Northern Sinagua culture, centered around present-day Flagstaff, influenced the above-ground masonry dwellings that appeared about 1125. Small structures and later pueblos, like those built by Ancestral Puebloan people living north of the Mongollon Rim, rose along major streams. By 1150, Southern Sinagua began building large pueblos, often on hilltops or in cliff alcoves. Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot villages reached their maximum size in the 1300s and were occupied for another century.
No one knows why the Southern Sinagua migrated away from their pueblos by the early 1400s. It may have been over-population, depletion of resources, disease, conflicts within or between groups, climate change, or perhaps spiritual beliefs. Whatever the reasons, many Southern Sinagua likely migrated northward to pueblo villages. Others may have stayed in the Verde Valley and returned to hunter-gatherer ways.
|The lines show the five floors of the dwelling|
|Stone front in lower left of picture|
|Diagram of what the dwelling looked like inside|