Montezuma Castle
National Monument
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Chapter 7
Cultural Resource Management at the Monument

"The Middle Verde Valley of Central Arizona presents an unusually fruitful field for the study of man's relation to his environment under varying conditions."

Albert Schroeder, "Man and Environment in the Verde Valley"

The same tremendous growth in the Verde Valley and the dramatic increases in visitation to Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well that prompted National Park Service efforts to protect the natural resources of the monument in the years following World War II also presented new challenges to the management of its cultural resources. The recent patterns of regional development and changes in land use have posed serious threats to the documented and undiscovered prehistoric and historic features across the Verde Valley. Though the protection of the cultural resources at the monument was not a new responsibility for the in the postwar yearsMontezuma Castle was the first archeological site established as a national monument in 1906 and was set aside specifically for the protection of its spectacular prehistoric cliff dwellingthe conceptions of cultural resources as well as the methods of resource management began to change significantly during this time. The modern cultural resource management activities have thus responded to the threats associated with regional changes taking place and have been influenced by advances in anthropology, changes in the organization and priorities of the National Park Service, and new legislation affecting the responsibilities of federal agencies. These activities have primarily involved archeological research investigations, preservation and ruins stabilization efforts, and interpretation and outreach initiatives. This chapter begins with a discussion of the historical changes to the cultural landscape of the Verde Valley, then offers an overview of the modern cultural resource management activities affecting Montezuma Castle National Monument in light of the contextual factors that have influenced them.

The previous chapter detailed the changes that the various occupants of the Verde Valley have wrought upon the natural resources of the region over time. In the course of interacting with and manipulating these resources, people left traces of their presence on the terrain. These traces evince the human alteration of the natural environment, but also themselves constitute another layer of the regional landscapethe human or cultural landscape. Like the natural dimension of the landscape, the cultural landscape is composed of specific features and resourcessuch as artifacts, sites, and other cultural expressions or indicators of usethat are subject to the perceptions, values, attitudes, and actions of those who later come into contact with them. The earliest prehistoric occupants of the Verde Valley created the first layers of this cultural landscape, leaving signs of their presence on the land. Subsequent groups have interacted with the existing natural and cultural features, and have added their own signature to the cultural landscape, in the process sometimes destroying or modifying previously created cultural features. The surviving record of the cultural landscape thus reflects the human presence on the land and the sum of the changes to the cultural features that have taken place over time.

Archeological evidence suggests that the human presence in the Verde Valley dates back as far as the Archaic period nearly ten thousand years ago, though the earliest occupation of the area now included within the monument boundaries appears to have taken place much later, during the Squaw Peak phase (a.d. 1—700). The archeological features from this phase are characterized by the remains of pit houses with plastered floors and hearths, bell-shaped storage pits, and the absence of ceramics. Although there has been considerable debate among archeologists regarding the interpretation of the sequence and activities of the prehistoric cultures of the Verde Valley, it is clear that over time the settlement patterns and the types of locally made goods became more sophisticated, and trade items were introduced to the region in greater abundance. [1] Advances in agriculture and the expansion of trade encouraged population growth and cultural changes during the Camp Verde (a.d. 900—1125) and Honanki (a.d. 1125—1300) phases. Features from these phases include large pit house structures, transitional surface masonry architecture, irrigation networks, and various types of utility and decorated ceramics.

More significant cultural changes took place in the Verde Valley in the Honanki/ Tuzigoot phase (a.d. 1125—1400) when the regional population became concentrated in densely settled communities. New types of architecture, including cliff dwellings (Montezuma Castle) and hill-top pueblos (Tuzigoot), were developed at regular intervals along the major drainages in the Verde Valley, and diagnostic ceramics such as Jeddito Yellow ware and Homolovi Polychrome appeared in the area. The Honanki/Tuzigoot period represents the climax of the prehistoric occupation of the Verde Valley; sometime around a.d. 1425, the residents of Montezuma Castle and the other area sites abandoned the Verde Valley for reasons unknown. The archeological record stops after this time until the historical entry of the Spaniards in the region in the sixteenth century.

When Spanish explorers entered the Verde Valley in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, they observed traces of the prehistoric cultures and also made contact with the contemporary occupants of the region. In his journal documenting the travels of the expedition led by Antonio de Espejo through what was likely the Verde Valley, Diego Pérez de Luxán wrote of the peaceful rustic people in the area who lived in houses made of branches. [2] Espejo made similar observations in his personal accounts of the expedition. He remarked on the mountain Indians who greeted his party, commenting on their "good houses" and planted fields of maize. He also pointed out that these people wore small crosses on their heads. [3] The Spaniards had most likely encountered the Yavapai.

Anthropologists have advanced several hypotheses about the origins of the Yavapai, but most generally agree that by the time of the Spanish arrival, the Yavapai occupied a vast territory that included the middle Verde Valley. [4] The Yavapai had only limited contact with the Spaniards and the mountain men who later came to the region in the early nineteenth century, and it seems that their way of life did not change substantially as a result. Historical sources suggest that beginning in the early eighteenth century the Tonto Apache began moving into the Yavapai's eastern range, and references specifically mentioned the Apache in the Verde Valley by the 1850s. The Spaniards and European Americans showed considerable confusion about the identity of the Yavapai and the Apache, and the two groups were often mistaken for one another or thought to be the same. [5] The cultural similarities of the two groups and their close relations with one another no doubt contributed to this confusion. [6]

A recent archeological investigation at Montezuma Castle National Monument revealed evidence of Apache and/or Yavapai occupation in the area after 1750. During this 1988 survey of the monument, researchers discovered diagnostic ceramics at four sites in the Well unit and at one site in the Castle unit. Several of these sites consisted of rock shelters or masonry structures, and, as the project report comments, it is highly likely that the Apache reused these rock shelter sites. [7] The Yavapai, too, made adaptive reuse of caves and prehistoric rock shelters in the Verde Valley and also constructed pole-domed brush huts that were partially covered with dirt and skins (figure 40), larger mud-covered houses that required more time and labor to build, and ramadas that provided shade during the hot summer months. [8] It thus appears that the historical Indian groups in the Verde Valley not only added their own layer to the regional cultural landscape, but also modified some of the existing prehistoric resources to serve their needs.

Yavapai domed brush house
Figure 40. Photograph of Yavapai domed brush houses by A. F. Randall, before March 1888.
From Sigrid Khera and Patricia S. Mariella, "Yavapai," in Southwest, edited by A. Ortiz, vol. 10 of Handbook of North American Indians, W. C. Sturtevant, general editor (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1983), 50.

In addition to building habitations and structures, the Yavapai engaged in a variety of subsistence activities that made use of the diverse natural resources of the region. Archeological features and accounts recorded by Spanish explorers during the late seventeenth century suggest that the Yavapai and their possible prehistoric ancestors had earlier practiced intensive agriculture. However, by the time European American settlers came to the Verde Valley, the Yavapai depended primarily on hunting and gathering for their subsistence. Women were responsible for gathering and processing a wide variety of wild plant foods, and men hunted large and small game using bows and arrows, throwing sticks, traps, and animal drives. Ethnographic sources indicate that bands of Yavapai formerly planted crops of corn, beans, squash, and tobacco, but intertribal warfare with the Pima and Maricopa and later conflicts with the United States Army disrupted the agricultural aspects of the Yavapai subsistence cycle. [9] The subsistence cycles and cultural activities of the Yavapai and Apache living in the Verde Valley were further disrupted as growing numbers of European Americans entered the region and placed new demands on its resources.

The situation of the Yavapai and Apache changed significantly with the arrival of European American settlers beginning in the 1860s, as did the appearance of the cultural landscape of the area. The newcomers' appetites for land and resources had quick and dramatic effects on the prehistoric features and contemporary indigenous groups of the region. As already noted in chapters 1 and 2, prehistoric sites throughout the Verde Valley suffered terribly at the hands of vandals, pothunters, and thoughtless visitors. In a gesture telling of their attitudes toward the ruins in the area, the first group of European Americans who settled in the Verde Valley established their community on top of the remains of a prehistoric Sinagua structure. Subsequent settlers claimed land in the area for farming, ranching, or other activities, and did little to protect the prehistoric features located on their property. Although some individuals and groups made efforts to study and preserve the prehistoric resources of the Verde Valley beginning in the late nineteenth century, the patterns of reckless abuse and destruction continued for many years. Although the establishment of the national monument and the eventual provision of full-time supervision afforded protection to the ruins at Montezuma Castle, other prehistoric sites on private or unsupervised public lands were subject to the actions of unscrupulous individuals. As the descriptions of numerous incidents of vandalism and looting in previous chapters attest, many area residents and visitors thought of prehistoric artifacts as objects of personal curiosity or profit. The actions that resulted from these attitudes led to the destruction of prehistoric sites across the Verde Valley, thereby robbing the region of irreplaceable examples of its cultural heritage and depriving archeologists of valuable research opportunities. Many prehistoric features of the cultural landscape of the valley were thus lost as a result of apathy, personal greed, and the desire to clear space for new uses of the land.

In a similar fashion, the European American newcomers transformed the social landscape of the Verde Valley. These settlers came with dreams of making new lives for themselves on the western frontier, and the values and ideologies that they brought with them shaped their perceptions of and interactions with the people and environment of the area. As observed in chapter 6, many of the newcomers treated the natural resources of the Verde Valley as commodities to be exploited, controlled, and managed for personal gain. In their quest for profit, the settlers engaged in activities such as farming, mining, and ranching that had serious impacts on the natural environment of the region. They also paid little attention to the Yavapai and Apache who lived in the region, disrupting their traditional ways of life. Following a pattern set during the establishment of the community of Prescott and many other frontier towns in the American West, the new settlers disregarded the Indians' uses of the land and resources in the Verde Valley and claimed the "unoccupied" region for themselves. [10] However, when the settlers' economic pursuits infringed on the hunting and gathering grounds of the local Indians, conflicts ensued.

Following the discovery of gold along the banks of the Hassayampa River in 1863, the Yavapai and Apache in the vicinity of what later became the town of Prescott felt pressure on their access to traditional territories and resources. European American prospectors flooded into the area seeking wealth and usurped these tribes' resources, sometimes by acts of aggression. The Yavapai and Apache fought back to protect what they considered rightfully theirs and sought revenge for the hostilities they suffered. The violence between them and the European Americans escalated as each new incident inspired retaliation. Brigadier General James Carleton, who ordered the military campaign to remove the Navajo people to a remote reservation at Bosque Redondo, established Fort Whipple in the Chino Valley in 1863 to protect the mining interests and to subdue the American Indian uprisings in the area. But despite the presence of the fort, which was moved south with the territorial capital to the new town of Prescott in 1864, conflicts between European Americans and American Indians continued for years. [11]

As the community of Prescott expanded and profit seekers began to explore the surrounding territory for mineral and other resources, military troops and civilian militias carried out brutal campaigns against the Yavapai and Apache to safeguard the growing European American presence in the region. The violent expeditions led by the famous Indian fighter King S. Woolsey, as described in chapter 1, reflect the tense atmosphere in central Arizona in the mid-1860s. Shortly after the establishment of the first European American settlement in the Verde Valley at the confluence of Clear Creek and the Verde River in 1865, U.S. Army troops arrived to protect the settlers and their interests. Although undermanned and poorly equipped at first, the military force at Camp Lincoln (renamed Camp Verde in 1868) increased in size and effectiveness in keeping the Yavapai and Apache at bay. Yet as more settlers arrived and made use of land and resources in the area, the efforts to protect them became more difficult; by 1870, the civilian European American population of the Verde Valley had grown to 172 men and 2 women. [12]

The military efforts to subdue the Yavapai and Apache in the Verde Valley intensified in June 1871 when General George Crook assumed the position of commanding officer of the Department of Arizona and used Camp Verde as one of his primary bases. General Crook hoped to place the tribes peacefully on the Rio Verde Reservation that had been established by executive order in November 1871. There, the tribes would be protected, issued rations, and educated in the white man's ways. The expansive reservation extended for ten miles on both sides of the Verde River from the northwest side of the Camp Verde Military Reservation to the old wagon road going toward New Mexico nearly forty miles away (figure 41). Although nearly six hundred Indians received rations at the Rio Verde Reservation in the month after it was established, continued reports of attacks and raids prompted Crook to attempt to force the remaining American Indians into submission. [13]

Figure 41. Camp Verde Indian Reserve, map on file at the Bureau of Land Managment Office, Phoenix.

During the winter of 1872, General Crook launched a military offensive that incorporated tactics aimed at keeping the local tribes on the run and reducing their access to food resources. In addition to the special mobile units that he organized, Crook employed cooperative Yavapai and Apache men who knew the locations of traditional winter camps. In this campaign, Crook and his men killed hundreds of the Yavapai and Apache foes and destroyed a number of their settlements. The surviving Yavapai and Apache were left destitute and starving, and by April 1873 the renegade chief Chalipun surrendered to General Crook at Camp Verde. Soon thereafter, most of the Yavapai and Tonto Apache were forcibly settled on the Rio Verde Reservation. [14]

Life on the reservation was extremely difficult for the nearly 2,250 people living there. Distrust between certain Yavapai and Tonto Apache contributed to a tense social atmosphere, and epidemics of malaria, smallpox, and dysentery had a devastating impact on the people's health, reducing the reservation population by one-third. The surviving Yavapai and Apache excavated an irrigation ditch using traditional tools and produced several productive harvests. Unfortunately, however, the success of these farming ventures soon brought negative consequences; a group of Tucson contractors who supplied Indian reservations felt threatened by the self-sufficiency of the Rio Verde Reservation and successfully lobbied federal officials to transfer all of the Yavapai and Apache to the San Carlos Reservation in eastern Arizona. In 1875, the federal government abolished the Rio Verde Reservation and restored the land to the public domain. Also in this year, most of the Rio Verde Yavapai and Apache were forcibly marched nearly 180 miles to the San Carlos Reservation over rough terrain and through difficult winter conditions. According to Dr. William Corbusier, the post surgeon at the Rio Verde Reservation, 115 Indians died during the journey. [15]

By the military conquest and later forced removal of the Yavapai and Tonto Apache of the Verde Valley, the U.S. government drastically altered the cultural landscape of the region. European Americans settlers' usurpation of land and resources led to the rapid decline of traditional subsistence cycles and cultural activities, and the removal of the Yavapai and Apache essentially erased their physical presence on the land for many years. [16] While at San Carlos, the American Indians from the Verde Valley underwent continued social and cultural changes. Traditional tribal organizations were altered to facilitate the government's distribution of rations, and intermarriage between Yavapai and Apache took place. In addition, they learned to adapt to the conditions at the San Carlos Reservation and took up farming and ranching to support themselves. Although they lived peacefully there, many Yavapai and Apache longed for their homelands, and after petitioning government officials for permission to leave San Carlos, numerous families returned to the Verde Valley by the 1890s. Hundreds of other Yavapai and Apache remained at San Carlos and remained part of the reservation community there. [17]

Those who returned to the Verde Valley found the region greatly altered during their absence. European American homesteaders had claimed some of the best lands in the valley, and the returning Yavapai and Apache were forced to make their new homes in desolate camps. Because they no longer enjoyed open access to the lands and natural resources that once supported their traditional subsistence activities, many of them turned to alternative pursuits to make a living. Some are reported to have rented plots of farmland from European American settlers, and others participated in the growing regional cash economy by working as farm laborers, ranch hands, miners, smelter crew, and construction workers. [18]

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) grew concerned about the condition of the Yavapai and Apache living in the Verde Valley and attempted to improve their situation. In 1907, the BIA opened a day school to serve the local American Indian population, and in 1910 the agency purchased 40 acres near Camp Verde for an agricultural community. However, only 18 acres of this land were suitable for farming, and the individual parcels proved to be too small to support adequately the families that received them. This situation perpetuated the Yavapai and Apache's dependence on wage labor, forcing many to seek work outside of the tiny reservation. The copper mines and smelters at the nearby towns of Jerome and Clarkdale employed so many American Indians at one time that the BIA established a Clarkdale day school in 1912. The copper industry continued to provide jobs to a number of Yavapai and Apache until the decline in copper prices resulted in a slowdown of mining and smelting operations in the Verde Valley in the 1930s and 1940s. [19]

At the time that the mining industry was active in the region, only a small number of Yavapai and Apache families moved eight miles west of Camp Verde to the 448 acres that had been added as the Middle Verde tract of the reservation. This property was purchased as two separate parcels in 1914 and 1916, and included water rights and some 280 acres of cultivable land. Although this enlargement of the reservation presented new opportunities for agriculture and ranching, especially after the decline of mining operations in the Verde Valley, most Yavapai and Apache continued to earn their living from off-reservation employment. In 1969, the Yavapai-Apache Reservation was expanded again with the addition of a 60-acre tract near Clarkdale. This portion of the reservation was established for the Yavapai and Apache who had been living in the Clarkdale area while working for the mines, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development helped provide new housing for the community. Most recently, the Yavapai-Apache Reservation was enlarged with the acquisition of property at Rimrock (3.75 acres) and along the entrance road to Montezuma Castle National Monument from Interstate 17 (75 acres), the latter of which is the site of the tribe's recently developed Yavapai-Apache Cultural Center complex (see chapter 5). The tribe has recently attempted to acquire some 6,400 acres as an addition to the reservation, but political issues have hampered its efforts. [20]

In the nearly 135 years since European Americans' settlement of the region, a rapid and severe transformation of the cultural landscape of the Verde Valley has taken place, and the Yavapai and Apache of the Verde Valley have experienced tremendous changes to their way of life. The years of conflict and epidemics of disease that followed the first European American settlers drastically reduced the population of the local American Indians from thousands to hundreds. Profit-seeking settlers' usurpation of land and resources forced these American Indians to the margins of the valley and threatened their traditional subsistence cycles and cultural activities. The forced removal of the Yavapai and Apache to San Carlos literally separated the people from the land and, despite their later return to the Verde Valley, further problematized their access to the land and resources that they had earlier used. The traditional territory of the Yavapai and Apache of the Verde Valley shrank from millions of acres to several hundred acres located on the isolated parcels of the reservation established for them. And, because of the limited land resources available on the reservation, most tribal members no longer support themselves by hunting and gathering, farming, or ranching, and now depend on wage labor. [21]

By their various activities over the years, the European Americans who came to the Verde Valley significantly altered the material situation of the Yavapai and Apache. Despite the many changes that they experienced, however, these groups maintained a special relationship with the region. This relationship, which is shaped by the Yavapai and Apache peoples' values, ideologies, and spiritual beliefs, constitutes another dimension of the cultural landscape of the region. The Yavapai and Apache worldview continues to draw meaning from certain sacred places in the Verde Valley and informs their perceptions of and interactions with the landscape. One of these sacred places is Montezuma Well, from which both groups trace their origins. According to Yavapai cosmology, Montezuma Well is one of several places in the middle Verde Valley and Sedona area associated with specific events that occurred during the four ages of the world. The Yavapai believe that all beings once lived in an underground world and emerged to this world by means of the first maize plant. Following their ascension, the hole through which they passed filled with water, becoming what we now recognize as Montezuma Well. [22]

Over the years, many Yavapai and Apache have regularly visited Montezuma Well and other sacred places in the Verde Valley to pray, perform religious ceremonies, and collect water or other items for spiritual practices. William Back Jr. recalled that in the 1930s, when his family owned the Montezuma Well property, Apache and Hopi people came and told legends about the Well and its spiritual significance. [23] Since the National Park Service officially assumed the administration of Montezuma Well in 1947, Yavapai, Apache, Hopi, and Navajo people have been reported to frequent the site for spiritual reasons. Longtime monument volunteer Jack Beckman has spoken with many of these different American Indian visitors and observed the rituals they perform at the Well. For instance, he notes that members of fourteen different Hopi clans have indicated to him that Montezuma Well was the ancestral home of their people. Members from some of these clans come to pray at the Well and leave prayer feathers, sprinkle sacred cornmeal, or collect water to be used in annual rain ceremonies. Beckman also relates his interactions with members of the Navajo and Yavapai-Apache tribes who have come to pray at the Well and collect water for ceremonial uses. They, too, have shared stories about the spiritual importance of the Well to them. [24]

Long before the National Park Service became involved in the administration of either Montezuma Castle or Well, anthropologists speculated on possible connections between the prehistoric ruins of the Verde Valley and contemporary American Indian groups. In 1892, Cosmos Mindeleff, an archeologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology, conducted a survey of the prehistoric ruins of the Verde Valley and, based on a comparison with antiquities from the Colorado Plateau and the Salt River Valley, concluded that they had cultural ties with sites to the north. Three years later, another archeologist from the Bureau of American Ethnology, Jesse Walter Fewkes, began his own investigations in the Verde Valley. One of Fewkes's research objectives involved gathering archeological data from the valley that might relate to Hopi origin myths and legends concerning their migration to their present territory. In particular, Fewkes hoped to find evidence to support some Hopi people's claim that the ancestors of the Water House Clan came from an area far to the south, which he suspected might be the Verde Valley. During the summer of 1895, Fewkes collected extensive information on the prehistoric architecture of the Verde Valley for comparison with architectural styles found in the Hopi area. He wrote detailed descriptions, took photographs, and prepared schematic plans of numerous pueblos, cliff houses, and cavates. Although Fewkes found that the Verde Valley ruins closely resembled those near the Hopi villages, he did not find the evidence conclusive enough to substantiate the Hopi origin and migration myths. [25]

After Fewkes's investigations, little further research was conducted to correlate the archeological features of the Verde Valley with aspects of Hopi cosmology. One researcher who did contribute to this pursuit, however, was Albert Schroeder, the first full-time archeologist assigned to Montezuma Castle National Monument. Schroeder visited with Hopi priests in 1949 and showed them sketches of ruins from the area around Montezuma Well, which seemed familiar to them. Schroeder wrote the following about the Hopi priests' responses:

They reminded me of a legend that had formerly been related to me of how the Snake arose from a great cavity or depression in the ground, and how, they had heard, water boiled out of that hole into a neighboring river. The Hopi have personal knowledge of the Well, for many of their number have visited the Verde Valley, and they claim the ruins there as the home of their ancestors. It would not be strange, therefore, if this marvelous crater was regarded by them as a house of Paluluken, their mythic Plumed Serpent. [26]

Based on Fewkes's and Schroeder's findings and on the stories and legends that numerous and varied tribal visitors to the monument have shared, NPS officials long ago recognized the spiritual connections linking contemporary American Indian groups with the prehistoric and natural resources of the monument. Records and correspondence in monument administrative files document relationships between tribal members and monument staff dating back many decades. Over the years, the agency has tried to make special arrangements for tribal members and groups to facilitate visits of a spiritual or ceremonial nature. These arrangements have included granting permission for the collection of water from Montezuma Well for ceremonial purposes, scheduling specially guided tours of features at the monument, and providing private access to portions of the monument for the performance of spiritual ceremonies. [27]

In addition to such administrative policies that address the spiritual dimension of Montezuma Castle National Monument, the NPS actively manages some of the more tangible elements of the cultural landscape of the Verde Valley. For example, the agency oversees the various archeological research projects at the monument units. This has not always been the case, however. As noted in earlier chapters, the Park Service for many years provided only minimal funding for the basic management of Montezuma Castle and dedicated few resources specifically for research. Because of the agency's prioritization of recreational tourism and visitor accommodation and its relative neglect of resource management activities, private institutions and university anthropology departments conducted much of the archeological research in the region prior to World War II. In particular, archeological projects undertaken by Byron Cummings and his graduate students from the University of Arizona and the Arizona State Museum (ASM), and by Harold Colton and his colleagues from the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) made significant contributions to the understanding of the prehistory of the Verde Valley. An overview of the various research projects conducted between the mid-1920s and early 1940s appears in chapter 4. [28]

Following a relative period of inactivity during the war years, the field of southwestern archeology was reinvigorated with a surge of new ideas and research directions, advances in technologies and methods, and the advent of salvage archeology. Archeological activity in the Verde Valley was affected to some extent by each of these trends. In 1946, Harold Colton of the MNA published a synthesis of his longtime work on the prehistoric cultures of northern Arizona. In The Sinagua: A Summary of the Archaeology of the Region of Flagstaff, Arizona, Colton presented his revised ideas about the northern and southern Sinagua cultures and established the framework for future MNA research. Although the MNA-sponsored projects in the 1950s and 1960s were smaller in scale than the broadly conceived investigations Colton had directed in earlier years, they continued to explore his research interests in the connections between the northern and southern Sinagua. [29]

Concurrent with Colton's archeological studies of the region, NPS archeologist Albert Schroeder was also developing new theoretical ideas about the prehistoric cultures of the Verde Valley. In a 1947 publication, Schroeder suggested that the Sinagua people settled the Salt River Valley and introduced northern cultural traits to the Hohokam. [30] He also presented an interpretation of the archeology of the Verde Valley that focused on a sequence of migrations by the Hohokam, Sinagua, and Yavapai cultures. [31] In later years, Schroeder advanced his theory of the Hakataya, an indigenous folk culture that occupied an extensive territory that included the Verde Valley. [32] Colton's and Schroeder's ideas influenced later Verde Valley archeological studies, including investigations of the resources at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

The archeological research that the MNA and other institutions conducted in the Verde Valley benefited a great deal from technological advances made in the postwar years. Most notably, new dating methods became available that helped researchers to estimate cultural chronologies and the dates of site occupations more accurately. The application of carbon-14 dating to prehistoric resources and the use of archeomagnetism and fluorine techniques allowed archeologists to date a greater range of materials and build on the chronological and paleoclimatological data compiled from dendrochronological studies done at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona since 1937. Researchers were also able to gather detailed information about prehistoric environments and environmental change through methods in archeobotany and palynologythe study of pollen. Additionally, recent trends involving interdisciplinary investigations have enabled archeologists to borrow approaches and techniques from various fields of the physical, natural, and social sciences in their search to learn about the prehistoric past. [33]

Southwestern archeologists found numerous opportunities to test their theories and research questions and to apply newly developed techniques thanks in large part to the emergence of salvage archeology projects. These projects came about in response to the rapid postwar population growth in the Southwest and the accompanying development of reservoirs, highways, and urban infrastructure. The concept of salvage archeology originated in the mid-1940s during discussions concerning the impacts to archeological resources from major construction projects being planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. These discussions between officials from various federal agencies and representatives of the professional archeological community resulted in the formation of the Inter-Agency Archaeological Salvage Program (commonly referred to as the River Basin Survey), which initially provided funding to survey crews from the Smithsonian to do reservoir salvage work in the Missouri River Basin. The National Park Service arranged to have similar work done outside of the Missouri Basin, and soon the number and types of salvage archeology projects increased. [34]

Consulting Archeologist Jesse Nusbaum of the Department of the Interior set the precedent for what has since become known as "contract archeology," "public archeology," or cultural resource management projects when, in 1950, he negotiated to have archeological survey and salvage work done as part of the construction of a pipeline by the El Paso Natural Gas Company. The success of this pipeline project and the earlier River Basin Survey contributed to the expansion of salvage archeology. In 1954, the New Mexico State Highway Department instituted a highway salvage program, and two years later, provisions in the Federal Aid Highway Act called for archeological salvage work to be done on all federally financed highway projects. The passage of the Reservoir Salvage Act in 1960 established additional requirements for the salvage of archeological resources on publicly sponsored reservoir projects. As one archeologist who was involved in the development of the first public archeology programs observed, "Reservoir salvage work and, after 1956, highway salvage, constituted the major federally funded involvement with archeology until the mid-1970s." [35] The Reservoir Salvage Act, the Federal Aid Highway Act, and the later legislation concerning environmental and historic preservation issues made the federal government one of the primary sponsors of archeology in the Southwest and created many new opportunities for research and cultural resource management projects.

Since the mid-1940s, a number of different archeological projects have been undertaken in the Verde Valley, mostly consisting of salvage archeology projects; private institutions, university-affiliated archeologists, and the National Park Service have conducted some additional research investigations. The impetus for many of these projects came from salvage requirements and general concern about the destruction of prehistoric resources resulting from the patterns of rapid growth and development across the valley. These investigations varied in type and included surveys, testing programs, artifact analyses, and a few excavations; they dealt with a wide range of resources dating from the Archaic to historical periods, including habitation sites, resource procurement features, prehistoric irrigation canals, architectural ruins, ball courts, burial grounds, and archeobotanical resources. Although archeologists have completed many different projects in the Verde Valley during the past fifty years, much work remains to be done. In their 1977 publication about the state of archeology in the Verde Valley at that time, Paul Fish and Suzanne Fish comment on this situation:

In spite of the large number of investigators who have demonstrated an interest in the Verde Valley, research in this area can be best described as sporadic and low-key. Most studies have been on a very general exploratory level emphasizing construction sequences and the delineation of archaeological "cultures" and their affiliation with better known areas. Studies relating to most contemporary archaeological interests such as community organization, subsistence patterns and technology, demography or human ecology are, for practical purposes, absent in the history of regional research.

There are many reasons for the absence of both substantive and theoretical contributions. Almost without exception, projects have been seriously limited by funds, time and the immediate requirements of salvage. No individual or institution has been willing to focus on the Verde Valley for a sufficiently long period to build upon the accomplishments of predecessors or to develop a unified research design for the region. [36]

As Fish and Fish point out, the majority of the archeological investigations in the Verde Valley have primarily considered the temporal, spatial, and cultural attributes of the particular resource(s) being studied and have thus made few contributions to answering some of the broader research questions about Verde Valley prehistory. One reason for the lack of a more comprehensive understanding of the region is the fact that archeologists have long considered the Verde Valley as a peripheral or culturally transitional area and have not directed large-scale projects there. As a result, there are major gaps in the archeological research on topics such as the cultural chronology for the region, the distribution and types of sites, social organization, community layout, subsistence, and the paleoenvironment. [37]

Most of what is known about the prehistory of the Verde Valley comes from smaller salvage projects that were extremely narrow in scope and from archeological surveys that yielded mainly small quantities of surface data. Though the findings from these projects added to the overall knowledge of prehistory of the region, they have been of limited relevance to other sites and resources because they have no strong theoretical framework to guide their interpretation. Thus, for the purposes of this study, the discussion to follow emphasizes research projects directly related to the prehistoric resources of Montezuma Castle National Monument. [38] This discussion provides an overview of the different archeological investigations at the monument units during the past fifty years, with comments about particular factors that affected the course of research activities. Table 7.1 presents summary information about these projects.

Table 7.l. Summary of Archeological Research Projects at Montezuma Castle National Monument Since 1945 [39]
Description Author (Date of Publication)

1946-50 Survey of Beaver Creek, including Castle and Well propertyAlbert Schroeder (1960)
1947Discovery of basketHomer Hastings (1947)
1948Underwater exploration of Montezuma Well by H. CharboneauAlbert Schroeder (1948), NPS (1949)
1950Archeobotanical study of collection from Castle and two other sitesHugh Cutler and Lawrence Kaplan (1956)
1952Survey and mapping of Castle and Well by Schroeder, White, and PiersonNPS (1953), Albert Schroeder (1960)
1954Swallet Cave mapped by Western Speleological Institute (WSI) and MNAWSI and MNA (1954), Arthur Lange (1957)
1958Testing at burial ground and pit house siteAlbert Schroeder (1958), David Breternitz (1960)
1958Excavation at pit house site David Breternitz (1960)
1960Salvage excavation of Swallet CaveEdmund Ladd (1964)
1968Underwater survey and collection at Montezuma WellGeorge Fisher (1974)
1975Clearance survey for contact station and culvert removalDavid Johnson (1975)
1975List of Classified Structures surveyW. E. Sudderth et al. (1976)
1977Clearance survey for comfort stationDon Morris (1977)
1978Clearance survey for widening trailDon Morris (1979)
1979Clearance survey for flood controlDon Morris (1980)
1979Clearance for new entrance signDon Morris (1979)
1980Clearance for sewage lagoonsDon Morris (1981)
1986Clearance for road construction at Montezuma WellMartyn Tagg (1986)
1986Clearance for experimental corn-growing plotMartyn Tagg (1986)
1986Clearance for leach field constructionMartyn Tagg (1986)
1986Salvage of baby burial from Montezuma CastleMartyn Tagg (1986)
1986Archeobotanical study of burial from Montezuma CastleLisa Huckell (1986)
1988Survey of Montezuma Castle National MonumentSusan Wells (1988)
1988Architectural study of Montezuma CastleKeith Anderson (1988)

The postwar archeological research activities at Montezuma Castle differed from earlier investigations as a result of more dedicated NPS efforts to identify, study, and protect the cultural resources at the monument units. Although in the 1920s and 1930s the NPS supported a small number of different research projects, they were of secondary importance to the development of the monument facilities and the stabilization of damaged portions of the ruins. Further, the agency sponsored such projects only when extra funding became available (as with the CWA-funded excavation of Castle A in 1933) or when staff from other units in the NPS system came specially to the monument (such as George Boundey's 1927 excavations and Frank Pinkley's descriptions and interpretations of the Castle interior from the late 1920s). Thus, prior to World War II, most of the prehistoric resources at the Montezuma Castle unit of the monument received little attention from NPS researchers, and many had not yet even been identified.

At Montezuma Well, which did not officially become the responsibility of the National Park Service until 1947, the prehistoric resources suffered as a result of the lack of formal research, the activities of pothunters, and the Back family members' amateur investigations. For example, William Back Jr. recalled in a 1947 interview how he had excavated numerous burials in the vicinity of the Well and from these assembled a sizable collection of ceramics and other artifacts. Other activities of the family disturbed prehistoric resources, such as in 1940 or 1941, when Norval Cherry, William's brother-in-law, stabilized the foundation of one of the cavates at the Well with cement. William Back Jr. also remembered his father removing the stones of a prehistoric wall that he found across a large smoke-blackened cave in order to use them for the foundation of the family house. When tearing down the wall, Back discovered a skeleton, which he apparently removed from the site. The family later used the space in this cave as a blacksmith shop and pigpen. [40]

Although some of the staff assigned to Montezuma Castle in the years before World War II showed an interest in archeology or had received some type of formal training, their official duties seldom included archeological research. For example, Earl Jackson, the custodian of the monument between 1937 and 1942, had earlier been a graduate student in archeology under Byron Cummings at the University of Arizona. In 1933, he conducted an archeological survey of the Verde River drainage area for his master's thesis and soon after codirected with Sallie Van Valkenburgh the CWA-sponsored excavation of the Castle A ruins. However, while he served as monument custodian, the various administrative needs of the site required most of his attention, and he could devote very limited time to research projects. Jackson and some of the other early monument staff conducted occasional archeological investigations when time permitted or during their personal time. In contrast to the haphazard research efforts done at Montezuma Castle and Well before the war, the NPS demonstrated a greater commitment to studying the prehistoric and historic features at both units with its hiring of Albert Schroeder as the first full-time monument archeologist in 1946. Although archeological research and cultural resource management projects continued to be of lesser importance than activities related to visitor accommodation, the assignment of a professionally trained archeologist to the monument ensured that its cultural resources began to receive more regular attention.

Like Jackson, Albert Schroeder also received his training in archeology at the University of Arizona. In the early 1930s, he moved to Tucson to attend the university after hearing a lecture Byron Cummings gave in New York. Schroeder soon became actively involved in southwestern archeology, participating in the university-sponsored excavations at Kinishba Ruin and working on projects with Lyndon Hargrave at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Later researchers have frequently cited his master's thesis, which examined the stratigraphy of Hohokam trash mounds in the Salt River Valley, for its detailed recordation of sites and its definition of the Hohokam Classic period red ware ceramics. After working for a short time for the U.S. National Museum in Coahuila, Mexico, and then serving in the army during World War II, Schroeder began his lengthy and distinguished career with the National Park Service with his assignment to Montezuma Castle National Monument, where he served as the monument archeologist between 1946 and 1950. Schroeder joined the growing ranks of trained professionals who took responsibility for the management of cultural resources at NPS units and made significant contributions to their respective disciplines. By the end of his thirty years of service with the agency, he had twice been honored with prestigious awards from the Department of the Interior and attained the position of chief of the Division of Interpretation in the Southwest Regional Office. Schroeder participated in numerous archeological projects for the NPS throughout the Southwest over the years and contributed more than two hundred publications on a wide variety of topics. As mentioned earlier, one of Schroeder's research interests involved his theory of the Hakataya culture, which he developed partially in response to findings from research he conducted in the Verde Valley. [41]

Schroeder began his archeological investigations in the Verde Valley soon after arriving at Montezuma Castle. Although his official duties involved a variety of different tasks not necessarily related to archeological researchfor example, researching boundary questions, rehabilitating the former Back family structures, and providing public interpretation at the Well unit, where he spent much of his timeSchroeder devoted many of his off-duty hours to researching archeological sites in the Beaver Creek drainage on the east side of the Middle Verde Valley. Between November 1946 and January 1950, he surveyed this area, including the Castle and Well units, and identified forty-six previously unrecorded archeological sites, eighteen of which were located within monument boundaries. This survey project, which was cosponsored by the National Park Service and the Museum of Northern Arizona, was aimed at providing data that could shed light on the prehistoric cultures of the Middle Verde Valley. In 1952—53, Schroeder and later monument archeologists Lloyd Pierson and Arthur White performed additional surveys of the Castle and Well units, and prepared base maps showing the locations of all archeological sites in the monument. Based on the analysis of the survey results and existing information from the MNA files, Schroeder developed a general outline of the cultural sequence in the region and suggested ideas about the relationships between the Hohokam and Sinagua cultures. His research involving the prehistory of the Verde Valley also inspired some of the interpretive ideas he advanced in later publications, including his theory of the Hakataya culture. [42]

While stationed at Montezuma Castle and later when he served as an archeologist for the NPS Southwest Regional Office in Santa Fe, Schroeder conducted many investigations that contributed to the understanding of the cultural resources of the monument. For example, during the late 1940s, he interviewed local residents, reviewed court records, and performed reconnaissance surveys in order to locate and map components of the extensive network of prehistoric and historic irrigation canals in the area around Montezuma Well. This research added to the data gathered by Frank Midvale between 1929 and 1967 during his sporadic surveys of the prehistoric irrigation systems of the region; it additionally yielded valuable information about the land uses and activities of settlers in the Verde Valley during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Schroeder's other work at the monument includes constructing the first interpretive exhibits for the Well museum, assisting the researchers and diving team from the MNA during their studies of Montezuma Well, preparing the text for a new visitor guide booklet that provided interpretive information for both monument units, and performing archeological testing at the Well unit of a site that included several prehistoric pit houses and of the burial ground that William Back had excavated earlier. [43]

Following the discovery of the pit house features during Schroeder's testing in April 1958, Dale Breternitz, curator of anthropology at the Museum of Northern Arizona, led the excavation of this site in the fall of the same year. The project, which was sponsored by the MNA, involved the excavation of the pit house site at Montezuma Well and two other sites outside of the monument in order to provide cultural information about the prehistoric inhabitants of the Verde Valley during the period between a.d. 700 and a.d. 1100. The project crew excavated four pit houses and trash areas at the Well unit and numerous pit houses and features at the other two sites. The data gathered from these excavations helped Breternitz to construct a cultural phase sequence for the Middle Verde Valley and made an important addition to the prehistoric record for the region. [44]

At the conclusion of the excavation work at the Well, monument staff suggested that one of the pit houses be preserved as an on-site exhibit to help interpret the prehistoric story of the region for visitors. Breternitz supported this idea, and in a letter to NPS officials he praised the excellent state of preservation of the site. The largest of the pit houses was selected (the other three were backfilled following the excavation), and monument superintendent Albert Henson secured Mission 66 funds for the stabilization of the feature and the construction of a fifty-by-thirty-six-foot protective ramada over it in 1960 (figure 42). The new pit house exhibit made an important contribution to the interpretive resources of the monument by its addition of a feature that predated the prominent cliff dwelling, rock shelters, cavates, and pueblo ruins found elsewhere in the monument units; Breternitz determined the exhibited pit house to be a community structure from the Camp Verde phase (a.d. 900—1125). [45]

pit house
Figure 42. Pit House 3 after excavation. Photograph by Foy Young, 1958. From Susan J. Wells and Keith M. Anderson, Archeological Survey and Architectural Study of Montezuma Castle National Monument (Tucson: Western Archeological and Conservation Center, 1988), 69.

Another Mission 66—funded archeological project involved the excavation and stabilization of Swallet Cave, a nine-room pueblo built within a natural recess in the cliff walls in Montezuma Well. Members of the Back family, pothunters, and vandals had significantly disturbed this site in the years prior to the NPS acquisition of the Well property. Even after 1947, reports of vandalism and looting continued. The first official study of the site occurred in 1954, when the Western Speleological Institute (WSI) and the Museum of Northern Arizona sponsored a project to map the cave interior and gather data about the origins of the cave and the Well. Ongoing concern about the loss and destruction of the cultural resources within the cave prompted monument superintendent Albert Henson to dedicate a portion of his Mission 66 budget for the salvage excavation of Swallet Cave in the fall of 1960. The project, which monument archeologist Edmund J. Ladd directed, involved the excavation of seven rooms of the cave. The crew recovered a diverse assortment of artifacts, including ceramics, chipped and ground stone artifacts, bone tools, an unusual painted sandstone slab, shell jewelry, and an assortment of floral and faunal food remains. In addition, the excavation led to the discovery of one adult burial and one infant burial in the cave. Based on the results of this project, Ladd estimated that Swallet Cave was occupied between a.d. 1160 and a.d. 1275. The NPS later stabilized a portion of the excavated ruin to serve as a trailside exhibit. [46]

The analysis of collections generated by archeological investigations and the publication of findings from earlier research done at Montezuma Castle National Monument further advanced the understanding of the prehistoric cultures of the Verde Valley in the postwar years. In 1950, Hugh Cutler and Lawrence Kaplan conducted archeobotanical studies of plant remains from Montezuma Castle and two nearby caves located along Dry Beaver Creek. Lisa W. Huckell performed additional analysis of archeobotanical remains in conjunction with the removal of a child burial from the floor of a room inside the Castle in 1986. These two studies helped identify plant species associated with the cultural occupation of the region and provided clues about prehistoric land use and agricultural activities. [47] In 1954, the Southwestern Monuments Association published Earl Jackson and Sallie Pierce Van Valkenburgh's report about the CWA-funded excavation of Castle A they led in 1933 and 1934. The appendix to their report contained the results of Katherine Bartlett's study of crania recovered from burials located within the monument. Although published long after the completion of the projects, the findings from this volume made important contributions to the literature on the archeology of the Verde Valley. In 1954, the Southwestern Monuments Association also published Kate Peck Kent's study of textiles from Castle A in 1937—38. The textiles Kent analyzed were those George Boundey recovered during his testing of the Castle A ruins in 1927. The publication of these studies made research findings available to a wider audience and presented new information on specific topics of study at the monument. [48]

Since the late 1950s, only a few notable archeological research projects have been done at the monument. One of these projects involved the unusual attempt to perform an underwater survey of Montezuma Well and collect cultural artifacts from the bottom. In 1968, George Fischer and his crew set up a grid system in specific locations in the Well and used scuba equipment to dive in search of archeological deposits. Although they recovered nearly seven hundred items, these mainly consisted of ceramics and chipped stone artifacts similar to those found in Swallet Cave and in the pueblo ruins on the rim of the Well. The survey failed to reveal any exciting new information about the prehistoric cultures of the area and turned out to be of little consequence. [49]

A more significant project involved the 1986 removal of a burial from Montezuma Castle. At the request of Superintendent Glen Henderson, Archeologist Martyn Tagg of the NPS Western Archeological and Conservation Center (WACC) supervised the excavation of a child burial that was left exposed in a third-floor room of the Castle. When the burial was discovered during the course of stabilization work in 1939, Frank Pinkley, superintendent of the Southwestern National Monuments, suggested that it should be uncovered and left in situ for public display. To create a protected exhibit space, Assistant Engineer J. H. Tovrea constructed a covered cement box around the burial with a battery powered light. This feature became a popular part of the Castle tour until the interior of the ruin was closed to visitation in 1951. After this time, periodic unlawful entries into the Castle raised concern about the destruction of its prehistoric features and prompted the decision to remove the burial. [50]

The excavation and removal of the child burial was conducted on 24 March 1986 by three archeologists from WACC. The crew carefully documented the location and condition of all skeletal material and artifacts before their removal. Included in the recovered material were the cranium and long bones of the burial that WACC archeologist Don Morris had removed in 1983 and returned to its cement box a short time later. In addition to the nearly complete remains of a child approximately three years old, the excavation produced a cotton blanket and twilled mat found with the burial, as well as several ceramic sherds, lithic artifacts, and botanical materials found in the burial fill. The final report for this project provides specific details about the skeletal remains and associated artifacts, and concludes that this child burial from Montezuma Castle is very similar to others recovered in archeological contexts from other areas in the Verde Valley. An appendix to this report includes the results of Lisa Huckell's analysis of archeobotanical remains recovered during the excavation of the burial. As noted earlier, this archeobotanical study reveals valuable information about domesticated and wild plant species that the prehistoric cultures of the Verde Valley possibly used. [51]

This same report also presents the results of three small-scale surveys done at Montezuma Castle National Monument. As discussed below, these archeological investigations and others at the monument resulted from a series of laws passed beginning in the mid-1960s that mandated federal agencies to take specific measures to manage cultural resources under their jurisdiction. The performance of clearance surveys prior to undertakings that could potentially impact cultural resources was one of the practices the NPS implemented to comply with the new legislation. An example of such a clearance survey is briefly described in the burial removal project report. Although the crew of WACC archeologists were at Montezuma Castle to excavate the child burial, the monument administration also asked them to survey a 2.5-acre parcel of land adjacent to the sewage lagoons for archeological clearance for the construction of a proposed leach field. The crew observed only a few isolated artifacts and gave clearance for the leach field construction. [52]

Included in a separate chapter of the same project report are the findings of two additional clearance surveys WACC archeologists conducted at the monument in March 1986. One survey covered a tiny 0.5-acre plot at the Montezuma Well unit that the administration hoped to use for an experimental corn-growing plot. The survey crew located no cultural resources on this land, so they granted archeological clearance for the project. The other survey involved a proposal to widen Beaver Creek Road from where it enters the monument on the western end to its junction with the secondary road that leads to the Well and residential area. The monument administration asked the crew of WACC archeologists to survey the area and locate cultural resources that might be disturbed by the proposed construction. During the survey, the crew identified three prehistoric Sinagua sites, two isolated finds of artifacts, and an irrigation ditch in the vicinity of the road-widening area. After careful review of the construction plans and the site locations, the archeologists issued a conditional clearance for the widening of Beaver Creek Road, provided that the portions of two sites identified as being potentially impacted by the project would be avoided. [53]

The archeological clearance surveys described above are examples of cultural resource management activities required of federal agencies following the passage of certain historic preservation and environmental legislation beginning in the mid-1960s. The impetus for much of this new legislation came in response to the consequences of the widespread growth and development that accompanied the postwar national prosperity. In particular, government-funded programs designed to stimulate urban renewal and expand the interstate highway system had significant adverse impacts on archeological, historical, and environmental resources in communities across the country. Growing public concern about the loss of these resources as a result of federal development projects contributed to the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966 and of later legislation.

The NHPA contains provisions similar to those in the earlier salvage archeology legislation that require consideration of adverse impacts to archeological resources from federal development projects. However, the NHPA is much more far-reaching in its scope; the act deals with both archeological and historic resources and established a detailed set of compliance procedures for all federal agencies and for projects with any type of federal funding or permitting. Other features of the NHPA include the creation of the National Register of Historic Places, the authorization of the system of state historic preservation officers, and the establishment of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to provide oversight for the preservation and compliance activities of federal agencies. The NHPA requirements directly affect NPS efforts to manage cultural resources. For example, the agency is required to nominate all archeological and historic properties under its jurisdiction to the National Register of Historic Places. Section 106 of the act (as amended in 1976 by Public Law 94-422) further mandates the NPS to consider the effects of its undertakings on properties listed in and eligible for the National Register, subject to review by state historic preservation officers as well as by the Advisory Council. [54]

The passage of the NHPA resulted in the listing of Montezuma Castle National Monument on the National Register in 1966; all of the prehistoric sites within the monument are considered as contributing properties. Since this time, the monument administration has been required to consider the potential impacts of its undertakings on historic and prehistoric resources. W. E. Sudderth's 1975 survey of "classified structures" helped identify for the NPS the various significant cultural resources located within the monument. The clearance surveys listed in table 7.1 reflect the monument administration's efforts to comply with Section 106 of the NHPA. It should be noted that in 1967 the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) was established within the NPS. The chief of the Interagency Archeology Services Division of the OAHP serves as the departmental consulting archeologist for the Department of the Interior. Despite the creation of this office within the NPS, monument and regional NPS staff continued to conduct most of the agency's resource management and research activities at Montezuma Castle.

Additional legislation passed since the late 1960s has further directed NPS resource management activities at Montezuma Castle and the other sites within the NPS system. These activities have included investigations, inventories, and surveys that have uncovered new information about the natural and cultural resources of the monument and have brought the agency into compliance with its legal requirements. An example of this legislation is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, which established a legal process for integrating environmental values into the decision-making processes of federal agencies. The act requires the federal government to use all practicable means to preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage; every federal agency is obligated to follow the legal procedures set forth by this act to examine the environmental effects of its proposed actions.

At Montezuma Castle, environmental assessments and environmental impact statements completed as required under the NEPA have considered aspects of the cultural and natural environments of the monument and the effects on them that would result from various proposed undertakings. As noted in the previous chapter, in their efforts to comply with NHPA, NEPA, and other related legislation, agency officials have incorporated perspectives from the natural and social sciences in their study of existing conditions of protected resources, the historic changes to them, and the management needs at the monument. The NEPA has also provided a forum for public participation in the consideration of the impacts of proposed actions on monument resources. The information gained from these compliance efforts has led to a richer understanding of monument resources and contributed to the preparation of a variety of management documents.

More recent laws have prompted further investigations of the cultural resources at Montezuma Castle National Monument and other NPS sites. Issued in 1971, Executive Order No. 11593, which reiterates much of Section 110 of the NHPA, requires all federal agencies to assume responsibility for the preservation of historic properties under their jurisdiction. The responsibilities of the agencies include the inventory of historic and prehistoric properties, the nomination of these properties to the National Register, and the planning for and use of these properties in ways that contribute to their preservation. The Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (also known as the Moss-Bennett Act) authorizes federal agencies to expend funds on archeological excavations, testing, and associated research and publication of project results. Although to date the NPS has devoted limited funding to archeological research of this type at Montezuma Castle, in theory this act makes such funding possible. To protect archeological resources from vandalism and unlawful investigations, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979 established a system for permitting research activities and regulating the treatment and curation of collections. In addition to protecting resources, this act was designed to "foster increased cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities, the professional archaeological community, and private individuals having collections of archaeological resources and data which were obtained before the date of the enactment of the Act." Thus in spirit, ARPA seeks the professional sharing of ideas and research about cultural resources that could significantly contribute to NPS efforts to understand and manage sites such as Montezuma Castle. [55]

In order to fulfill its legal responsibilities for managing the cultural resources at Montezuma Castle National Monument, the National Park Service assigned WACC archeologists to conduct an inventory survey of the monument in 1988. Although the monument had been surveyed in earlier years, the data collected during the previous investigations were often incomplete and lacked adequate map information. The 1988 project provided the opportunity to survey the monument with 100 percent coverage, to record systematically all previously recorded and new archeological sites in a detailed fashion, and to resolve any problems with the old site records. The survey crew recorded a total of seventy archeological sites, thirty of which were new additions to the site inventory; all of these sites are located inside of the monument boundaries except for three, which are just outside the Castle unit within sight of the NPS fence. The survey report includes detailed information about the artifacts collected as well as the types, descriptions, and ages of the seventy archeological sites recorded. The report also states that the condition of most of the sites is generally good, but notes evidence of recent vandalism at one site within the monument and at two of the sites located outside of the Castle unit. The extensive data collected from the 1988 survey provided a baseline inventory of archeological sites within the monument that will assist with future management decisions. Reflective of the agency's increasing prioritization of site-based resource management activities over regional research investigations, the survey project focused on the monument as a discreet entity rather than as a part of the larger context of the Verde Valley. [56]

Concurrent with the 1988 inventory survey, a crew of WACC archeologists conducted another monument-based investigation that involved an architectural study of the Montezuma Castle cliff dwelling. This project consisted of the detailed description of architectural features of the Castle, photographic documentation of the room interiors, analysis of roofing materials, and recording of historic graffiti that appears on the walls, posts, and beams of the Castle. The report of the study provides a comprehensive and systematic documentation of construction and condition of the Castle rooms and their features. The final chapter also suggests interpretive ideas about the room functions and the structural development of the Castle. In addition to documenting the physical details of the Castle structure, the project report serves as a useful management tool, with helpful information pertaining to stabilization, restoration, and reconstruction activities. [57]

Since the inventory survey of the monument and the architectural study of Montezuma Castle completed in 1988, the Park Service has conducted no significant archeological research projects at the monument. Despite the numerous investigations conducted at the monument and at other locations in the Verde Valley over the years, the lack of recent projects calls attention to the many gaps that remain in the understanding of the prehistory of the region. In their 1977 review of archeological research in the Verde Valley, Paul Fish and Suzanne Fish offer some suggestions for future research to address these gaps. They note how the rapid growth and development of the region emphasize the need for research before prehistoric resources are destroyed or disturbed. They advocate the development of a comprehensive research program by all involved federal agencies and by the archeological community. Such a coordinated program would function to identify and preserve appropriate sites and districts for future investigations and would employ specific unifying themes, such as an ecotone concept or changing human institutions over time, to guide and interpret these research activities. [58]

In addition to their suggestions for the region as a whole, Fish and Fish make several specific recommendations regarding research at the three Verde Valley national monument units: Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot. They first note the need to perform an evaluation of the research potential of the various cultural resources at the monument units. Although the 1988 inventory survey accomplished the identification and evaluation of all sites located at the Montezuma Castle and Well units, little has been done to evaluate the research potential of collections generated from previous investigations. Fish and Fish suggest that "compilations should be assembled of the present location, condition, provenience records, and brief physical descriptions of all materials previously excavated at the monuments." [59] They argue further that all of this collected information should be made available to universities and other appropriate institutions to encourage research, and, where possible, monument administration should initiate programs to reassemble scattered collections and records. At Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well, where a number of early privately sponsored excavations resulted in artifacts being dispersed to a variety of locations, such an effort to identify and, if possible, reassemble collections from the monument would greatly benefit future research efforts. Fish and Fish also suggest that well-provenienced collections excavated prior to the advent of techniques such as palynology, flotation, and systematic recovery methods for floral and faunal remains should be reanalyzed using these techniques to optimize their research potential.

The analysis of the various collections from the monument units would contribute to specific research themes pertaining to the monument in particular and to the region in general. Fish and Fish identify themes such as prehistoric subsistence patterns and the aggregation of population into large and complex settlements as topics that might benefit from such analysis and lead to a more sophisticated understanding of the prehistory of the region. As they point out, studies oriented around such specific themes centered at the monument units could provide useful data for the regional research program. To provide unique information about subsistence parameters in the Verde Valley, Fish and Fish even suggest that NPS personnel maintain experimental fields on land within the monument. According to them, the experimental fields would provide invaluable data about prehistoric agricultural crops and techniques, and serve as an educational exhibit for monument visitors. However, Fish and Fish also emphasize that such research efforts must not stop at the monument boundaries, arguing that the cultural resources at Montezuma Castle and Well do not exist apart from their regional setting. The study and interpretation of these resources would only benefit from the thematic regional investigations that they advocate. [60]

Building on their idea of a comprehensive research program for the entire Verde Valley, Fish and Fish propose that the facilities and personnel of the three national monument units be employed to coordinate the regional research effort:

One of the monuments might serve as a focal point of such efforts and the office of a regional coordinator. . . . Monument facilities could be developed as centers for regional research. By offering a base of operations to archaeologists engaging in Verde Valley projects, regional study could be furthered. Monument staffs could also encourage the constructive participation of local amateurs, provide them with training and advice, serve as a repository of donated collections, and systematically record the personal knowledge of area residents. [61]

Despite the obvious need for a coordinated regional research program, however, no efforts have been made to date to make this idea a reality.

In connection with the more recent inventory survey and architectural study done at Montezuma Castle National Monument, WACC archeologists Susan Wells and Keith Anderson added several suggestions of their own for future research at the monument to the ideas presented in Fish and Fish's 1977 overview of Verde Valley archeology. One recommendation involves performing a detailed mapping of the prehistoric and historic irrigation canals at and adjacent to the Well unit before development activities disrupt and possibly destroy them. Such a project would build on the earlier investigations into the extensive regional canal network initiated by Frank Midvale and Albert Schroeder. [62] Another idea for future research centers on the lack of accurate dating information for many of the sites in the monument. Wells suggests applying more advanced dating techniques, such as archeomagnetic analysis, to materials collected from previously disturbed sites and raises the possibility of testing previously undisturbed sites to recover datable material when nondestructive techniques become available. To maximize the research potential of the existing collections from the monument, Wells echoes Fish and Fish's idea to inventory, assess, and study these materials at the various locations where they are curated. She also advocates doing archival research to learn more about historical-period ownership and usage of land within the monument. [63]

Other suggestions for future research included in Wells and Anderson's 1988 report focus on further architectural research needed at the Castle unit. Anderson indicates that additional studies should be done on the details of wall construction at Montezuma Castle. He notes that such investigations might examine differences in construction methods and finish in specific sections of the Castle as they possibly relate to preferences of the individual(s) responsible for building them. Anderson also recommends that the detailed mapping and recording at the Castle itself be performed at the numerous smaller cavate rooms and other structures located nearby to provide a fuller range of data about the community to which Montezuma Castle belonged. A final suggestion was prompted by the mysterious Spanish inscription "Yo Don" discovered on a roof beam in a room of the Castle during the 1988 architectural study. Recognizing the possibility that a previously undocumented Spanish explorer made this faint inscription, Anderson advocates reexamining it under different lighting to find clues about its origin. [64]

The many gaps in the understanding of the prehistory of the monument and surrounding region indicate the National Park Service's limited commitment to archeological research at Montezuma Castle National Monument. The agency has been more supportive, however, of efforts to protect and preserve the cultural features at the monument units. This policy reflects its prioritization of values associated with visitor accommodation and tourism; the attention directed toward maintaining the main interpretive features at the monument supported the NPS practice of managing its sites to emphasize the visitor experience. As visitation to Montezuma Castle skyrocketed in the years following the conclusion of World War II, NPS officials grew concerned about the impact of increasing traffic on the prehistoric resources of the monument and attempted to stabilize them to better withstand the high use they experienced. In particular, Superintendent John Cook and the monument staff made efforts during the mid- to late 1940s to minimize the damage to the features of Castle interior. They performed ongoing repairs to portions of the ruin, applied a mixture of creosote and fuel oil on bat roosts to drive bats from the Castle, installed iron pipes and a cobble masonry column to support a weak ledge below a portion of the Castle, and resurfaced portions of the floors with a mixture of soil and bitumuls. Despite these efforts, however, the continued damage to the cliff dwelling proved too great, and, as noted in chapter 5, the NPS finally decided close the Castle interior to visitors in 1951. Prior to the closure of the ruins to the public, Cook and regional NPS official Dale King carefully photographed the features of the Castle to assist in the manufacture of the diorama model that would later be used to interpret the Castle interior and to document in detail the condition of the ruins at this time. [65]

In the years after the Castle interior was closed, the National Park Service continued to manage the prehistoric features of the monument for the dual purposes of preserving its fragile cultural resources and maintaining them as interpretive features that added to the visitor experience. Although some work was done on other ruins, such as the 1954 stabilization of the lower walls of Castle A and the later stabilization of the Swallet Cave ruins and of an excavated pit house at the Well unit, the agency's efforts primarily involved the repair and stabilization of portions of the Montezuma Castle cliff dwelling, the central interpretive element at the monument. During the 1950s and early 1960s, rangers, interpreters, archeologists, and maintenance crews from the monument and the Ruins Stabilization Unit from the Southwestern Archeology Center (SWAC) periodically inspected the Castle and performed a variety of minor stabilizations and improvements such as repairing damaged sections of the roof and floors, filling cracks found throughout the structure, applying pest-control materials, and removing bat guano. In addition to the repairs to the ruin itself, monument archeologist W. E. Sudderth in 1972 completed work on the ledge below to help stabilize the Castle and conceal the support structure from view. After the repairs done at the Castle by the SWAC Ruins Stabilization Unit in 1964, the NPS made no major modifications to the appearance of the ruin for many years. [66]

The monument administration recognized the numerous challenges associated with the preservation and use of prehistoric resources and considered ways to address these challenges in various master plans and management documents over the years. For example, the master plan prepared for the monument in 1965 noted the impact of both weathering and visitation on different resources and established a schedule for monument personnel to inspect and stabilize the ruins biannually. For features that received especially intensive use, such as the Castle A and Swallet Cave ruins that were exposed to the public, stabilization, repair, and supervision activities were recommended on a continual as needed basis. The master plan also suggested that the SWAC Ruins Stabilization Unit undertake more significant stabilization projects every five years and visit the monument at least once every three years to lend its expertise to the staff. [67] Other management documents prepared for the monument identified the potential threats to cultural resources from vandalism and advocated that the regular patrol and inspection of vulnerable prehistoric features supplement preventative measures such as visitor education and interpretation. [68]

As discussed in chapter 6, NPS officials also utilized controlled pattern developments as a management strategy to minimize the impact to both cultural and natural resources at the monument. Agency landscape architects formulated Mission 66 and later development plans with consideration of the sensitive resources and restricted proposed new developments to designated areas. The practice of land classification and the strategic placement of developments helped with efforts to preserve fragile cultural resources, while at the same time expanding monument facilities to meet the needs of the ever-increasing visitation. Despite such efforts to integrate resource protection considerations into the planning process, agency officials continued to prioritize the values of recreational tourism and public enjoyment in their management of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well; above all else, the NPS operated the monument to accommodate visitors, and resource protection issues were of lesser importance than this primary goal.

More recently, the preservation activities at the monument have been strengthened by the passage of certain key pieces of legislation since the mid-1960s. As discussed earlier in this chapter, laws such as the NHPA, the NEPA, and the ARPA increased the responsibilities of the National Park Service and other federal agencies to identify and protect cultural resources under their jurisdiction. At Montezuma Castle National Monument, such legislation has reinforced the mandates for the NPS to consider potential adverse impacts to cultural resources and to take action to minimize these impacts.

Concurrent with these stepped up efforts at the monument, a general trend of increasing professionalization within the preservation community has also resulted in part from the wave of new legislation. Although the NPS Ruins Stabilization Unit had been performing stabilization work at sites throughout the Southwest for many years, the growing cadre of resource managers and other preservation specialists within federal agencies began to rethink the philosophies and practices of preservation and stabilization beginning in the 1970s. Some of the changes resulted from legislative requirements, such as the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation set forth in the NHPA. Among its many other provisions, the NHPA directed the federal government to establish professional qualification standards for employees and contractors, thus increasing the professionalism of the resource managers, archeologists, and preservationists working at the federal level. Within the NPS, such trained specialists refined the methods and practices of ruins stabilization to reflect the more current emphases on resource protection, minimal structural intervention, and the preservation of scientific and heritage values from the original construction. They updated the agency's stabilization manual to include new approaches to preservation, such as the use of multidisciplinary teams to take on the different steps of the revised preservation process.

On paper, the legislative mandates and the rejuvenated preservation and stabilization programs within the NPS had an immediate effect on the management of Montezuma Castle National Monument. Statements for management, master plans, environmental assessments, cultural and natural resource management plans, and other administrative documents prepared since the mid-1970s have identified the sensitive cultural resources at the monument, discussed the conditions that potentially impact them, stated management objectives related to their protection and use, and provided program statements that include recommendations for specific resource management activities. Although theoretically these planning documents charted the way for an active resource management program at the monument, the lack of funds and staffing has prevented such a program from being realized in any substantial way until very recently. In a 1997 interview, current superintendent Glen Henderson recalled that when he first assumed the leadership at the monument in 1974, the greatest obstacle he faced was the scarcity of resources to manage the site properly. He cited in particular the ruins preservation program at the monument that was weakened by these limitations. [69]

During most of his tenure at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Henderson has faced the continually mounting challenges of cultural resource management with negligible support from the NPS. The tiny monument staff has been primarily occupied with accommodating the patterns of high visitation and is usually spread thin taking care of administrative tasks, visitor needs, and maintenance duties. Because there is currently no staff position devoted to cultural resource protection and planning, only basic responsibilitiessuch as conserving museum objects, museum collection management, and program administrationare carried out on a routine basis. In addition to these staff activities, the ruins preservation specialist of the NPS Southern Arizona Group Office provides cyclical preservation assistance, and WACC helps with archeological site management and the curation of museum objects. [70]

In recent years, however, heightened concerns about the condition of Montezuma Castle in particular and southwestern prehistoric ruins in general prompted new NPS initiatives directed toward more involved cultural resource management activities. At the Castle, a 1994 inspection visit by NPS archeologist Don Morris revealed considerable erosion to the exterior mortar and plaster of sections of the Castle caused by wind, water, and the burrowing activities of digger bees. Morris recommended immediate treatment for the Castle to repair the existing damage and to maintain the stability of the ruin, and made arrangements to bring an experienced crew from Mesa Verde National Park to the monument to perform these necessary preservation tasks. Montezuma Castle National Monument funded this project, which involved the coordinated efforts of the Mesa Verde preservation crew led by Supervisory Archeologist Kathleen Fiero, the entire staff at Montezuma Castle, as well as Jim Rancier (archeologist) and Dave Evans (historian) from the NPS Southern Arizona Group Office.

The project, which represented the most substantial preservation work done at the monument for some time, was completed during two different sessions that took place from 15 October to 1 November 1996 and from 6 October to 24 October 1997. In general, the scope of work for this endeavor included the following activities related to the preservation and stabilization of the Castle ruin: replacement of missing, eroded, and badly deteriorated mud mortar and stones from portions of the face of the ruin; replacement of deteriorating sections of plaster originally applied by Frank Pinkley in the 1920s; repair of other small areas throughout the site where stones were loose or the mortar was severely eroded; and treatment of sections of exposed wood in the ruin. Summary reports written at the end of each of the two working sessions offer details of the work that was accomplished (figure 43). [71]

stabiliztion crew
Figure 43. Above: 1996 stabilization project crew. Top row, left to right: William Dale, Kee Charley John, Raymond Begay, Ruben Avalos, Dave Evans. Bottom row, left to right: Vernon Barney, Kathy Fiero, Gene Trujillo, Willie Begay. Below: View of the Castle and scaffolding during plaster project. Photos from Kathleen Fiero, "Preservation Maintenance, Montezuma Castle National Monument," May 1997, 16, 56 (report on file at the Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments adminstrative office).

It is interesting to note that a controversy arose during the course of this project concerning the team's decision during the 1996 session to replaster entire wall surfaces instead of just the most eroded areas in order to stabilize various portions of the cliff dwelling. Representatives from the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) took exception to the replastering efforts because they felt that the mortar color of the newly plastered walls did not match the color of original construction closely enough. The SHPO contended that the project should involve stabilization and repair efforts only to portions of the ruin requiring them and that these activities should be done with as little modification to the appearance of the structure as possible. In the end, a compromise was reached, and in 1997 the project team altered its repair approach and techniques to address SHPO concerns. Although the use of different techniques to replaster sections of the Castle resulted in a variance of appearance from wall to wall, the 1997 report noted that "the total effect is compatible with a desire to modify the appearance as little as possible and yet insure that the site is in stable condition for the foreseeable future." [72]

Although the 1996 and 1997 stabilization sessions helped repair damage sustained by Montezuma Castle over the course of many years, it has become clear that more regular efforts are badly needed at this site and others to ensure their long-term preservation. To address these needs, the National Park Service recently unveiled its Vanishing Treasures Initiative to provide funding for a wide variety of preservation and research projects at NPS sites throughout the Southwest. This initiative indicates a stronger commitment on the part of the agency to take on the cultural resource management responsibilities at its various sites and to comply with the spirit of the legislation that directs their management. The administration of Montezuma Castle National Monument has attempted within the past few years to tap into available agency funding in order to take care of some of the preservation needs that have long gone unmet. For example, Superintendent Glen Henderson and his staff submitted project proposal requests for fiscal year 1998 to pay for the second session done by the Mesa Verde preservation crew and to provide much-needed repair and stabilization work at the pit house and ruins at the Montezuma Well unit. [73] The monument was to benefit additionally from the Vanishing Treasures Initiative in fiscal year 1999 when funding was to be set aside to create two full-time resource management positions. These new staff positions will provide invaluable help with the various resource management needs of the monument. [74] At long last, the NPS will be able to address these needs at the Castle and Well units in a regular, systematic manner. If the Vanishing Treasures Initiative is an indicator of NPS commitment to the ideals and practices of cultural resource management, then the future looks auspicious for the protection and preservation of the cultural resources at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

In addition to the wave of legislation enacted since the mid-1960s, other recent legislation has influenced NPS efforts in its interpretation of sites, consultation with Native American tribes, and curation of artifacts. In particular, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978 and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 have had a tremendous impact on the agency's cultural resource management activities. These two laws have engendered higher standards of sensitivity when dealing with contemporary American Indian tribes and issues related to their past.

As noted earlier in this chapter, the NPS has long recognized the spiritual connections of several American Indian tribes to the prehistoric resources within Montezuma Castle National Monument and has made arrangements to facilitate special access to these sites for religious or spiritual purposes. Such practices continue today in a more official capacity as a result of AIRFA. The administration has also made efforts to consult regularly with the tribes claiming an affiliation with the monument resources on issues ranging from development plans to interpretive museum labels. Chapter 5 of this study includes a discussion of the recent proposed exhibit concept plan for the Montezuma Castle museum and the consultations that took place with American Indian tribes during its preparation. The proposed interpretive story for the new exhibit takes into consideration the perspectives and interpretations of these tribes and attempts to provide a sensitive, balanced portrayal of the prehistoric and historic past of the monument.

The exhibit plan designers also carefully considered what artifacts would be placed on display to interpret the resources of the monument. To comply with NAGPRA provisions, all artifacts associated with human remains or burials and those considered to be sacred objects were removed from museum displays and excluded from the plans for new exhibits. In 1995, the monument staff, with assistance from archeologists at WACC, compiled an inventory of artifacts from monument collections that fall under the purview of the NAGPRA legislation. These inventories were submitted to the tribes claiming an affiliation with the resources in the monument to initiate the process of repatriation of the artifacts in question. However, to date none of the tribes have responded with claims. In the meantime, all of the artifacts identified as NAGPRA items were removed from display and storage at the monument and transferred to the curation facilities at WACC, where they will remain until the repatriation process advances. [75]

The artifacts in the monument collections, much like the archeological sites from which they were recovered, constitute an important part of the cultural landscape that the National Park Service manages. Ever since its designation as a national monument in 1906, the land and resources within Montezuma Castle National Monument have been set aside and, at least in theory, treated differently than those situated outside of the monument boundaries. The monument status confers a special recognition of the cultural resources of the site and carries with it requirements regarding their protection and preservation.

The National Park Service has assumed responsibility for these requirements at Montezuma Castle for most of its history as a national monument. The agency has also managed the monument as a tourist attraction and taken great pains to make its prehistoric resources accessible to the public. Although the goals of preservation and visitor accommodation may appear to be mutually exclusive, the NPS has attempted to balance them throughout the course of its administration of the monument. In seeking this balance, its management practices have changed considerably over time, informed by different values, perspectives, and ideologies. The record of cultural resource management practices presented in this chapter offers a glimpse of some of the agency's most recent activities and the ideas that have inspired them. However, these actions represent just the latest example of thousands of years of human interactions with this multilayered terrain. Ironically, in its efforts to protect the traces of past cultures on this landscape and to share them with the public, the NPS has left its own mark. New layers of human interaction with the landscape of Montezuma Castle National Monument will continue to be added as the National Park Service finds new strategies to meet the needs of resource protection and visitor accommodation in the future. Hopefully, the lessons from the past management of the monument will help guide the way as the challenges of the future present themselves.



A Past Preserved in Stone:
A History of Montezuma Castle National Monument

©2002, Western National Parks Association
protas/chap7.htm — 27-Nov-2002