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Montezuma Castle Photo Gallery

montezuma castle4 montezuma castle 1 montezuma castle 2 montezuma castle 3 Montezuma Castle National Monument1 Montezuma Castle National Monument close view montezuma castle far view Montezumas castle arizona
Montezuma Castle, located near Camp Verde, Arizona, in the Southwestern United States, features well-preserved cliff-dwellings. They were built and used by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people, northern cousins of the Hohokam, around 700 CE. It was occupied from approximately 1125-1400 CE, and occupation peaked around 1300 CE.

The monument is not at all a castle, but remains to be named "Montezuma Castle", despite it having nothing to do with Aztec Empire nor being named after any Montezuma emperors, such as Montezuma (spelled more properly "Moctezuma").

Several Hopi clans trace their roots to immigrants from the Montezuma Castle/Beaver Creek area. Clan members periodically return to their former homes for religious ceremonies. When European Americans discovered them in the 1860s, they named them for the Aztec emperor (of Mexico) Montezuma II, due to mistaken beliefs that the emperor had been connected to their construction. Neither part of the monument's name is correct. The Sinaqua dwelling was abandoned 100 years before Montezuma was born and the Dwellings were not a castle. It was more like a "prehistoric high rise apartment complex".
   

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