Arizona has many beautiful parks and this one is found near Camp Verde AZ. It is one of 380 parks in the National Park System. Tuzigoot is an Apache word for crooked water. This prehistoric community was built between 1125 and 1400 and sits on the summit of a long ridge 120 feet above the Verde Valley.
In some places the original buildings were 2 stories high and there were 77 ground floor rooms. There were about 50 people settling here in the 1100’s and that apparently doubled in the 1200’s. The Southern Sinagua people lived by farming corn, beans, squash and cotton using canal irrigation. We don’t really know why the people left their homes – perhaps overpopulation, disease, conflicts or weather pattern changes. What we do know is that they were fine artisans and made stone tools – knives, axes, and hammers. Their pottery was generally undecorated and often coated with a red or black color that was highly polished. They made bone awls and needles, woven cotton garments and ornaments of turquoise, shell and argillite (a local red stone).
Of course I was interested in the jewelry so I took some pictures to share with you. Women wore shell beads, turquoise and textile armbands. Shell bangles were worn on upper and lower arms as well as ankles. Turquoise beads appear to have been reserved to wear on wrists while combinations of shells and stones were worn as necklaces. One necklace, found in a gravesite, was 12 feet long with 3295 beads.
www.nps.gov/tuzi for more information on Tuzigoot National Monument!
265 bead blanks of argillite (often called Pipestone) were found in another area. Making all these beads for ornamentation was very labor intensive and as important to the Sinaguan’s as it is to us today.
|Shell bracelets, beads and turquoise|
|Argillite or Pipestone bead blanks|
|Hair picks, bracelet, shell beads, tools|
|shell and turquoise necklace|
|Explanation of site|
|Ready to grind corn|