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Title: Navajo National Monument, Arizona (1951)
Author: United States. National Park Service
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Navajo National Monument, Arizona (1951)" ***

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    [Illustration: _Cover: Betatakin Ruin_]



    [Illustration: Decorative title]



                                 NAVAJO
                      NATIONAL MONUMENT · Arizona


      United States Department of the Interior, Oscar L. Chapman,
                              _Secretary_
          National Park Service, Arthur E. Demaray, _Director_

                       DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                             March 3, 1849

  _Perched high in their matchless settings, the three great cliff
  dwellings of Navajo National Monument are the most striking remains of
  ancient occupancy of the canyon country of northeastern Arizona._

From about A. D. 300 until about A. D. 1300 there lived in the San Juan
River drainage near the “Four Corners” of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico,
and Arizona, Indians we now call the Anasazi (a Navajo word which means
“The Ancient Ones”). Before A. D. 300 the Anasazi probably existed as
small bands who wandered over the colorful plateau country hunting and
trapping and gathering nuts and seeds; it is possible that they also did
a little haphazard farming.

About A. D. 300 farming became more important in their economy. With a
better and more dependable food supply population increased, people
began to be more sedentary, crafts improved, and more permanent homes
were built. By A. D. 1100 large villages of several hundred people each
had been developed, as well as many smaller communities.

As time passed, three cultural centers—really prehistoric tribes—had
differentiated from each other: the Chaco Canyon group, in northwestern
New Mexico; the Mesa Verde, in southwestern Colorado; and the Kayenta,
in northeastern Arizona.

The three cliff dwellings of Navajo National Monument represent this
third group. In these villages the culture of the Kayenta Anasazi
reached its peak and then deteriorated swiftly. A combination of
circumstances, chief of which probably were soil erosion caused by poor
agricultural practices and disease brought about by lack of sanitation,
resulted in a rapid loss of population. The remaining Anasazi abandoned
the Kayenta region shortly after A. D. 1300.

Betatakin, meaning “Hillside House,” is the most accessible ruin in the
monument. It is a well-preserved “apartment house,” 700 years old. As
determined by the tree-ring dating method, this ruin was occupied
between the years A. D. 1242 and approximately A. D. 1300.

Betatakin once had almost 150 rooms, of which more than 50 were
residential, 6 ceremonial (kivas), 13 open courts or patios, about 30
storage, and 2 grinding rooms. The last-mentioned are among the many
rooms which are still well-preserved.

Betatakin is built on the sloping floor of a great cave, carved by
stream meander and wind erosion in the side of a soft, red, sandstone
cliff which forms the sheer and vertical 500-foot north wall of a
picturesque and beautiful canyon. The cave roof projects far out over
the village. Sand storms had piled among the central rooms an
accumulation in which oaks 4 inches in diameter and varied shrubbery had
taken root.

    [Illustration: _A portion of Betatakin Ruin_]

In the canyon fronting Betatakin are tall, slender quaking aspen;
boxelder, Douglas-fir, and pinyon deck the talus slopes; and juniper and
pinyon cap the bordering cliffs.

Betatakin was discovered in 1909 by Byron Cummings and the late John
Wetherill, and was excavated and stabilized in 1917 by Neil M. Judd, of
the Smithsonian Institution.

The pottery found in Betatakin and the other Segi cliff ruins is of
exceptional quality, artistically painted, and includes both
black-on-white ware and varieties of polychrome or “orangeware.”


                              _KEET SEEL_

Keet Seel is the largest cliff ruin in Arizona and one of the last to be
abandoned in the Segi Canyon region. It may be reached by horse or on
foot from Betatakin by an 11-mile trail, which is primitive and crosses
the canyon stream many times, making the trip on foot a difficult one.

Horses may be obtained from the nearby Navajos through the
superintendent of the monument. One full day is required for the round
trip.

Keet Seel was discovered in 1893 by Richard Wetherill. It was partially
excavated and stabilized in 1934, and today still gives the impression
that it might have been abandoned only a few years ago. Actually, almost
700 years have passed since the Anasazi last lived in this cliff city.


                          _INSCRIPTION HOUSE_

Inscription House lies almost 20 miles in an air line west of Betatakin,
the headquarters area. This fine ruin, the smallest of the three (with
approximately 75 rooms), was so named because of an inscription found
scratched into the plastered wall of one of the rooms. Weather-beaten,
little remains of the original inscription. It is generally believed to
be of Spanish origin and to date from the 1660’s, but the exact wording
has been variously reported. John Wetherill, from his second trip to
Inscription House in 1909, remembered the inscription thus:

                                C H O S
                               1661 A d n

with more letters which were illegible.

    [Illustration: _Keet Seel Ruin_]


                             _THE MONUMENT_

Navajo National Monument was established by Presidential proclamation on
March 20, 1909, and contains 360 acres of federally owned land. It is
completely surrounded by the Navajo Indian Reservation and lies on the
edge of a “roadless area” nearly 100 miles from paved highways.


                            _RELATED AREAS_

Other cliff dwellings in the National Park System include those in
Canyon de Chelly, Walnut Canyon, Montezuma Castle, and Tonto National
Monuments in Arizona; Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado; and
Bandelier and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monuments in New Mexico.


               _ACCOMMODATIONS AND SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC_

Only designated campgrounds and picnic benches are available in the
monument, but trading posts and guest ranches in Kayenta, Tonalea,
Goulding, Tuba City, Shonto, and Rainbow Lodge offer modern
accommodations.

Because of the need of protecting the ruins, and the difficult unmarked
trails by which they are reached, no one is allowed to enter any ruin
unless accompanied by a guide.

Betatakin may be viewed from the binocular station on Betatakin Point at
any time, with or without a guide.

    [Illustration: _Inscription House Ruin_]

Trips to Betatakin should start at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m.; and to Keet Seel at
8 a.m.


                            _ADMINISTRATION_

Navajo National Monument is a part of the National Park System
administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of
the Interior. The Superintendent, Navajo National Monument, is in
immediate charge and inquiries regarding the monument should be
addressed to him at Tonalea, Ariz.

Monument headquarters are located near Betatakin, and visitors to
outlying areas may obtain information and guidance by calling there
first.

    [Illustration: NAVAJO NATIONAL MONUMENT AND VICINITY
    MANY OF THE ROADS IN THESE RESERVATIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS PASSABLE.
    INQUIRY SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE ATTEMPTING A TRIP.]

  NAVAJO NATIONAL MONUMENT
    INSCRIPTION HOUSE RUIN
    KEET SEEL RUIN
    BETATAKIN RUIN
    HDQRS. AREA
  _Other Parks and Monuments_
    PETRIFIED FOREST NAT. MON.
      PAINTED DESERT
        _Highway_ 65
    RAINBOW BRIDGE NAT. MON.
      Navajo Mtn. 10,416
    SUNSET CRATER NAT. MON.
    WALNUT CANYON NAT. MON.
    WUPATKI NAT. MON.
      Humphreys Peak 12,611
    To Arches Nat. Mon. 166 miles
      _Highway_ 47
    To Grand Canyon N. P. 56 Miles
      _Highway_ 64
    To North Rim Grand Canyon 85 miles
      _U.S. Highway_ 89
    To Tonto Nat. Mon. 133 Miles
      _Highway_ 65
    To Tuzigoot Nat. Mon. 52 Miles
      _U.S. Highway_ 89A
    Marble Canyon
      NAVAJO BRIDGE 467 Feet ABOVE COLORADO RIVER
  WESTERN NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION
    Cameron
    Cow Spring
    Echo Cliffs
    Kayenta
    Rainbow Lodge
    Shonto
    Tonalea
    Tuba City
    To Shiprock 105 Miles
    Agathla Peak 6,825
    Comb Ridge
    Marsh Pass
    Monument Pass
  NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION
    Indian Wells
    Leupp
    Sunrise
  HOPI INDIAN RESERVATION
    Keams Canyon
    Oraibi
  UTAH
    Goulding
  ARIZONA
    Flagstaff
    Holbrook
    Lees Ferry
    Two Guns
    Winslow
    To Gallup 73 Miles
    To Globe 138 Miles
      _Highway_ 77
    To Pine 80 Miles
    To St. John 43 Miles
      _U.S. Highway_ 260
    To Williams 32 Miles
      _U.S. Highway_ 66
  _Drainage_
    Colorado River
      Navajo Creek
      Little Colorado River
        LITTLE COLORADO CANYON
        DOT KLISH CANYON
        Dinnebito Wash
        Oraibi Wash
        Polacco Wash
        Beshbito Wash
        Leroux Wash
    Laguna Cr.

                February 1951 Sept. 1946 N. M. Nav. 7000
    Revised 1951    U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1951-O-939166

 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing
                                 Office
            Washington 25, D. C.—Price $3.75 per 100 copies



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—This eBook is based on a U.S. government publication which is public
  domain in the United States.

—Corrected a few palpable typos.

—Within the map, transcribed labels, and added italicized text where
  needed to define the context.

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





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