Archeologists regard the Verde Valley as an aboriginal melting pot where at least 4 prehistoric cultures intermingled. Tuzigoot - Apache for "crooked water" - is the remnant of a Sinagua village erected between 1125 and 1400 AD. It stands on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge that rises 120 feet above the floodplain on the north side of the Verde River, 25 miles west of Montezuma Castle.
The Sinagua - Spanish for "without water" - lived in Verde Valley foothills and the plateau beyond the since about 600 AD. Like the Anasazi, they were pithouse dwellers and dry farmers, who depended on rain for their crops. By 1125 they began to build above ground masonry structures and large pueblos on hilltops or alcoves of cliffs.
Tuzigoot represents the vestiges of one of several such towns in the vicinity. The original pueblo had 77 ground floor rooms and at least 15 rooms on the second floor, for a total of 92 excavated rooms. Since there were few exterior doors, residents climbed wood-pole ladders through hatchways in the roofs.
The village began as a small cluster of rooms that were inhabited by about 50 persons for a century or so. In the 1200s, the population doubled and then doubled again as refugee farmers, fleeing drought in outlying areas, settled here.
Text from DesertUSA website.
Map from MapQuest.