Beyond Sedona: Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, and Jerome, Arizona

Evidence of the Sinagua people (from Spanish “sin agua,” meaning “without water”) in the Sedona area dates as far back as 600 A.D. The tribes were involved in agriculture and developed trade routes which lead them to interact with the Hohokam people, who were skilled in irrigation systems. The Sinagua are believed to be related to the Aztec and/or Maya people and were experts in cotton weaving, red clay pottery, and jewelry. They kept dogs and parrots as pets, and wild turkeys as a food source. Throughout the centuries, their dwellings evolved from teepees to intricate adobe structures—some with up to thirty-five rooms, housing hundreds of people—a sign of change from a nomadic lifestyle to a more static one.

Today, there are several Sinaguan sites in the Sedona area: Honanki in the western canyons, Tuzigoot just outside Cottonwood, and Montezuma Castle and Well, located off I-17 in Rimrock and Camp Verde.

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