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قراءة كتاب Tonto National Monument: Arizona Tonto Cliff Dwellings Guide, 11th Edition, Revised

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Tonto National Monument: Arizona
Tonto Cliff Dwellings Guide, 11th Edition, Revised

Tonto National Monument: Arizona Tonto Cliff Dwellings Guide, 11th Edition, Revised

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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tonto cliff dwellings guide


The Lower Ruin in 1910
Lubken photo, courtesy H. B. Clark

Although Tonto National Monument was established in 1907 it received little protection until 1930. Considerable vandalism and thoughtless destruction of much of the prehistoric material took place in the 1920s.

In recent years some prehistoric Indian ruins have had to be closed to visitors to preserve these fragile structures. Please help us keep the Lower Ruin open for many years to come: restrain children from climbing and running in the dwelling, and keep off the walls.


Along the trail and in the ruin are numbered stakes indicating features of interest. Corresponding numbered paragraphs in this booklet describe them.

Typical Desert Landscape and the Lower Ruin


Brutal heat in summer, hard frosts in winter, strong shrivelling winds of spring, and always erratic rainfall combine here to make a desert, a place of extremes. The world’s arid lands are of many kinds; here is the Upper Sonoran Desert, with its giant cactus and remarkably varied plant life. Here are found many creatures which have adapted in behavior or body features to arid conditions. Man too has evolved in the desert in many ways, over at least ten thousand years, from roving bands of primitive hunters to the massive urban developments of today.

Nearly seven hundred years ago farming Indians now called the Salado (sa-LAH-doe) fitted their lives to this desert. They lived in cool, thick-walled apartment-like villages, grew irrigated crops of corn, squash, beans, cotton and amaranth (pigweed), made handsome pottery and wove elaborate cotton textiles. Though capable farmers, the Salado were also hunters and gatherers, well aware of the uses to be made of the desert’s wild resources.

As you walk the winding half-mile trail to the Lower Ruin you will see many desert plants used by the Salado so long ago, some of the birds, and perhaps other wild creatures of the desert which are active during the day.

Take time to breathe the fragrant dry air of the desert, look about you, enjoy just being, listen to the silence. Don’t feel bound to reading this little book; this is simply a guide to some of what you will see. We hope that you will see—and feel—much more.

1 BABY SAGUARO. This little white-spined cactus, an infant less than ten years old now, will grow up in a hundred years or so to look like the towering giants scattered over these hills. Young saguaros (sah-WAR-ohs) are delicate and need a “nurse tree” like this mesquite to shelter them from the sun.

2 HEDGEHOG CACTUS. The first cactus to bloom each spring; the large magenta blossoms of this many-headed plant must have been a welcome sight to the Salado, for they signalled relief to come from the monotonous winter diet of dried foods.

3 BARREL CACTUS. Though the barrel cactus is fabled as a source of emergency water in the desert, it is not at all reliable. The amount of unpleasant-tasting liquid in it varies with the amount and recency of rainfall.

Not much use was made of the barrel cactus;