On our last day in Arizona, we visited my favorite place, the Wupatki Pueblo. First described in 1851 by Lorenzo Sitgreaves, Wupatki is thought to have been started in the 1100's. A large influx of people moved into the area after the eruption of the Sunset Crater, between 1040-1100. This volcanic eruption blanketed the area with ash, thus improving the agricultural conditions. During its heyday, Wupatki Pueblo housed up to 100 people.
A kiva still remains at this site. Kiva structures were either above, or underground rooms used for ceremonial purposes, in the pueblo culture.
The rooms still showed where fires would have been placed and food stored.
This picture shows the remains of the ball court. Used for games and sport, I can tell you that it was a pretty interesting feeling to walk into the court and stand in the middle.
Although this last shot seems quite unglamourous, it really is a unique geological feature. This stone square houses a blowhole. Perfectly cooled air flows straight out of this hole in the ground. The Sinagua, descendants of the Hopi at Wupatki, did not use this for any type of heat relief. Instead, it was likely that they viewed this as sacred area.
During our visit we ventured to the nearby Wukoki pueblo where we were able to wander in and out of very small pueblo rooms. While in one room we were caught in a wild dust devil created by a strong wind that blew out of nowhere.
Nearby historical/archaeological markers informed us that one had to be invited to enter a family's pueblo. My daughter told us we had not been invited and we needed to leave.
There you have it.