Wupatki Ruins Diane Moore

FebDin3

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I never knew of the ancient ruins that could be seen in our country. When I took a job at Mesa Verde National Park, in southwest Colorado, it was the first I had ever been in cliff dwellings inhabited by ancient people. Since that job, I have visited other ruins. Most recently, I toured Wupatki National Monument, near Flagstaff, AZ.

FebDin4

First farmed around 500 A.D., inhabitants lived on the land surrounded by the San Franciscan mountains on one side and the Painted Desert on the other. Around 1040 to 1100 a nearby volcano, Sunset Crater, began to erupt. Imagine what the people must have thought was happening! Although the area was abandoned for the years at the height of the volcanic eruption, the people returned when the volcano quieted. A fine ash covered the land, actually improving the farmer’s ability to retain water and continue growing their crops. Some of the ruins are found next to box canyons that would have been farmed due to the moisture from the rains being retained longer there, than in the arid desert.

FebDin

The area was also an important trade route. Evidence of interaction with southern indigenous people is found in a ball court mimicking older ones found in Mexico. A walled area where games were held is still standing. Items, such as pottery, with origins as far away as the Gulf and the Pacific coasts have been found in Wupatki.

FebDin6

Vast ruins in the Wupatki area evidence a large farming community spread over several miles. But, by 1250, the pueblos stood empty. The reason isn’t known, but could be simply due to a prolonged drought. The people are thought to have moved further south into AZ and built cliff dwellings. Montezuma’s Castle is a ruin close to Phoenix where they may have gone, and that I need to explore.

by Diane Moore

photos by Diane Moore

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Wupatki Ruins Diane Moore

    1. They are thought to have gone to an area now called Montezuma’s Castle, near Phoenix. Why the land was abandoned is a mystery, but, the guess is a long drought.
      I just now saw this comment. Sorry for the delayed response.

  1. Beautiful photos. Are you also an artist? I am trying to track down an artist named Diane Moore formerly from Flagstaff whom I met years ago when she sketched my labs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s