Another set from my trip to Arizona with Joanne back in April. Just like Montezuma's Castle National Monument, this was not originally on our list of places to visit, but as it was just to the north of the Sunset Volcano (which was on our list), we decided to take both in on the same day.
Located to the north of Flagstaff, Wupatki is an important site of Native American ruins. The settlements were built by the ancient Pueblo peoples, notably the Sinagua, Cohonina and Kayenta Anasazi.
Wupatki, in the Hopi language, means 'Tall House', and is given to the largest structure within the National Monument, containing over 100 rooms (see above). The second largest structure, located several miles away, is Wukoki. In shape, it resembles a traditional European castle, but like all the buildings here, is made out of thin, flat blocks of local sandstone. In fact it blends in so well, it almost appears to have grown out of the sandstone mesa it stands on.
Although populated from as early as 500AD, the major population movement into this area occurred in the 11th century following the eruption of the nearby Sunset Volcano, which covered the area in volcanic ash, improving the local soil's productivity greatly.
At it's height, around 2000 people lived in the various settlements within the area marked today by the National Monument boundary (an area of approx 35,000 acres). As well as the larger settlements, there were smaller ones scattered between them, including some box-canyon dwellings.
Eventually, the semi-nomadic peoples moved on, and by approx 1225, the settlements were largely abandoned. Although today it appears that the settlements are abandoned, they are still respected and cared for by the Hopi people.
The rest of this set can be seen in this Flickr slideshow: