• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Upper Cliff Dwelling Floorplan

Upper Cliff Dwelling map

Upper Cliff Dwelling map

NPS map

(Numbered descriptions match room numbers on map)

1. Work area and room under construction but never completed. Last room worked on.

2. Roof and portions of walls removed and room used as midden area. Found sherds, piles of mesquite beans, and lima bean pods. Two burials found in 1936 and 1940.

3. Probably never roofed. Small pit next to boulder. Both pit and floor area blackened.

4. Most complete roof. Note juniper and pinyon posts set in walls. Door into #5 blocked up. 18” of midden on west wall from #6. Posts above are split agave and sotol flower stalks, layers of cane and grasses, then layer of adobe.

5. Two story room, both ceilings burned and fell down. Ceiling in NW corner slopes towards front, and repairs were made to provide level floor for second story. Juniper log found in front of #5 tree-ring dated to AD 1346.

8. Small room, no work done.

16. Room totally excavated. Found pottery sherds, several fire pits. Pollen samplings from layers of fill revealed usage of plants which were no longer available as the resource was used up. Was two-story room.

17. One story, room had burned. Metate found on floor. Adobe cracked, probably because initially laid on soft fill.

18. Area used for water storage from seep above. Entire area surrounding it was common area, used for community work.

19. Largest room. When first visited (1920), room was sealed. Three doorways were blocked, roof was intact. When room was broken into, roof was carried away, burned, or destroyed. Archeologists found few artifacts, but some modern day trash.

20. Floors of #20 and #21 are 7‘above that of #22. Floor of cave slopes steeply in this area; high retaining wall built so that level floor could be laid in rooms.

21. Appears to have been 3-story room. West wall is only 2 stories, but east wall is continuation of 7’ retaining wall of #20, above which the 2-story room was constructed.

22. Three baskets found in room. Room exposed to erosion during rains by small waterfall from top of cliff.

23. Perhaps used for storage, or as a midden (trash) area. Many sherds, basket fragments, some pieces of textiles found here.

24. Exposed to rains, little remains. Most vegetal material rotted away.

25. Only two short stubs of wall east of #22 remain. Everything else has washed down the hillside.

26. Lots of fill, but no artifacts found.

30. No evidence of any roofing materials, little fill on floor. No work done in this room.

31. Rooms exposed to rain; received wash from cliffs above. Only one wall partially standing.

32. Only two short stubs remain. No work done here.

Did You Know?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!