Tuzigoot National Monument - Entrance Sign
I stopped on the way home from Parsons Trail and walked around Tuzigoot National Monument outside of Cottonwood in the Verde Valley.
Tuzigoot (Apache for "crooked water") is the remnant of a Southern Sinagua village built vetween 1125 and 1400. It crowns the summit of a long ridge that rises 120 feet above the Verde Valley. The original pueblo was two stories high in places, with 77 ground floor rooms. There were few exterior doors; entry was by way of ladders through openings in the roofs. The village began as a small cluster of rooms inhabited by about 50 persons for 100 years. In the 1200s the population doubled and then doubled again as refugee farmers, fleeing drought in outlying areas settled here.
No one knows why the Southern Sinagua abandoned their pueblos by the early 1400s.