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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Walnut Canyon National Monument in Coconino County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

A Complex Community

 
 
A Complex Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
1. A Complex Community Marker
Inscription.

The Island Trail, visible below you, follows the sharp meander of Walnut Creek. Many cliff dwelling rooms, unique in this area, were built throughout the canyon at the level of this trail. On both rims are numerous pithouses and pueblos.

On the very top of the rock promontory or "island" before you, are more rooms. Walls were constructed to block easy access to them.

Maybe this intriguing arrangement of sites met seasonal, security, social, or ritual needs.

Why Here?
Walnut Canyon was known and used by people for thousands of years before it became a focal point for a community during the 1100s. Changing natural and social conditions across the region undoubtedly played into the decision to settle here. By 1100 the Southwest's population had swelled. People were looking for new places to live and farm.

There may have been other attractions. Some tribal consultants believe people built here for refuge and protection, or for isolation and ceremonial preparation.

[Photo captions read]
[1.] This large pueblo can be seen along the Rim Trail. Cliff dwellings were built on ledges throughout the canyon. You will see this one [in photo 2]on your hike around the "island."

[2.] Ancestral homesites are claimed by various groups today including Hopi clans that trace their
Trail Map on A Complex Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service, undated
2. Trail Map on A Complex Community Marker
migrations through Walnut Canyon and these dwellings.

[3.] Depending on the calculation method used, Walnut Canyon's peak population may have been as few as 75 people or as many as 400.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 35° 10.274′ N, 111° 30.561′ W. Marker is in Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona, in Coconino County. Click for map. Marker is along the trail leading from the visitor center to the Island Trail. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 Walnut Canyon Road, Flagstaff AZ 86004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cliff Homes and Canyon Life (here, next to this marker); A Ribbon of Life (here, next to this marker); Tension and Harmony (within shouting distance of this marker); A Time of Change (within shouting distance of this marker); Migration is not abandonment. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Perfect Shelter (about 400 feet away); Departure (about 500 feet away); What Happened Here? (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Walnut Canyon National Monument.
 
Also see . . .  Walnut Canyon National Monument. (Submitted on November 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. EnvironmentNative Americans
 
Photo 1 on A Complex Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dallas Larsen, undated
3. Photo 1 on A Complex Community Marker
Photo 2 on A Complex Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bean, undated
4. Photo 2 on A Complex Community Marker
Photo 3 on A Complex Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service, undated
5. Photo 3 on A Complex Community Marker
Cliff Homes and Canyon Life, Complex Community, and Ribbon of Life Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
6. Cliff Homes and Canyon Life, Complex Community, and Ribbon of Life Markers
Walnut Canyon image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
7. Walnut Canyon
Notes steps at bottom of photo leading to Island Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 313 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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