Ancient Ruins

What draws us to ancient places? Is it simple curiosity for a way of life long past? Perhaps it is a desire to establish ourselves in the chain of human continuim? Perhaps the fascination is the recognition that ultimately all civilization share the same fate? What causes us to speculate about a people and their ways of centuries long ago when our speculation can neither be confirmed or disputed? Are we called to paths that ancient people walked? Or could we be revisiting places we have walked before? Is the answer protected beneath the great old tree, bound deep in the roots of the one who seems to have stood in this place forever? Yet the ancient ones walked the land before the tree existed. Is the great rock that sat silently for centuries of passing seasons, the only remaining witness to ancient events? What fascinates and intrigues some, while holding little interest for others?

RuinLocationDistanceDescriptionDetail Information
Petrified ForestAZ, Ptrified Forest15 MilesPuerco Pueblo and Agate House are two of over 500 archaeological sites scattered throughout the petrified forest that offer visitors glimpses of earlier life.Link to Petrified Forest
Raven SiteAZ, Springerville57 MilesRaven Site is the largest known population center along the Upper Little Colorado River with over 800 rooms dating between 800 A.D. and 1550 A.D. Raven Site complex consists of a north and south pueblo. The ruin today is still being excavated and researched. The artifacts that have been uncovered during excavation can be seen in the museum adjacent to the site.
Casa Malpais Archeological ParkAZ, Springerville57 Miles Link to Casa Malpais
HomoloviAZ, Winslow65 MilesFour major pueblo sites believed occupied between 1200 A.D. adn 1425 A.D. by ancestors of today's Hopi Indians. Over 340 sites can be found within the park, including campsites, lithic scatters, agricultural features, pit houses and other sites. Archeologists work in the park Monday through Friday in June and July. A sacred place to the Hopi people. They continue to make pilgrimages to these sites, renewing the ties of the people and the land.
El Morro National MonumentNM, Ramah92 MilesEl Morro Ruins, situated on top of the Great Rock, is a five hundred room village buit around 1200A.D. An original small village was dismantled and it's stones were used to build a pre-planned town around 1275 A.D.
BeshBaGowah Archaeological ParkAZ, Globe133 Miles146 ground floor rooms and 61 second story rooms built around three large plazas. BeshBaGowah ws built in phases spanning 225 years from 1225 A.D. to 1400 A.D. with the possibility of Hohokam occupation dating back to 750 A.D.Link to Besh-ba-gowah
Canyon de ChellyAZ, Chinle136 MilesCanyon de Chelly contains 2500 archeological sites which range from 1500 B.C to 1350 A.D and therefore considered one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Northern America. Among the sites are several villages built between 350 A.D. and 1300 A.D. The area was sporadically occupied until the early 1700's when modern day Navajo began settling in the canyon. Canyon de Chelly sits in the middle of the Navajo Reservation and is the home of many modern day Navajo who utilize canyon resources.
Wupatki National MonumentAZ, Flagstaff138 MilesNearly 2700 archaeolocial sites comprise the Wupatki Ruins with the vast majority being Sinagua and Anasazi structures. There are several structures located at Wupatki, the largest being Wupatki with 100 rooms and the second largest Citadel with 50 rooms built around a central plaza. There are also smaller pueblos, pit houses, reservoirs, petroglyphs and a masonry ball court.
Walnut Canyon National MonumentAZ, Flagstaff138 MilesOver 240 Sinagua Indian sites are within Walnut Canyon National Monument. The sites are composed of pit house villages built between 500 A.D. and 800 A.D., several multi-room cliff dwwellings and single-room field houses built around 1125 A.D. - 1250 A.D.
Montezuma Castle National MonumentAZ, Camp Verde194 MilesSituated in the recess of a cliff Montezuma Castle is a prehistoric Sinagua Indian site built around 1100 A.D. Montezuma Castle is a five-story pueblo with 20 rooms similar in style to Anasazi dwellings. Castle A is located nearby at the base of the cliff and is a 45-room pueblo. Montezuma Well, a large limestone sink used as a soure of water, is located just north of the pueblos.
Casa Grande Ruins MonumentAZ, Coolidge194 MilesCasa Grande Ruins, encompassing 60 prehistoric sites, became the first archeological preserve in the United States. Built by the Hohokam Indians between 1150 A.D. - 1350 A.D., the four story building and outlying structures were abandoned by 1450 A.D.
Gila cliff Dwellings National MonumentNM, Silver City205 MilesGila Cliff Dwellings are a prehistoric site of the Mogollon Culture, constructed in 1200 A.D. The site contains 42 rooms located within five natural caves in the Gila River canyon.
Tuzigoot National MonumentAZ, Clarkdale209 MilesTuzigoot, constructed between 1125 A.D. and 1400 A.D., is a prehistoric Sinagua Indian pueblo. Located on the summit of a steep hill overlooking the Verde River, one of the few permanent streams in Arizona. The pueblo contains 86 ground floor rooms, some with two-stories that were entered through roof openings with ladders.
Chaco CanyonNM, Nageezi214 MilesChaco Canyon contains multi-storied Anasazi structures built on the mesas top and canyon floor beginning in 900 A.D. The largest concentration of structures is Pueblo Bonio which rose 4 stories, contained 600 rooms and 40 kivas in a 'D'-shaped layout. Chaco Canyon contains over 4,000 archeological sites associated with Paleo-Indian, Anasazi and Navajo occupation.
Aztec Ruins National MonumentNM, Aztec230 MilesAztec Ruins is a prehistoric Anasazi structure, that was occupied for over 200 years. The largest structure is the West Ruin with a 'D'-shaped great house constructed early in 1100 A.D. The West ruin also has a Great Kiva that was rebuilt in 1934. The site was abandoned by 1300 A.D.
Hovenweep National MonumentCO, Cortez239 MilesHovenweep consists of six groups of prehistoric ruins dating back to 400A.D. - 1300 A.D. The ruins include stone masonry pueblos, cliff dwellings and remnants of scattered ruins throughout the site. Particularily outstanding are the square, circular, oval and D-shaped towers. It is estimated the ruins were abandoned around 1300 A.D.
Mesa Verde National ParkCO, Mesa Verde249 MilesMesa Verde National Park is a representative view of the Anasazi culture through spectacular ancient ruin sites. Cliff dwellings, pueblo villages and well-preserved pit-houses dating to 600 A.D. - 1300 A.D. echo a highly developed civilization that for mysterious reasons aburptly ended. Ruins at Mesa Verde are some of the most spectacular ruins located in the United States.
Bandelier Castle National MonumentNM, Los Almos328 MilesHundreds of masonry ruins and cave shelters can be found in the canyons and mesas throughot Bandelier. Paleo-Indian and Archaic hunter-gatherers wandered the area prior to the Basketmaker Anasazi inhabited the area.Link to Bandelier Castle National Monument

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