Montezuma Castle…a little southwestern history lesson


The Sinagua people of the Arizonian Verde Valley were cliff dwellers. While many of them lived in caves and carved out alcoves in the mountains, a group of them built this castle using the sandstone and water from the nearby Beaver Creek. While land in the watershed area of the creek was plentiful for building dwellings, it was reserved for for growing crops. The castle itself housed about 50 people, while the nearby cliffs housed between 100-200.


The alcoves of these cliffs kept them cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months. In the Beaver Creek area there were at least five different Pueblo communities that traded with each other.


The Montezuma castle was home for the Sinagua natives during the 1100’s to 1400’s, but it was never home to the Aztec’s, as the name “Montezuma” suggests.

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