Ruins on Oak Creek
detailsW. H. Williscraft Unknown inpr1402pa.jpg IN-PR-1402 B&W 1508-1402-0001 inpr1402pa Stereograph Print 3.5x7.5 Historic Photographs 1880s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives
The Oak Creek ruins are located at the Honanki and Palatki Heritage Sites. The sites contain cliff dwelling and rock art and are located in the Coconino National Forest, about 15 miles west of Sedona, Arizona. The Sinagua people of the Ancestral Puebloans, and ancestors of the Hopi people, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 AD.
Honanki, which means “bear house,” is believed to have been one of the largest Sinaguan communities in the Verde Valley. According to archeologists, the pueblo had approximately six dozen rooms, arranged in a townhouse-cluster style. Some of the rooms have smoke markings; others seem to open to storage areas.
The Sinagua, ancestors of the Hopi, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 AD preparing meals, raising their families, and making tools from stone, leather, and wood. Nearby, they hunted for deer and rabbit, tended various crops, and gathered edible wild plants. Honanki was abandoned around 1300 A.D.—50 years after the Sinaguans left Palatki, which is located only a few miles down the road.
Above the ruins are numerous pictographs. Some predate the cliff dwellings by several thousand years. Although sections of the rock art have faded over time and a number of pictographs have been obscured by vandals or destroyed by pothunters, there is still plenty of rock art left to admire.
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