After leaving the Grand Canyon (and the precious rock where Anna & I sat) I traveled to Cottonwood, AZ. My plan was to go through Sedona, but the highway was closed and so it was the interstate for me. Stayed overnight in my car and then it was off to Tuzigoot (Too-z-goot) National Monument. (Tuzigoot means crooked water) Their address is listed as Camp Verde, AZ, but it is really located NW of Cottonwood.
Tuzigoot and Montezuma's Castle were both inhabited by the Southern Sinagua people. Walnut Canyon was inhabited by the Northern Sinagua. This village was built up on a hill, overlooking a lovely river; not into the wall of a canyon. It was constructed between 1000 & 1400. Some of the structure was 2 stories tall and I was able to climb up there and get a great view of the Verde Valley. They have determined that there were 87 rooms at Tuzigoot. Unlike Walnut Canyon; there were very few front doors here. You climbed a ladder and went in through the roof. I would suppose if you are more accessible to your enemies by being on the ground, then you have to make it harder for them to get in. Oddly enough, I learned that the pueblo built at Tuzigoot was built out of massive cobble walls, but poorly balanced. The ranger and I speculated that if there had been the rapid growth that they say; then perhaps, it was constructed quickly and poorly...a problem that still plagues modern communities today I suppose.
The Tuzigoot potters were noted for their use of high polish on the pottery and no decoration. Some were huge vessels and I wondered how you could make that and not have it collapse on itself before it dried. Such a resourceful group!
Again, no one knows why they left, but by the 1400's they were mostly gone.