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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Montezuma Castle Unit Cavates
Structure Number:
AZ O:5:75
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Cavates
Park:
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Montezuma Castle National Monument Castle Unit
Structure State:
Arizona
Structure County:
Yavapai
Region:
Intermountain
Cluster:
Southwest
Administrative Unit:
Montezuma Castle National Monument
LCS ID:
489543
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
11/20/1978
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Feature of Montezuma Castle National Monument: Castle Unit, nationally significant under NR Criteria C & D. Period of Significance: A.D. 1125-1400. Remains 19-room cliff dwelling that represents the Honanki – Tuzigoot phases of Southern Sinagua.
Long Significance Description:
This cliff dwelling consists of a series of nineteen cavates is a feature of the Montezuma Castle National Monument: Castle Unit, which is significant at the national level under National Register Criteria C for it embodies the characteristics of a type and period and under National Register Criteria D because it has yielded, and is likely to yield further, information important in prehistory.

The original construction and occupation of this site represents the Honanki-Tuzigoot phases of the Southern Sinagua culture. It was built and occupied during Honanki phase (circa AD 1125) through Tuzigoot phase (AD 1300-1400). The site was abandoned sometime after AD 1400. Period of Significance ranges approximately from AD 1125 to 1400.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Prehistoric
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1125
AD
1400
AD
So Sinagua, Honanki-Tuzigoot phases
Other
2. 
Stabilized
2005
AD
2007
AD
NPS VT
Other
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Multiple Dwelling
Primary Current Use:
Ruin
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
GENERAL STORAGE
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Ruin
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
3600
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Walls
Limestone
Short Physical Description:
19-room cliff dwelling stretching 110-meters along a cliff face, consisting of small caves with masonry walls or cavates.
Long Physical Description:
Prior to 2006: No stabilization work had been performed on this structure, so all walls represented original Sinagua construction. This section of the park is closed to visitor traffic and is protected from unauthorized human activity.

This structure consists of a series of small caves that were altered for habitation and storage, also known as cavates. It stretches 110-meters along a cliff face. A ledge below the rooms provides access to the site; there is a break in the ledge between Rooms 1 and 17. Room 19 has a plastered masonry wall and an intact doorway.

Room size varies from less than 1 square meter to 23 square meters, and it is possible to stand upright in many of them. Walls built in front of habitation rooms are rough masonry with mud mortar. Plaster is often seen on cave walls and floors. In several cases, tool marks indicate that the natural caves in the soft limestone were enlarged. Storage cists in the rooms and along the cliff are evident.