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Tuzigoot is a Sinagua ruin that is perched on a 150 ft. hill between the towns of Jerome and Clarkdale, located close to the Verde River. The community was occupied for approximately 400 years, and was not all built at once, but was built piece by piece and phase by phase beginning just before AD 1000 and ending just prior to AD 1400.

History: The Hopi had a trail which led from their mesas in the north to the Verde Valley. In 1582, Don Antonio de Espejo set out on an expedition from Mexico. He was looking for gold and was led by the Hopi to the Tuzigoot area from Awatovi. A pleasant land of rivers, trees, grapes, walnuts, and many other plants greeted him. Not finding what he was looking for, he departed shortly thereafter.

Due to looting in the 1920s, an excavation of Tuzigoot was launched in 1933. In an effort to preserve the ruins, the land was bought from the United Verde/Phelps Dodge mine for the sum of $1.00 and turned over to the county, who shortly thereafter gave it to the federal government. The ruin was made a National Monument in 1939 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Excavations have revealed figurines made of split twigs, along with the normal pottery shards, manos and metates, etc.

The interior walls were coated with a red clay plaster. Tuzigoot is the only example of this type of ruin. Hatalacva, a ruin on a nearby hill, has not been excavated. Anciently, there were a number of similar communities in the Verde Valley. Most were within sight of each other.

Location: Tuzigoot is located just off Az. 279/Alt 89 midway between Clarkdale and Cottonwood, Arizona. It is about 2.5 hours north of Phoenix.


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