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Archaeology Break: Arizona's Cliff Castles

After seeing the "world's largest" of just about everything, it seemed like some real culture might be in order. Thank God for Montezuma's Castle.


After seeing the "world's largest" of just about everything, it seemed like some real culture might be in order. Luckily, just off the highway a little south of Sedona was the Montezuma Castle National Monument. The cliff dwellings were built by the Sinagua people, who populated central Arizona from 500 AD to 1400 AD, when they mysteriously disappeared.


Archaeologists know very little about the Sinagua, but we can tell you that the building itself has nothing to do with Montezuma (the Aztecs never came this far north) and is not a castle, just a series of houses built high enough up the cliff to protect the Sinagua from enemies. You can read more about the Sinagua here.