Montezuma Castle

Darlene Wilson

Prescott, United States

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Artist's Description

Montezuma Castle is one of a number of well-preserved ancient dwellings in north central Arizona. It is probably the most spectacular; an imposing 20 room, 5-storey structure built into a recess in a white limestone cliff about 70 feet above the ground. When first (re)discovered the ruins were thought to be Aztec in origin, hence the name bestowed on them by early explorers, but they are now known to belong to the Sinagua Indian peoples who farmed the surrounding land between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, before abandoning the area.

The last known record of Sinagua occupation for any sites are for Montezuma Castle National Monument around 1425 AD. The reasons for abandonment of their habitation sites are not yet known, but warfare, drought, and clashes with the newly-arrived Yavapai people have been suggested.

Artwork Comments

  • Adam Gormley
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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