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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Swallet Cave Ruin
Structure Number:
AZ O:5:93
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Montezuma Castle National Monument Well Unit
Structure State:
Arizona
Structure County:
Yavapai
Region:
Intermountain
Cluster:
Southwest
Administrative Unit:
Montezuma Castle National Monument
LCS ID:
006592
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
11/20/1978
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
National
Short Significance Description:
Feature of Montezuma Castle National Monument: Well Unit, nationally significant under NR Criteria C & D. Period of Significance: A.D. 1125-1300. Remains of a rockshelter with 9 masonry rooms that represents the Honanki phase of Southern Sinagua.
Long Significance Description:
This rockshelter with nine masonry rooms in the southeastern portion of Montezuma Well is a feature of the Montezuma Castle National Monument: Well Unit, which is significant at the national level under National Register Criterion C for it embodies the characteristics of a type and period and under National Register Criterion 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 phase of the Southern Sinagua culture. It was built and occupied during Honanki phase (circa AD 1125 - 1300). The site was abandoned sometime after AD 1300. Period of Significance ranges approximately from AD 1125 to 1300.

The ruin has also been impacted by the looting activities of William Back, owner of the site before it was acquired by the NPS in 1947, as well as digging and vandalism by others (Ladd 1964).

Salvage excavation by Edmund Ladd in 1960 as part of the NPS MISSION 66 program.
 
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
1300
AD
Southern Sinagua, Honanki Phase
Other
2. 
Stabilized
1958
AD
1958
AD
Richert, Roland
Other
3. 
Stabilized
1960
AD
1960
AD
Shiner, Joel
Other
4. 
Stabilized
1964
AD
1964
AD
Richert, Roland and Voll, Charles
Other
5. 
Stabilized
1984
AD
1984
AD
NPS
Other
6. 
Stabilized
1989
AD
1989
AD
NPS
Other
7. 
Stabilized
1992
AD
1992
AD
NPS
Other
8. 
Stabilized
1998
AD
1998
AD
NPS
Other
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Multiple Dwelling
Primary Current Use:
Exhibit
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Exhibit
Current
2. 
Ruin
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Ruin
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
1100
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Walls
Stone
Short Physical Description:
A 9 room rockshelter located in the southeastern portion of Montezuma Well above the stream inlet. Seven rooms line the cliff face and two masonry rooms are within the cave. Walls are constructed of unshaped limestone. Graffiti dates to 1896.
Long Physical Description:
A group of nine rooms situated near the outlet of Montezuma Well. The Swallet Cave Ruin was constructed under a curving overhang of the limestone cliff face that forms the rim of the Well. All of the rooms, except room 5 use the natural cliff face as its eastern wall. In seven rooms line the cliff face, the wall remnants vary in height from one foot to four feet. Within the Swallet Cave itself, there are two masonry rooms which are constructed of unshaped limestone rocks in a mud mortar. The original soot-stained plaster is on the interior of both rooms. There is graffiti along the cliff face that dates to 1896, including an advertisement for a photo studio.