Ancient Ruins & Rattlesnake

April 22, 2010 - Cottonwood, Arizona, United States

A short distance from the city limits of Cottonwood, AZ is Tuzigoot National Monument.  A tribe of southern Sinagua built their masonry homes on this ridge about AD 700 and established a thriving agricultural commmunity.  At its most productive time, the late 1300's, the Tuzigoot pueblo contained 86 ground floor rooms and, possibly, 15 second story rooms, with about 225 people living there.  By AD 1300 there were about 50 major pueblo sites, many surrounded by smaller satellite pueblos in the middle of Verde Valley.  For some unknown reason, they all left in the early 1400's, more than a hundred years before the first Europeans rode into the valley. 

Another day we drove to the Palatki Ruins about 20 miles (9 miles of dirt road) from Sedona.  There is a pictograph site there where the walls display art from cultures extending back over 6,000 years.  The Sinagua people built cliff dwellings in the shelter of sandstone cliff overhang.  The rock walls were built by setting the mortar by hand.  The hand prints are still there.

It is very interesting to learn about the people who lived on this continent before Europeans arrived.  They did not leave a lot of clues as to here they came from, who they were, or how they lived. 

We drove through Sedona again on our way back "home".  One can only imagine what it is like to live in this beautiful area all the time. 

We had just arrived at the RV park when we enountered a rattlesnake.  It was four to five feet long and put on a bit of a display.  (Click on the "video" tab to see a video of the snake.)  It is the first time I have ever encountered a rattlesnake not in a cage.  You can be assured, even if you have never heard a rattler, you will know immediately what it is.


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