During the 1300s, a nomadic people known to archaeologists as the Anasazi lived and farmed along the Little Colorado River for several hundred years. Ruins of their pueblo communities remain north of present-day I-40 in Arizona and are preserved at Homolovi Ruins State Park. The people who lived here moved on by 1400 and traveled north to live with the ancestors of the Hopi. The Hopi people were interested in preserving these sites and supported the creation in 1986 of the state park, which opened in 1993.
During our stay at the park, we explored the two pueblo sites that are open to the public, Homolovi I and Homolovi II. The first archaeologist to explore these ruins was J. Walter Fewkes, who later headed the Smithsonian. Fewkes also did early work at Casa Grande Ruins in southern Arizona, which is now a National Monument. We volunteered there for three winters.
This is one of the repaired walls at Homolovi I. This pueblo was occupied by about 1700 people and was 2 and 3 stories high.
This illustration shows how that pueblo might have looked.
There are pottery shards all over the sites. Usually, by the time the public is admitted, all artifacts like that have been removed. At the state park, we were told we could pick them up and photograph them, but not take them away. Visitors have picked up the pottery pieces and laid them out in clusters.
This is the Little Colorado River, where these settlers raised corn, bean, squash and cotton.
We also explored Homolovi II. This is a drawing of the pueblo that was there.
This site has more reconstruction and so there is more to see. Here are two views of some of the rooms.
There is also an excavated kiva at this site. The people grew cotton and wove it into cloth for trade. The kivas had anchors for the cotton looms.
We had a great sunset one evening at the state park.