking,
as the plants in the area provided them with many essentials. Mesquite
beans, a common staple among the Indians, were plentiful in the late
summer and autumn, as were walnuts, berries, wild gourds, and sunflower

Other plants, particularly yucca, supplied necessary fibers for making
sandals, matting, cordage, baskets, and other articles. Reeds and
hardwoods were available to make bows and arrows and other wooden
implements for hunting rabbits and ducks around the Well. Hunting
parties no doubt went to the foothills for larger game such as deer.

At about the same time that the Hohokam were in the valley, another
group of Indians whom we call the “Sinagua,” lived in the forested
foothills to the north and east, and on the plateau above. Their small
villages were located in open areas that could be dry farmed, as they
depended on rain water for their crops. Their houses, like those of the
Hohokam, were made of poles, brush, and mud; however, they were dug into
the ground, with just a small portion of the walls and the roof
projecting above the ground level.

    [Illustration: _Sunset Crater north of Flagstaff._]

Their utensils and habits were similar to those of the Hohokam, though
different in some respects. For example, in contrast to the Hohokam
practice, the Sinagua polished their plain brown pottery. Also, it is
known that after 1070, they buried their dead in an extended position
instead of cremating them as the Hohokam did. Although the Sinagua were
basically farmers like the Hohokam, at this time they depended to a
greater extent on foods they gathered and meat they hunted than they did

About 1070, some of the Hohokam left the valley. Evidently many of these
emigrants went north to the plateau region east of present-day
Flagstaff, to plant in the moisture-conserving ash-fall area created by
the eruption of Sunset Crater in 1064. Shortly after these Hohokam
departed, many of the Sinagua moved down from the hills into the middle
of the Verde Valley. This occurred about 1125. They lived much as they
had before, but with two important changes: they adopted the Hohokam
idea of irrigation, and they began building surface houses of rock and
mud—an idea acquired from still another group, the Pueblo Indians,
farther north. These Sinagua were the people who built the stone pueblos
we find in the valley today.

At first they erected small settlements on well-drained ridges
overlooking their farmlands. Occasionally, also, caves were utilized for
dwellings; the first 3 or 4 rooms of Montezuma Castle were evidently
built in the 1100’s.

From 1125 to 1200, the settlement at Montezuma Well was increased by
groups of these Sinagua Indians who had left their homes in the
foothills to the north and east. It appears that they joined some of the
remaining Hohokam, as several customs of the latter survived up to 1400.
In this period the Sinagua also utilized caves near their fields, and
built a small pueblo on the west rim of Montezuma Well. Limestone rock
for their masonry was available on the rim of the Well, and river
boulders for foundations were taken from the creek. Mud and clay, which
they mixed for their mortar, were easily obtained along the creek.

    [Illustration: _Ancient irrigation ditch near Montezuma Well._]

As the years passed, more land was put under cultivation and more
ditches were constructed. To insure adequate care of their farmland, 1-
and 2-room “farm” structures were built on the slopes above and along
the course of the main ditch. From these, the occupants were able to
view the fields while irrigating and also could divert the water from
the ditch below them whenever necessary. At their peak, the people at
Montezuma Well were farming about 60 acres, or possibly more, and their
main ditch was about 1 mile long.

    [Illustration: _Cut-away model of Montezuma Castle._]

The Sinagua of the Verde generally lived in small pueblos until about
1250, at which time the center of the valley appears to have undergone a
“real estate boom.” The buildings increased in size, and many of them
were converted into forts with defensive walls, parapets, peepholes, and
sealed doorways. Since the pueblos on the north and east fringes of the
valley were abandoned in the 1200’s, it is believed that the Sinagua of
that area probably were the ones who moved in to increase the population
and size of the central villages.

This move to the center of the valley was probably caused by nearly a
century of almost continuous drought which began about 1200 and
culminated in an especially severe drought from 1276 to 1299.

Many of the Sinagua in the modern Flagstaff region to the north began to
leave their dry-farming area in the early 1200’s. They also seem to have
migrated into the Verde Valley. Since they had depended on rainfall for
their crops, it is quite possible that the drought affected their entire
area, forcing them to move down from the Flagstaff area as well as from
the northern and eastern parts of the valley. The occupants of the
central region of the valley were able to survive because of the
spring-fed streams upon which they depended for their irrigation and
water supply.

Such a move undoubtedly disturbed the balance of the people and the
available food in the now overcrowded central area. Considerable
friction must have arisen. The combination of too many people and not
enough farmland may have eventually caused intervillage strife over
water rights, with general population decline caused by soil exhaustion
and the reduction of other resources.

Montezuma Castle was built up to its present size at this time, reaching
its maximum in the 1300’s. Consolidation was also in progress at
Montezuma Well. Between 1300 and 1400, only 3 farm outlooks along that
half of the irrigation ditch nearest the Well were occupied. In this way
the area of settlement was contracted or reduced by abandonment of
outlying sites. The concentration of population around the Well implies
conflict of some sort; and, it was at this time that the large,
definitely defensive pueblo on the rim was constructed. By 1400, or
shortly thereafter, the Sinagua abandoned the Well.

Shortly after 1400, in fact, Montezuma Castle and the entire Verde
Valley were abandoned by the Sinagua. There is no direct evidence to
supply us with the reason for this complete exodus—a combination of
circumstances is the probable answer.

A possible major factor causing the Sinagua to abandon the area may have
been the Yavapai Indians whom the Spanish later encountered in the Verde
Valley. The Yavapai could have been descendents of those Hohokam who had
stayed in the valley and lived with the Sinagua between 1100 and 1400.
(Like the Hohokam, the Yavapai cremated their dead, built pole-and-brush
houses, and farmed small plots along the stream bottomlands.) If they
were descendents of the Hohokam, the Yavapai might have been the victors
in the intervillage strife that apparently occurred during the 1300’s
and forced the Sinagua to leave the valley.

Whatever the real reason, when the Sinagua left, they moved northeast
and it is thought they eventually joined the ancestors of the modern
Hopi Indians. Before the exodus, the Sinagua had obtained a
black-on-yellow pottery from the Hopi country, so they knew the Hopi
through their trade contacts. Oral traditions also indicate the
possibility of such a move. The modern Hopi have legends of a people
coming up from the south to join them. They say that these people were
great warriors and that they had no priests or ceremonies. Since the
Sinagua had no underground ceremonial chamber, or kiva, such as that of
the Hopi, and since we lack evidence of ceremonialism among the Sinagua,
these legends could well apply to them.

    [Illustration: _Woven black-and-white cotton bag._]

Early Spanish explorers remarked on the vast amount of cotton grown and
woven by the Hopi. The Sinagua had been great cotton growers and expert
weavers while they lived in the Verde Valley. They may have been
responsible in part for such a development among the Hopi, first through
trade and later by actually joining the Hopi.

Whatever the fate of the Sinagua, the Yavapai were in the Verde Valley
when the Spanish reached the area in 1583. They described wild, but
peaceful and friendly Indians in the region, living in huts instead of
pueblos, planting corn, and hunting game. Similar references are made by
later explorers. Although the names given them in the old Spanish
documents are quite different, these people presumably were the Yavapai.

Still later, the Western Apache came into the story of the Verde Valley.
Just when they entered central Arizona is unknown; but since the 1860’s,
certain Western Apache bands ranged as far west as the Verde. Two small
caves at Montezuma Well show indications of Apache occupation, probably
after 1800.

                         _Sinagua Pueblo Life_

The pre-Columbian Indians of the Southwest (northern Mexico to southern
Utah and Colorado; eastern New Mexico to western Arizona) were, in
general, settled and apparently peaceful farming peoples living in
villages. The agricultural staples—corn, squash, and beans—were
supplemented by gathering wild plants and hunting game. The main hunting
weapon was the bow and arrow. Weapons and tools were made of various
kinds of stone, animal bones, and wood. Pottery and basketry were used
for utensils or containers.

    [Illustration: _Montezuma Well showing collapsed ruin on opposite

Clothing included garments woven from cultivated cotton and a variety of
bands, sandals, and other apparel made from yucca and other wild plants;
animal skins also were utilized. Ornaments and ceremonial paraphernalia
were made from such materials as turquoise, animal bones, imported sea
shells, and brightly colored bird feathers.

Implements and utensils found in the houses of these people include such
objects as stone metates and manos for grinding corn, hammers, knives,
drills, bone awls and needles, baskets, and many ornaments of shell and
turquoise, often carved in bird and animal forms.

Items missing from the pre-Spanish Indian culture include metals,
livestock, wheeled vehicles, and writing.

Life in the Sinagua pueblos of the Verde, though lacking the variety
found in a modern city, had more of natural beauty and simplicity. Like
any other people, the Sinagua would not have selected this spot for
their homes if the necessities of their everyday life had not been
present. In this region, their needs were filled by a good water supply,
bottomlands for farming, wild berries and edible shrubs, game for meat,
and materials for buildings, pottery, and tools.

In addition, they had one thing which most Indians in Arizona had to
travel great distances to obtain—a large deposit of salt. This they
mined a few miles southwest of present-day Camp Verde where their
collapsed tunnels can be traced even today. Occasionally the handle of a
stone pick may still be seen projecting from a collapsed tunnel. Many
bits of matting and unburned torches that the Indians apparently used
for lighting their tunnels have been recovered. In 1928 several
well-preserved Indian bodies were removed from one of these mines where
they had been trapped when one of the tunnels caved in.

The Sinagua also were fortunate in having a deposit of a red rock called
argillite not too far away. From this material they fashioned stone
pendants, beads, earrings, and other ornaments with which they adorned

To satisfy their vanity further, the Indians imported luxuries not
available in this area. Bracelets, pendants, beads, rings, and inlay
made from shell were acquired by trade with tribes to the south who
obtained the shell from the Gulf of California. The Sinagua also
bartered for turquoise pendants, earrings, beads, and inlay pieces from
other groups. Probably their greatest trade was in pottery. These
Sinagua Indians rarely decorated their pottery, and judging by the
quantity of painted pieces recovered from their sites, they engaged in
lively trade for the wares of their northeastern neighbors. One might
say that they imported their “china” in quantity.

Through a study of this pottery we find that from about 1150 to 1250,
decorated pieces were obtained from the Indians in the north, near
modern Flagstaff. Some of this pottery the Sinagua retraded to the
Hohokam around present-day Phoenix. (How many of us today would be
successful in taking dishes over a distance of 200 miles on foot without
breaking a goodly portion?) After 1250, due to depopulation east of the
Flagstaff area, the people of the Verde Valley obtained decorated
pottery from the region farther east, around modern Winslow; and also,
farther north, from the present Hopi Indian reservation area.

The trade possibilities of the Sinagua were almost unlimited. They were
located between the large Hohokam settlements of southern Arizona and
the widespread pueblos of northern Arizona. Natural routes of travel
along streams led them into both areas, and they had salt, argillite,
and cotton to offer in exchange.

Despite the importance of trade, which was primarily for luxury items,
the Sinagua Indians were basically farmers and depended mainly on food
they raised themselves. In Montezuma Castle, American pioneers found
corncobs in abundance and sometimes the remains of beans and squash.
There were also numerous corn-grinding stones or metates, made from
basaltic boulders carried into the area by flood waters in Beaver Creek.
Roughly rectangular, the stones measure about 14 by 18 inches, and are 6
to 8 inches thick. Corn was ground by rubbing a smaller stone (mano)
back and forth on the metate. This process gradually wore a trough down
into the metate.

    [Illustration: _Montezuma Castle artifacts including piece of gourd
    with carved handle, squash, cotton bolls, spindle, and corn._]

    [Illustration: _Jars, metates and manos, and fireplace as found in
    excavated ruin at cliff base west of Montezuma Castle._]

The people also were gatherers and hunters to some extent. Remains of
hackberries, mesquite beans, black walnuts, and sego-lily bulbs have
been found in the cliff dwellings. Mescal or agave (sometimes called
century plant) was used. Small wads or “quids” of fiber from this plant
have been found; they were chewed by the Indians to extract the sweet

Although identifiable animal bones from Montezuma Castle and nearby
dwellings are rare, they have been found in other pueblos in the valley.
From a site about 10 miles away, bones of elk, mule deer, antelope,
bear, rabbit, turtle, and fish have been recovered.

Some food for winter use must have been held in storage. Probably the
Castle dwellers, like the modern Hopis, stacked mature corn on the cob
across the end of a room like cordwood. Strings of squash, cut into
rings and dried in the sun, were probably strung from the roof in an
out-of-the-way corner. Meat was undoubtedly preserved in a similar
fashion—by drying rather than smoking or salting it. Perhaps the stores
of food and the seed held for the next spring’s planting were sought by
neighboring pueblos where crops may have failed. As pointed out earlier,
food shortages could have provided one of the principal reasons for
intervillage warfare, especially after 1300 when the area became

Cooking fires were kindled by the friction of a wooden spindle rotated
in a hearth stick until enough heat was generated to ignite tinder.
Perhaps some family in Montezuma Castle was responsible for maintaining
a perpetual fire from which embers could be carried to other households.
This is not so strange when we recall that only 100 years ago pioneer
neighbors sometimes called on each other to borrow a coal of fire.

These Sinagua Indians were artisans who manufactured pottery, and stone
and shell ornaments. Their pottery was a reddish-brown ware (so colored
from minerals in the native clay) and it was usually undecorated, though
sometimes painted red. Sand was used as a tempering or binding agent.
They made pottery bowls, cooking pots, and water jars—some of the latter
of 3- or 4-gallon capacity. In refuse dumps near the dwellings,
archeologists have found quantities of broken pottery—it is principally
through a study of these dumps that the chronology of Indian occupation
in this area is revealed.

Pottery was made from clay found in the region. After the clay was
pulverized, the correct amounts of water and tempering materials were
added. There were no potter’s wheels, so the vessels were shaped by
hand. The Sinagua accomplished this with the aid of a stone “anvil” held
inside the pot and a wooden paddle used against the outside. Finishing
was usually done by rubbing the surface perfectly smooth with a
polishing stone or pebble dipped in water. Although some Indian pottery
has a high polish, none of it carries a true, over-all glaze.

Modern Indians, in firing their pottery, usually burn animal dung for
fuel, but the pre-Columbian Indians used vegetable material, possibly
juniper wood. Several pieces of pottery might be stacked together so
that all would be evenly exposed to the heat of the fire. Large pieces
of broken pottery were used to protect the new pieces from direct
contact with the flames. The firing process required several hours, with
time allowed for the pottery to cool slowly.

Stone and shell ornaments are examples of other crafts, and some
beautiful specimens have been found. The shells came from the Pacific
Ocean or the Gulf of California and are believed to have been imported
through trade with neighboring tribes. Prehistoric trade routes, over
which specific types of shells were distributed, extended from the Gulfs
of Mexico and California to north-central New Mexico and from the
Pacific Ocean to southern Utah.

The shell was worked in various ways. The tips were ground from olivella
shells which were then strung on sinew and worn as beads. Larger shells
were sometimes covered with a mosaic of turquoise and colored stones.
The turquoise was mined with stone tools, and by the time it was removed
from its matrix, cut, and polished, it represented a considerable
investment of labor. Argillite found in the Verde River region was also
mined. Lac, an insect secretion found on creosote bushes, was sometimes
used to cement the turquoise and argillite to the shell base.

The Sinagua also excelled in the art of weaving. They wove sandals,
baskets, mats, and cotton fabrics. Some of the latter exhibit lace-like
open work while other pieces are tightly woven resembling modern canvas.
Cotton was raised here, near the fields of corn, and woven by the
Sinagua into the finished articles. A few cotton bolls with lint and
seeds have been found in the dwellings.

Instead of spinning wheels, the Indians used a wooden spindle about the
thickness of a lead pencil and perhaps 18 inches long. About 5 or 6
inches from one end there was a disc- or sphere-shaped counterweight
made from a piece of wood or pottery. Corded cotton was spun into yarn
by feeding it onto the end of the spindle as it was twirled between the
thumb and fingers, or, between the hand and the thigh as the spinner sat
on the ground.

Among the modern Indians of the Southwest, the most and the best weaving
is done by the Navajo, an Apache people who learned weaving only a few
hundred years ago from the Pueblos. Modern Navajo weaving is done by the
women. Weaving among modern Pueblos, notably the Hopi, is done by men;
and ancient weaving of pre-Spanish Pueblos may have been men’s work

    [Illustration: _Bird-shaped ornament of turquoise mosaic on

    [Illustration: _Pre-Columbian weaving with openwork design._]

    [Illustration: _Child burial in floor of third-story room in
    Montezuma Castle._]

Most weaving required the use of a loom, a rectangular vertical
framework somewhat larger than the size of the finished product. Proper
tension on vertical (warp) threads was maintained by lashing at the ends
of the loom. Black and white patterns were known, and some red was used.
The museum at Montezuma Castle exhibits some of the finest examples of
prehistoric Pueblo Indian weaving.

The Sinagua Indians in the Verde Valley apparently had no formal
cemeteries. Children were often buried near the dwellings or under the
floor. We learn from modern Pueblo Indians that some prefer to bury a
child near the home. This comes from the belief that the child’s spirit
will remain until the death of the mother and can then be guided safely
to the hereafter; or, that it will return in the person of the next baby
to be born in the family. Occasional child burials were found in wall
cavities in the pueblo ruin at Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is a
few miles northwest of Montezuma Castle and was occupied during the same
general period.

Adults were buried in the refuse dump near a settlement, or placed in a
cavity or under a ledge along the base of a cliff. Most bodies were
buried at full length, lying on the back, and were generally accompanied
by offerings or grave gifts. Pioneers reported several burials beneath
floors in Montezuma Castle, and one additional burial was located in
1939. It contained the remains of a child about 5 years old, which had
been wrapped first in a cotton blanket and then in a yucca leaf mat. The
child had been buried in the corner of a room about 2 feet below the
floor level. Some rooms in Montezuma Castle were built directly above
others; therefore, no floor burials were possible in these upper rooms.
This might explain why one shallow grave was found on a narrow ledge at
the base of the building. The mummified remains of a 2-year-old child
from this grave can now be seen in the museum.

The undercut graves dug into soft bedrock at Montezuma Well constitute
one of the unusual features of that area. Sometimes similar individual
burials are found in other Indian ruins. In contrast to most sites,
including others in the Verde Valley, there is at the Well a fairly
definite cemetery—an area in which these peculiar graves are

Now, let us turn from the general story of customs and way of life to a
detailed description of the Castle and the Well.

                           _Montezuma Castle_

Montezuma Castle is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in
America. About 600 years ago, it was an apartment house occupied by
perhaps 45 or 50 individuals.

The Castle might be called a 5-story structure, though there is no place
where 5 stories have been built directly above each other. It is
actually a 4-story building of 17 rooms, plus a “basement” of 2
store-rooms. The building was fitted into the ledges of the natural cave
in such a way that it appears terraced. There are 2 rooms in the first
story, 4 in the second, 8 in the third, 3 in the fourth, and 2 in the

The Indians had 2 trails that led to the Castle: 1 leading up from the
creek bottom and the other coming in along the face of the cliff to the
top of the first ledge. Overlooking the point where the upper and lower
trails join are 2 smoke-blackened cave rooms which are too small to be
dwellings. Perhaps these held sentries to guard the trails at night.

Geologists believe the cliff has changed but little since the Indian
occupation. If so, the Indians must have used ladders to make numerous
trips to their dwellings each day. In addition, ladders had to be
employed in the building to go from one floor to another. No original
Indian ladders are known to have been found at Montezuma Castle. Ladders
found at other Indian dwellings, however, indicate that two types were
known—single logs with notches cut into them, and a type made by lashing
rungs across upright poles.

    [Illustration: MONTEZUMA CASTLE AREA]

The walls of Montezuma Castle are formed from rough chunks of limestone
laid in mud mortar which was probably made from pockets of clay found in
the vicinity. After the clay was pulverized and mixed with river sand
and water, it made an excellent mortar. The walls average about 12
inches thick throughout the building and are curved to conform to the
arc of the cave in which the Castle rests.

Walls were constructed on the very edge of the ledges with enough earth
fill behind to provide level floor space. Since most of the building
material had to be carried up from the base of the cliff, the individual
building stones were rather small, usually no larger than two bricks.
The walls were covered with mud plaster, both inside and out. Most of
this has weathered away on the outside, but the plaster is
well-preserved inside. In some places, finger marks of the original
builders may still be seen.

Rooms have an average of about 100 square feet of floor space. The
smallest room is in the second story with 37.5 square feet of floor
space, and the largest is in the fifth story with 240 square feet.

What is now the fifth story is in the deepest part of the cave and
apparently was the first part of the Castle to be constructed. At this
point the cave extends in from the face of the cliff for 33 feet. Solid
rock forms the roof and back wall of the room while the ends and outside
wall are of masonry construction. This room is almost too large to have
been a dwelling because it would be hard to heat in winter, but it might
have been intended for joint occupancy by 2 or 3 families—perhaps while
other, smaller rooms were being built.

The Castle was constructed by people who had no metal tools of any kind.
Their picks were pointed stones about as long as an adult’s hand, and
their stone axes were about the same size. A shallow groove was ground
three-fourths of the way around these implements; then a short stick
handle was bent in a J-shape and lashed on over the groove.

Some of the roof timbers still bear chopping marks. With each stroke of
the ax the Indian made little progress, and cutting a large timber must
have consumed considerable time. Some logs are about 1 foot in diameter
and up to 10 feet in length. Ropes were probably used to pull the
timbers into place since fragments of fiber ropes have been found in the
excavations. Without pulleys, great physical effort must have been
required to lift the logs into the cave.

Resting on the main rooftimbers and laid at right angles was a covering
of poles and over this a layer of coarse grass or willows. On top was
placed a layer of mud 3 or 4 inches thick. Most of the original mud
floors have been worn out by early visitors.

    [Illustration: _Vertical cross section of Montezuma Castle._]

    [Illustration: _Floor plan of Montezuma Castle._]

    [Illustration: _A doorway in Montezuma Castle._]

    [Illustration: _Smoke-blackened ceiling in Montezuma Castle._]

When the weather was cold, the Indians could safely build their fires
indoors on the floors. However, they sometimes used one spot for too
many years and wore a hole through the mud floor. The fire would then
find its way through to the willows or grass underneath, and there it
could smolder for hours without being discovered because the odor of
smoke was common within the building. There are several places in the
building where fires of this type occurred.

Pioneer visitors supposed that a group of pigmies constructed the Castle
because the doors are so small. This is not the case. Studies of the
skeletal remains show that the men averaged about 5 feet 4 inches in
height. Like many modern Pueblo Indians, they were short but not
abnormally small. Doors throughout the building are low for at least two
good reasons: they helped keep out the cold, and they would also force
any attacker to put his head through first or to back through, which
would make it possible for even a woman to defend her home.

There were scarcely any openings in the building to supply light and
fresh air—only a few close to the floor level. The Indians had no chairs
or tables; like about half of the world’s population today, they lived
on the floor. Probably most of the cooking was done outside on balconies
and rooftops, but when weather was cold, fires were built inside in open
pits on the floor. There was no chimney or smoke vent, so smoke drifted
out the door. Much of it stayed in the rooms, which accounts for the
smoke-blackened condition of the walls and ceilings.

There is now no soot on the ceiling of the largest fifth-story room.
Presumably it was very black at one time, but the large numbers of bats
which cling there in the warm months have probably rubbed the soot off
through years of continuous use. They have long occupied the room, for
pioneers found 4 feet of droppings covering the floor.

An interesting feature of this room is what appears to have been a
shelf. Timbers projecting from the walls were covered with a layer of
poles and sticks and over this a layer of mud.

On the wall of another room is an interesting pictograph incised in the
mud plaster. This roughly rectangular figure measures about 6 by 8
inches, and is laid off into 4 sections by lines that intersect at the
center. In the upper left quarter and the lower right quarter are
vertical wavy lines that suggest water.

Sixty yards west of Montezuma Castle, on a lower ledge, was a cluster of
6 or 8 rooms. The walls have all collapsed and only a few traces of
foundation and fallen building stones indicate the location of these

The next settlement down the creek west of the Castle was once a 6-story
building with perhaps 40 rooms. This was not a cliff dwelling, but a
structure built against the base of the cliff. The roofs were burned and
all the walls collapsed, leaving only a great heap of rubble. Evidently
part of the building was abandoned long before it burned, for
archeologists found that charred roof timbers had fallen on some floors
already covered with drifted sand and dust. This ruin was excavated in
1933-34 under the direction of Archeologist Earl Jackson. Many artifacts
were brought to light and are now exhibited in the museum. These are of
the same type as those found in the Castle, and both places must have
been occupied at the same time. Probably no more than 300 Indians lived
in the neighborhood of the Castle at any one time—somewhat more than the
maximum population at Montezuma Well.

    [Illustration: _Metates and manos, and burned ceiling beams as found
    in excavated ruin at cliff base west of Montezuma Castle._]

                            _Montezuma Well_

The appeal of Montezuma Well consists largely in the sudden vision of a
lake and large trees inside a barren hill in a dry region. This
limestone sinkhole (or solution basin) in which a large spring flows is
an unusual geological feature of considerable scientific interest.

In 1871 a U. S. Geological Survey party visited the Well. Although they
thought themselves the first to explore it, they found a paper collar on
the floor of a nearby cave dwelling! The area was first brought to
public attention by Richard J. Hinton in his _Handbook to Arizona_,
published in 1878.

    [Illustration: _Looking across Montezuma Well to ledge ruin._]

Aside from its geological interest, this area is a monument to the
ingenuity of the former Indian inhabitants. Here they built their homes
around the lake from which water was diverted into irrigation ditches
for purposes of watering their farms.

Today the rim of the Well is 70 feet above the surface of the water. The
lake measures over 400 feet across and the springs feeding it flow
continually. Nature, in this manner, provided the Indians (and later
settlers) with a huge supply of water for irrigation of the dry desert

In May 1948, a diver went down into the Well to determine its depth and
explore the bottom. After coming up from the first dive, he said the
water was so warm that he had to remove all clothing except for his
swimming trunks. The temperatures at the bottom and on the surface
differ by some 4° to 7° in summer. On surfacing from another dive, he
remarked that the black muddy bottom was broken by two white mounds of
sandy material near the west shore, and that the water in this region
was cool. Continued search in this spot did not reveal an actual inlet
to explain the cool water or the presence of the limestone mounds, which
may have been inlets at one time. Several descents revealed the saucer
shape of the Well and a maximum depth of 55 feet near the center.

    [Illustration: MONTEZUMA WELL AREA
    APRIL 1958]

    [Illustration: _Diagram of undercut grave at Montezuma Well._]

The Well has a constant flow at the outlet spring of 1½ million gallons
of water every day. A person viewing this cup-shaped depression, half
filled with water, could easily doubt this statement of flow, for the
surface presents a placid and serene appearance. The water, acting like
a giant mirror, reflects the blue Arizona sky, and stimulates visiting
photographers to take many pictures.

On the rim, and in the ledges and caves below, are remnants of former
Indian homes—reminders that in the past this body of water stood for
more than natural beauty. Its presence made possible a thriving farming
community of about 150 to 200 Indians between 1125 and 1400.

Archeological features include the remains of two pueblos on the rim of
the Well. The larger contained about 24 ground-floor rooms, and the
other 15. Three small cliff dwellings are located in the western ledges
and several rooms are hidden in a large cave near the place where the
Well water goes underground before emerging at the outlet spring.

Two burial grounds have been discovered, one on the flat below the Well,
and the other near the small pueblo. As mentioned in a previous section,
the method in which the Indians at Montezuma Well buried adults was
rather unusual. They excavated a rectangular pit in the ground, roughly
3 by 6 feet. About 3 feet below the surface, they broke through a fairly
hard 8- to 10-inch limestone layer commonly found underground in this
area. After digging about 2 feet below this layer, they dug to one side,
underneath the limestone, forming an undercut grave. This was made large
enough for the body to lay at full length inside, and to accommodate
funeral offerings, usually including pottery vessels. The undercut
portion was closed with 3 or 4 large slabs of limestone, which were
sealed with mud to prevent any dirt from entering. Then the pit was
filled with dirt to complete the burial. Nowhere else in the Southwest
are undercut graves quite like these found.

    [Illustration: _Modern irrigation ditch flows beside lime-coated
    bank of ancient irrigation ditch._]

Along the north edge of the farmland you can see the most unusual
feature at Montezuma Well: “fossilized” irrigation ditches of the
ancient Indian farms! The water in the Well is warm and contains much
lime. As the water flowed through the ancient irrigation ditches, some
evaporated and lime particles settled to the bottom. Also, each time the
Indians finished irrigating, they probably turned the water back into
Beaver Creek to avoid flooding the farms. What little water remained in
the ditches evaporated, leaving more lime particles. Over a period of
time, these particles coated the ditches—thus actually cementing them.
In this way the ancient waterways have been preserved as monuments to
the first farmers of the Verde Valley. Interestingly, the same process
continues today in modern irrigation ditches using waters from the Well.

                       _History of the Monument_

The Spanish were the first Europeans to visit the immediate area of the
monument. No reference by them to Montezuma Castle has been found;
however, in 1583, the Antonio de Espejo Expedition probably visited
Montezuma Well. Espejo journeyed from the Hopi Indian villages in
northeastern Arizona to the Verde River, traveling down a stream
identified as Beaver Creek—thus he had to pass Montezuma Well. A further
indication that he passed the Well is found in one of the expedition
journals which describes an abandoned pueblo and a ditch running from a
nearby pond.

While the Verde Valley was Spanish and Mexican territory, no settlements
were established in the immediate vicinity of the monument.

As a result of the war with Mexico (1846-48), the United States acquired
the Verde Valley. By 1865, enough settlers had come into the valley to
warrant the establishment of Fort Verde near the location of present-day
Camp Verde. The earliest date of a pioneer visitor’s scratched
inscription in Montezuma Castle is 1880; however, it is known that the
ruin was visited by army personnel in the 1860’s. Dr. Edgar A. Mearns,
who was assigned to the fort, wrote the first detailed account of
Montezuma Castle. It was published in 1890 in the _Popular Science
Monthly_, and described the ruin very much as it is today:

  Upon my first visit in 1884, it was evident that nothing more than a
  superficial examination had ever been made. In 1886 I caused the
  debris on the floors to be shoveled over. This material consisted of a
  quantity of dust and broken fragments of pottery and stone implements,
  together with the accumulation of guano from bats that inhabited the
  building. This accumulation, in the largest room of the top floor, was
  4 feet in depth. As no one had ever disturbed it, the floor was found
  in exactly the same condition in which it was left by the latest

A few years later, the first repair work was done. In 1897, members of
the Arizona Antiquarian Association visited Montezuma Castle and, with
funds raised by subscription, cleaned up the ruin and performed repairs
including the installation of ladders, iron anchor rods, and corrugated
iron roofs.

On December 8, 1906, by Presidential proclamation, 160 acres were set
aside from the public domain to preserve Montezuma Castle as a National
Monument. By Presidential proclamation of February 23, 1937, 366 acres
were added to the area to give better protection to the monument
entrance and to the area in the foreground of the ruin. On April 4,
1947, Montezuma Well was acquired by the Federal Government through
purchase from private owners. This last purchase gave the monument a
total area of somewhat over 1 square mile.

    [Illustration: _Montezuma Castle as it looked to early visitors._]

    [Illustration: _Beaver Creek north of Montezuma Castle._]

                          _The Natural Scene_

The landscape of the Verde Valley is wild, spectacular, and mountainous,
dropping from forested mountain ranges and high mesas down to sparsely
vegetated desert valleys with ribbons of dense growth bordering the
valley streams. Clear desert air projects this rugged scene upon your
mind with almost frightening intensity. Towering thunderheads and filmy
streaks of high cirrus clouds emphasize the harshly blue skies.

Though the desert landscape looks bleak, it nourishes an astonishing
variety of plant and animal life.

Typical plants of the desert flats and slopes are creosote bush,
mesquite, cactus, yucca, and agave. Cottonwood, sycamore, and several
species of willow flourish along streams and washes. You can see all of
these plants within the monument boundaries—many of them on the nature
trail below Montezuma Castle.

The monument, situated on the northern limit of the Lower Sonoran plant
zone, exhibits other plants more typical of the higher region a few
miles to the north where the Upper Sonoran zone begins. Some of these
are hackberry, juniper, sumac, and Indian paint brush.

The plant collections at Montezuma Castle include 167 species
representing 49 families. The wide variety of plants within this
relatively small area attracts birds and small animals in their search
for food. Undoubtedly these plants were an aid in supplementing the diet
of the prehistoric Indians. Many wild plants were and still are used by
the Indians of the Southwest for other purposes—basketry and sandal
weaving, medicines, and ceremonial uses.

    [Illustration: _Collared lizards_]

In 1948 a preliminary survey was made of the plants in the Montezuma
Well section—189 different plants representing 60 families were
collected in that area alone. The variety of plantlife for food or other
uses, in addition to the amazing water supply, made the Well a very
attractive area for Indian settlement.

Many birds have been observed in the monument—149 bird species have been
recorded at the Castle in 19 years of observation; and 140 species have
been recorded at the Well since 1948. Many birds live in the region
throughout the year, while others are seasonal visitors. Ducks and geese
are plentiful in the winter, particularly at Montezuma Well, where they
rest between their long flights.

The animals and reptiles of the monument are typical of this desert
area. Most common are jackrabbit, cottontail rabbit, porcupine, raccoon,
beaver, skunk, ground squirrel, rock squirrel, rattlesnake, bull snake,
and water snake. Other forms of life which are present in the summer are
lizard, black widow spider, tarantula, scorpion, centipede, and cicada

    [Illustration: _Beaver Creek—an oasis in the desert._]

As long as you are reasonably careful about where you step and avoid
putting your hands on ledges or in crevices, none of the poisonous
species presents any danger.

Nature’s calendar of events for this area might read as follows:

_Autumn_—Crisp, clear weather; time for the departure of summer birds
and arrival of winter ducks; beginning of the hibernation period for
snakes, lizards, and insects; termination of autumn flowers.

_Winter_—Usually mild with occasional snow flurries; glimpses of deer
and antelope coming off the mountains into the valley; continual traffic
southward of ducks and geese on migration lanes; dominance of large
flocks of juncos throughout the area.

_Spring_—High winds and occasional rains; spring flowers coloring the
slopes and mesas; influx of insects along with insect-catching birds and
lizards; appearance of snakes and rodents; departure of ducks for
northern breeding grounds.

_Summer_—Heat and occasional thunderstorms to match the drama of the
survival of the fittest—insects feeding on flowers and plants; birds and
lizards feeding on insects; rodents feeding on seeds and eggs; snakes
feeding on rodents; hawks and owls feeding on snakes and rodents; the
scavenger of the desert, the vulture, cleaning up wherever he finds his
meal; and the skunk continually knocking over the garbage pail.

                      _How to Reach the Monument_

Montezuma Castle is 5 miles north of Camp Verde, 60 miles south of
Flagstaff, and 65 miles east of Prescott. It may be reached by U. S. 89
Alternate from Flagstaff via Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, or by the same
highway from Prescott through Jerome, Clarkdale, and Cottonwood, then on
a State road through Cornville. It may also be reached by State Routes
69 and 79 from Phoenix, 95 miles to the south, through Camp Verde.
Another approach from the south is the graveled road from Roosevelt Dam,
via Payson, Pine, and Camp Verde.

Montezuma Well is 6 miles from the main entrance of Montezuma Castle
National Monument. It is easily reached by going north from the Castle
entrance on paved road for 2 miles; then, turn right at the road that
passes through McGuireville a few hundred yards distant. Follow this
road 4 miles to the entrance to the Well. A “back road” from Sedona
reaches Montezuma Well from the north.

                           _About Your Visit_

You may visit the area from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. any day in the year. The
nominal admission fee is waived for children under 12.

Picnic grounds with piped water, fireplaces, and tables are available in
both sections of the monument. Supplies cannot be purchased at the
monument, but you will find stores and a restaurant in nearby Camp
Verde. There is also a grocery store at McGuireville, between Montezuma
Castle and Montezuma Well.

                            _Related Areas_

You may see many types of ruins in the Verde Valley and in other parts
of the Southwest. Most common are the pueblos. Most of them were
occupied between A. D. 1100 and 1400. They range in size from 4 or 5
rooms up to more than 1,000 rooms. Many still stand several stories
high. A few have open courts in which the people could gather for social
or ceremonial purposes. None of the pueblos in the valley contain kivas,
the ceremonial chambers so common in northeastern Arizona and adjoining
districts of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Conversely, ball courts are
found in the Verde Valley and around Flagstaff but not in other Pueblo

Two miles east of Clarkdale, Ariz., is Tuzigoot National Monument—an
Indian pueblo of more than 100 rooms. Tuzigoot was occupied by Indians
similar to those of Montezuma Castle, but they lived under somewhat
different circumstances. They found tillable land and water for
irrigation, but there were no caves to shelter their homes. Instead,
they chose the end of a steep ridge that rises 120 feet above the Verde
River. For defense, these Indians built their pueblo with few exterior
doors; instead they used hatchlike openings through the roof. The pueblo
was entered by ladders which could be removed. The ruins and an
extensive museum are open between 8 a. m. and 5 p. m. every day.

    [Illustration: _Ruins at Tuzigoot._]

Aside from the pueblos included in Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle
National Monuments, there are other examples to be seen on the many
buttes and mesas in the Verde Valley.

Among the thousands of open pueblo sites in the Southwest, the National
Park System includes, besides Tuzigoot, the following outstanding
examples: Casa Grande and Wupatki National Monuments in Arizona; Aztec
Ruins, Bandelier, and Chaco Canyon National Monuments in New Mexico; and
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

Many interesting areas can be reached easily from Flagstaff, Ariz. They
include Walnut Canyon National Monument, a natural area of great beauty
featuring 5 miles of cliff dwellings clinging to rock ledges; Wupatki
National Monument, a series of remarkable pueblo dwellings; and Sunset
Crater National Monument, site of the last active volcano in the
Southwest. Sunset Crater was formed by an eruption which covered many
early pithouse dwellings about A. D. 1064. The Museum of Northern
Arizona, containing very fine archeological and geological exhibits is
located near Flagstaff, on Fort Valley road.

    [Illustration: _Walnut Canyon dwellings._]

One hundred and seven miles south of Montezuma Castle, near Roosevelt,
Ariz., is Tonto National Monument, where other cliff dwellings may be


Montezuma Castle National Monument is administered by the National Park
Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior. A superintendent, whose
address is Camp Verde, Ariz., is in immediate charge.

                 _Glossary of Spanish and Indian Words_

  Apache     (Uh-PATCH-ee)       Indian      Nomadic and warlike
                                             Indians of the American
  Aztec      (AS-tec)            Indian      Indians of central
                                             Mexico. Early settlers
                                             thought Aztecs had built
                                             Montezuma Castle and
                                             other ruins in the
  Espejo,    (Es-PAY-ho,         Spanish     Spanish explorer who
  Antonio    On-TON-eeyo day)                visited central Arizona
  de                                         in 1583.
  Hohokam    (Ho-ho-KAHM)        Indian      Early Indian inhabitants
                                             of the Verde Valley.
  Hopi       (HO-pee)            Indian      A Pueblo Indian tribe of
                                             northeastern Arizona.
  Kiva       (KEE-vuh)           Indian      Ceremonial chamber or
  Mano       (MAH-no)            Spanish     Hand; applied to grinding
                                             stone held in hand.
  Mesa       (MAY-suh)           Spanish     Table; hence a tableland.
  Mescal     (Mess-KAHL)         Spanish     A small plant (agave);
                                 from        quids of this plant were
                                 Indian      chewed as a stimulant.
  Mesquite   (Mess-KEET)         Spanish     A spiny tree or bush
                                 from        bearing bean-like pods
                                 Indian      used for food by Indians.
  Metate     (Meh-TAH-tay)       Spanish     A concave grinding stone
                                 from        used for grinding corn.
  Montezuma  (Mon-teh-ZOO-muh)   Indian      Last Aztec emperor of
  Navajo     (NAW-vuh-ho)        Spanish     A tribe of seminomadic,
                                 from        herdsmen Indians of the
                                 Indian      Southwest. Related to the
  Pueblo     (Pooh-EB-lo)        Spanish     Village; hence the
                                             Indians who built the
                                             large dwellings in the
                                             Southwest. Also applied
                                             to the dwellings
  Sinagua    (Sin-AH-wah)        Spanish     Prehistoric Indians of
                                             the Verde Valley who
                                             built Montezuma Castle.
                                             The word means literally
                                             “without water.”
  Verde      (VER-day)           Spanish     Green; hence Verde Valley.
  Yavapai    (YAH-vah-pie)       Indian      Indians occupying Verde
                                             Valley when it was
                                             visited by the Espejo
                                             Expedition. Possibly
                                             descendents of the
  Yucca      (YUK-uh)            Spanish,    A desert plant of the
                                 probably    lily family with long,
                                 from        fibrous, green leaves and
                                 Indian      a tall stem bearing a
                                             cluster of white blossoms.

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1977    O-244-528

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Note that the section “Suggested Readings” in the Table of Contents is
  not present in the actual Contents.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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