Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mummy Cave Ruin Overlook at Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is in northeast Arizona in the center of the Navajo Indian Reservation near Chinle. Along the north rim of the canyon are several short walks to spectacular overlooks.

The sandstone cliffs in Canyon de Chelly are 600 feet high. The Mummy Cave Ruin way down below is one of the largest pueblo villages in the canyon and was occupied until about 1300.

The building style suggests that people from the Mesa Verde area migrated here. The alcove gets better direct sunlight in the winter.

The Navajo name for this site is House Under the Rock. At the canyon bottom a small stream wanders between the steep cliffs and past the small farm fields of the Navajo who live here now.
To the North of the Mummy Cave overlook is the Massacre Cave overlook. In 1805 a Spanish military expedition fired on Navajos hiding in the alcove from this site. The Navajo name for the site is The place where two fell off.
On the other side at the same site, a small ruin, Yucca Cave, is visible in an alcove perched high on the canyon wall.

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