Navajo National Monument features well-preserved ruins of villages left behind about 1300 by prehistoric Pueblo Indians -- the Kayenta
Anasazi. Built and occupied for only 50 years, the ruins represent the final settlement of farmers who adapted to the area's scarce rainfall to grow crops, build houses and
raise families, then mysteriously move on.
The two largest villages here at the Monument are best known by the names given them by the Navajo, who arrived in the 1800s. Betatakin means "ledge house"; Keet Seel is from an altered Navajo term meaning "remains of square house." The Hopi also have names for these villages, Kawestima and Talastima. While the Navajo referred to the ancient ones as the Anasazi, the Hopi called them the Hisatsinom.
This village was originally occupied about 1250 because of its attractive south-facing alcove. When the last household space was built in 1286, the village was populated with about 100 residents, but by 1300, it was abandoned.
This village was occupied much longer than Betatakin.This alcove was settled as early as 950 by those who built houses and kivas. The village was rebuilt in 1250 by different people and, at its zenith, may have contained 150 residents. By 1300, this village, too, was abandoned.
The Monument is 20 miles southwest of Kayenta, Arizona situated on a plateau between Navajo Mountain, 30 miles to the northwest, and Black Mesa, 20 miles to the southeast.
Text from DesertUSA website. Map from National Park Service website.