by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
What’s in a name? The Marketplace Stories Coming to Life Many archeologists feel that strong evidence connects the people who lived here and in other sites throughout the Southwest with the modern Hopi and Pueblo communities of eastern Arizona and the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico. Years ago when researchers first explored these sites the Navajo term Anasazi was used to describe the inhabitants. This term can be roughly translated as “ancient enemies.” Understandably, today’s Pueblo people do not appreciate having their forefathers referred to as enemies. The Hopi use Hisatsinom to identify the ancient ones. The National Park Service at Grand Canyon National Park has chosen to use ancestral Puebloans to emphasize the connection between ancient and modern people and cultures. The ancestral Puebloan people used the forest for their supermarket. Piñon (top right) was used for construction, heating, and cooking. Pine needles, high in vitamin C, can be brewed as a tea. Its pitch was used to waterproof baskets, and even as a bandage to hold cuts together. Pine nuts are high in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. As you look over the pueblo before you, imagine the families who have chosen to make this their home. They, like you, had dreams and hopes and worries. They bore children and raised them to take part in community life. This was home, the anchor of their world. Farm Area Farm Area Paved Trail Gravel Trail The path goes down to the area thought to have been the fields for this community. Recent stock tanks and other disturbances have destroyed much of the evidence. Eight hundred years ago check dams and terraces caught and held the scant rain. Seeds were placed deep in the soil in small plots, much as occurs on the Hopi mesas today. To Farming Area Living Area Yucca (below) provided fibers that could be twisted or braided into twine or rope or made into sandals. The flowers and seeds pods could be eaten. Some native people still use yucca root soap for ceremonial purposes. Parking Museum Utah Juniper Creating a Community Dating View of San Francisco Peaks They made beautiful baskets. Some so small they may have been for decoration or toys—evidence that life was more than mere survival. Why did they choose this place? Why did these families stay for only twenty years? What happened to these people? The villagers took the answers with them. Utah juniper (lower right) was also used for firewood. Its shreddy bark peeled readily and provided insulation, padding, or the sole of a sandal. Juniper berries could be eaten raw, but were more often used as a flavoring for stew or venison. Ashes of the scale-like leaves were added to bread as a leavening agent and for flavor. Storage Rooms Kiva Piñon Tree ring dating explained on this exhibit helps determine the age of sites like this one. Archeologists study pottery sherds found here and at other sites and develop a time line based on style, form, color, and decoration. By law national parks protect all plant and animal life. Plants are fragile and should be left undisturbed. Modern digestive systems may not be prepared for the sudden intake of berries and wild plants. Please do not pick or eat any plants. Building size, style, and construction reflect the Grand Canyon and its people in several ways. Limestone, the building blocks available here, is fairly hard and difficult to shape. Piñon and juniper tend to be short and twisted, but provide excellent support beams, insulation, and caulking materials, as well as firewood. The plaza faces south to take advantage of the warmth of the low winter sun. Grand Canyon has been home to people for thousands of years. Considered sacred by many, it has been a nurturing place, a place of spiritual and physical enrichment. Many visitors share this connection today. The National Park Service strives to protect the integrity of the experience and the natural environment. We hope that what you learned will generate more questions about the lives of the ancestral Puebloan people. Our goal is that your enhanced level of interest and knowledge will help us to preserve and protect this wonderful legacy. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Grand Canyon National Park Arizona Tusayan Ruin Tusayan Ruin Painting by Roy Andersen Grand Canyon National Park Welcome to Tusayan Pueblo Ruin. As you walk the relatively flat 0.1 mile (200 meter) trail around the village, keep in mind that no attempt has been made to reconstruct the structures. During the summer of 2001 with funding through the Vanishing Treasures program, park archeologists stabilized the ruin in an effort to protect it from ongoing degradation. Room blocks have been only partially excavated to allow you to experience an archeological site. Saving our National Stories Please respect this place as you would your own home. Do not walk or stand on the walls or enter the rooms. Many stories of the past preserved here have yet to unfold. The rocks and relics tell the stories. The artifacts and the context in which they are found allow archeologists to interpret the lives of these people. Not only will disturbing the site destroy valuable information, it is illegal. The high desert vegetation is also fragile; stay on the trails. People have lived on the Colorado Plateau for thousands of years. The Paleo-Indians, nomadic hunter/gatherers who lived here 5,000-10,000 years ago, left the earliest evidence. The nomadic Archaic Cultures which followed produced splittwig figurines which they hid in canyon caves. With the introduction of agriculture about 2000 years ago, villages (pueblos) like this one developed. The San Francisco Peaks Tree ring studies indicate that people lived here for about twenty years beginning around A.D. 1185. The style of buildings and artifacts is typical of the ancestral Puebloan culture. This ruin is one of 4,300 archeological sites recorded within Grand Canyon National Park. Neighboring pueblos may indicate a cooperative effort among families. On a clear day you can see the distant San Francisco Peaks, considered sacred by several tribes. In the Hopi tradition the katsinas, the spirits, live in these peaks during the winter. The spirits bring rain and other blessings to the people. The Hopi are one of more than twenty Puebloan Indian nations that are descendents of the people who lived here. What attracted people to settle here? Everyone needs food, water, and shelter. How were these needs met? Wild foods and game supplemented cultivated corn, beans, and squash. Inhabitants may have walked several miles to water or did other sources exist 800 years ago? How would you use the local resources to build your shelter? What would be its primary function? In a land of limited resources, how would you interact with your neighbors? As you walk around the ruins, remember that the history of these people and their culture exists only through the artifacts found at this and similar sites and through the stories of their descendents. You will notice that many statements in the brochure and on the signs begin with “perhaps”, “it seems”, or “maybe.” There are few definitive answers. luck to build over another room? Such questions are difficult to answer with the clues that remain. Why did they live here? A view of the sacred peaks and a close proximity to the point of emergence into this world makes this place aesthetically pleasing. Yucca for weaving baskets, piñon pitch to seal them, and clay for pottery exists in this area. Perhaps there was water from nearby springs or seeps and fertile soil for farming. Perhaps relatives lived nearby. Small Kiva and Unexcavated Area A kiva, a ceremonial chamber, is one of the cultural signatures of the ancestral Puebloan people. Charred wood and other evidence lead us to believe that this small kiva burned and was replaced with the larger one in the southeast corner of the pueblo. Did the community grow and need a larger ceremonial room? Was it bad To your left is an unexcavated part of the ruin. When workers excavate a site, inevitably some things are missed or destroyed. During the initial excavation in the 1930s, archeologists purposely left some areas undisturbed. Perhaps new technology will allow us to explore this area without destroying what is below or to discover new facets of life at this pueblo. The Plaza Much of the outdoor living occurred here in the plaza, the center of community life. The southfacing location allowed for good winter exposure to the sun and a view of the San Francisco Peaks. The sides offered protection from the wind. A visitor to the plaza might have seen women grinding corn, cooking, and watching children at play. People feel a connection to earth and home in the plaza. Grain Storage Areas The Kiva Notice how small these rooms seem. Since no trace of habitation was found within them, it is thought that these were used for storage. Imagine corn still on the cob piled like firewood, or big clay jars full of beans or pine nuts resting against the walls. The most common artifacts found during the 1930 excavation were grinding stones—the hand-held mano that was slid across the larger metate to grind corn or seeds. Since weather determines crop success, the ability to store food was vital for survival. From each crop, perhaps one quarter was saved for seed and another quarter was used for ceremonial purposes or trade. Ceremonial activities took place in the kiva. Notice the banquette (bench) that encircles slightly more than half of the interior. Braces were placed along this bench to support the upper structure. These were covered with brush and mud to provide the walls and roof of the kiva. A ventilated fire pit permitted good heating. The small hole between the banquette and the fire pit symbolizes a sipapu, the point of emergence for the Hopi people into this world. The Hopi believe that the actual place of emergence, the Sipapuni, is located deep within Grand Canyon.