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Southwest USA 2001

(Page 5 of 8)


Montezuma Well National Monument


These unique ruins are located near the better-known Montezuma Castle, south of Flagstaff.

The Well was formed by a collapsed underground cavern, and filled with a small lake.

This lake is fed by a strong and constant flow of water from underground. It spills out through a narrow underwater outlet in the wall.

The water in the lake is unique in that is has virtually no oxygen in it, because it comes from deep underground.


The cliff dwellings were located around the inner face of the "well".

Outside the Well, the ancient peoples utilized the water for irrigation by channeling it through a manmade ditch to their fields.

One would think that this would be an ideal place to live: in the middle of the desert, yet assured of a constant year-round water supply.

However, in spite of this, the people who lived here left the area round 1300-1400 AD.


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