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

Problem Solving

 
 
Problem Solving Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
1. Problem Solving Marker
Inscription.  
Time has worn away details that once made these rooms complete. Still, bits of evidence tell us people devised ways to make their homes comfortable, durable, and suitable for changing circumstances.

Rooms were added as families grew or storage needs increased. Some rooms in Walnut Canyon show a surprising degree of remodeling at various times suggesting generations of reuse.

Regular replastering of outside walls kept moisture out and walls sound.

Inside walls were plastered too, making the room well sealed and a bit brighter. Notice the smoke-blackened wall inside this room, perhaps from warming fires. But fire was also used to fumigate and to harden the clay.

Layers of clay turned uneven bedrock ledges into smooth level room floors. As floors wore, new layers were simply applied over old. The clay floors have all eroded in these rooms.

Modern Solutions
Look at the overhang above you. With this particular room block, rain and snowmelt dripped off the rock and fell on or near the front walls. After the surface plaster eroded, water seeped into the walls and eroded the mortar between
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stones.

We don't know if the residents devised a way to redirect water away from the walls but you can see our solution. The "worm-like" features fixed to the rock create new driplines further out from the wall, which reduces direct erosion.

Artificial silicone driplines are an inexpensive and non-damaging preservation technique.

The front walls of these rooms have received extensive repairs over the years. No original mortar remains; all that you see here, including fingerprints, is modern.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 35° 10.176′ N, 111° 30.627′ W. Marker is in Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona, in Coconino County. Marker is along the Island Trail loop, only accessible from the visitor center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 Walnut Canyon Road, Flagstaff AZ 86004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Perfect Shelter (within shouting distance of this marker); From Ocean to Alcove (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); What Happened Here? (about 400 feet away); Departure
Problem Solving Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
2. Problem Solving Marker
(about 400 feet away); Room Functions (about 400 feet away); Migration is not abandonment. (about 400 feet away); A Community Sharing the Land (about 500 feet away); A Days Work (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Walnut Canyon National Monument.
 
Also see . . .  Walnut Canyon National Monument. (Submitted on November 24, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Problem Solving Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
3. Problem Solving Marker
Rooms Near Problem Solving Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
4. Rooms Near Problem Solving Marker
Rooms Near Problem Solving Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 8, 2010
5. Rooms Near Problem Solving Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 24, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 510 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 24, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Apr. 14, 2024