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Show Low Arizona Road Trip October 2019 (Part 7)

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Casa Malpais

Archeological Site Near Springerville, Arizona

Casa Malpais is an archeological site (pueblo) near Springerville, Arizona inhabited until about 1400. It was built on the Springerville Volcanic Field containing over 400 volcanoes, the third largest volcanic field in the continental United States. The pueblo consisted of numerous rooms centered around a large kiva at the top of a volcanic mesa. To this day it is a sacred ancestral place to both Hopi and Zuni. The site contains petroglyphs and a large circular calendar made of stacked stones with a slit (gap) for light to pass through.

View from Casa Malpais volcanic mesa.

Verbena ciliata adorns the trail to volcanic mesa of Casa Malpais..

Desert wolfberry (Lycium macrodon), a member of the tomato family (Solanaceae), along trail to volcanic mesa of Casa Malpais. The red berries were eaten by native people and possibly dispersed by them.

This petroglyph apparently represents a water strider, an aquatic insect that represented a source of water (spring). See following image of water strider from my ancestral insect collection at CSUSM in the early 1960s.

Remarkable pottery shards from this site.

This prehistoric apartment complex or pueblo once contained an estimated 120 rooms that could have accomodated over 300 people.

An ingenious solar calendar overlooking the distant valley. A shaft of light entering through the gaps (gates) allowed the inhabitants to determine the approximate time of year.

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