Petroglyphs, Palatki Heritage Site, Arizona
Palatki Heritage Site
Due to the unstable cliffs that hang over the dwellings you can only get within 100 yards from the site. These dwellings are pretty remote with dirt and rock roads. This drive requires a medium to high clearance vehicle, but worth every minute. The Honanki Cliff Dwellings are a few miles past this location.
Built in the formidable red rock cliffs of the area are a set of ruins belonging to the Sinagua. The Sinagua are thought to be connected to the Hopi Indian Tribe. The word Palatki means 'red house' in the Hopi language. The Sinagua created the ruins from 1100 to 1400, but there are pictographs and petroglyphs that are much older. It's told that ancestors of Native American's lived in the area from around 1150 to 1300 CE. Some of the petroglyphs are estimated to be 5,000 to 6,000 years old and came from the more archaic cultures.
Unfortunately, the strong tourist attraction in the area has caused erosion and deformation to the area. This was originally the cause of poor archaeology appreciation by the European founders of the area. Photographs from the early 1900s show that an estimated 70 to 90 percent of the original structures have been destroyed. Some stories suggest that early visitors would dig up the bones of the dead, buried beneath the ruins, and take them home as souvenirs. [more info]