Sedona Sacred Land
December 21, 2015
Guest post by Cynthia Tierra with Healing From the Heart
With its magnificent rock formations, Sedona, Arizona is unlike any other place on earth. People from many different civilizations have walked on the distinctive red soil of Sedona. The area in and around Sedona has a long history of human inhabitant, dating back to Paleolithic times. Ten thousand years ago the first Paleo-Indians crossed a natural land bridge from Ancient Asia to North America. Around 700A.D, the Hohokam, who lived in the environs of present day Sedona, introduced irrigation farming. The Sinaguans and the Anasazi built multi story pueblos which still stand today. Later, in the 1800’s prospectors, trappers and pioneers arrived.
Ruins in the Sedona area are a visible record of the history of a series of inhabitants who lived there long ago. These ancient people built dwellings in the cliffs and created designs and symbols that were etched into (petroglyphs) or drawn on (pictographs) the rock surfaces. Markings on the rocks at one ruin site date back to the Archaic Period (6,000B.C. to 600 A.D.) In the same location, the Anasazi and Sinaguas, and more recently the Apache and Yavapai, created designs. Members from different civilizations came century after century to the same places to create a sacred space. These native societies had both a practical and spiritual relationship with the land. The land was respected for the food and shelter it provided, and was used for spiritual practices. Native people gathered together at the sacred sites they created for ceremonies, healing and to offer prayer. Remnants of these sacred sites can still be found in ruins around Sedona. Montezuma Castle National Monument is a dwelling built high in a cliff over 700 years ago. A flat easy to walk paved trail takes visitors underneath this impressive structure. Nearby Montezuma Well, a natural sinkhole was used for agriculture by the Sinaguas from 900 until 1400 AD. A few miles from Montezuma Well, V Bar V petroglyph site houses over 1,000 images of animals, humans, and geometric shapes.
Tuzigoot National Monument stands on a hilltop overlooking the Verde River. Visitors can enter some of the buildings and imagine life long ago. Also located in the Sedona area are Hononki and Palatki. Access to these ruins is off unpaved roads. Visitors can go to these sites on their own, although Palatki requires reservations, or take a jeep tour to Hononki. Archaeological sites that are maintained by the Forest Service may require a fee to enter. A list of sites of archaeological interest and their locations is available from The Forest Service visitor center.Today, visitors to Sedona have the unique opportunity to reconnect with the spirituality of the land and walk in the footsteps of those who came before them. In Sedona, visitors can experience the sacredness of the land at ancient ruins.