Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Native American Pictographs in Verde Valley, Arizona


On the sides of these inaccessible cliffs we noticed several cliff houses, but so high were they perched above us that they were almost invisible. To reach them at their dizzy altitude was impossible, but we were able to enter some caves a few hundred feet above our camp, finding in them nothing but charred mescal and other evidences of Apache camps. Their walls and entrances are blackened with smoke, but no sign of masonry was detected.
We moved our camp westward from this canyon (which, from a great cliff resembling the Parthenon, I called Temple canyon), following the base of the precipitous mountains to a second canyon, equally beautiful but not so grand, and built our fire in a small grove of scrub oak and cottonwood. In this lonely place Lloyd had lived over a winter, watching his stock, and had dug a well and erected a corral. We adopted his name for this camp and called it Lloyd canyon. There was no water in the well, but a few rods beyond it there was a pool, from which we watered our horses. On the first evening at this camp we sighted a bear, which gave the name Honanki, "Bear-house," to the adjacent ruined dwellings.
The enormous precipice of red rock west of our camp at Lloyd's corral hid Honanki from view at first, but we soon found a trail leading directly to it, and during our short stay in this neighborhood we remained camped near the cottonwoods at the entrance to the canyon, not far from the abandoned corral. Our studies of Honanki led to the discovery of Palatki (figure 247), which we investigated on our return to Temple canyon. I will, therefore, begin my description of the Red-rock cliff houses with those last discovered, which, up to the visit which I made, had never been studied by archeologists.