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

The Neighborhood / Mysterious Departures

 
 
The Neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 7, 2010
1. The Neighborhood Marker
Inscription.

The Neighborhood
You can see Montezuma Castle and Castle A from here. If you look closely at the Cliffside, you might spot other ledges and caves used by the Sinagua.

The Sinagua people who made their homes here may have been a closely-knit community of families and friends. Even though the trappings of civilization change over time, peopleís social needs donít. Take a moment to imagine busy villagers doing their daily chores, perhaps chatting about the weather, crops, an upcoming hunt, or a recent death in the community.

Mysteriously, the neighborhood began to break up sometime around A.D. 1400. Within 50 years, Montezuma Castle was completely deserted.

Mysterious Departures
Life must have been good. The Sinagua farmed beside Beaver Creek, and lived in their large, carefully constructed villages for 300 years. It's obvious they came to stay, and built to last - yet sometime in the 1400s, they mysteriously began to leave.

Could the reason have been disease? Drought? Overpopulation, resulting in scarce farmland and game? Invasion, or inter-group strife? The breakup of trade networks?

No one really knows why they left, or where they went - but Hopi Indian legends and lifeways suggest the Sinagua may have joined them on their mesas to the southeast.
 
Erected by
Mysterious Departures Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 7, 2010
2. Mysterious Departures Marker
National Park Service.
 
Location. 34° 36.688′ N, 111° 50.543′ W. Marker is in Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona, in Yavapai County. Touch for map. Marker is along the walking trail leading from the visitor center. Marker is at or near this postal address: Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde AZ 86322, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lifeline / Prehistoric Produce (within shouting distance of this marker); The People Next Door (within shouting distance of this marker); The Way Up / Construction Sequence (within shouting distance of this marker); The Community (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to The Castle (about 400 feet away); Macaw Pen Stone? (about 700 feet away); Pecan Lane Rural Historic Landscape (approx. 2.7 miles away); Fort Verde State Historic Park (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montezuma Castle National Monument.
 
Also see . . .  Montezuma Castle National Monument. (Submitted on March 14, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. AnthropologyMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
The Neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 7, 2010
3. The Neighborhood Marker
Montezuma Castle visible in upper distance
Mysterious Departures Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 7, 2010
4. Mysterious Departures Marker
Montezuma Castle image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 7, 2010
5. Montezuma Castle
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 636 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 14, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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