Honanki and Palatki


While I was staying with my Mother in Prescott AZ, I had the opportunity to explore the Native American ruins of the area thanks to a very dear friend.  

Honanki and Palatki were first reported by Dr. Jesse Walter Fewkes, of the Smithsonian Institute in 1895 and 1911. Fewkes named the sites (using Hopi words): Honanki, meaning "Bear House" and Palatki, meaning "Red House". The walls of Honanki are over 700 years old 

Palatki and its sister site of Honanki at Loy Butte are the two largest cliff dwellings in the Sedona Red Rocks area. Honanki represents one of the largest population centers in the Verde Valley; this period in Southern Sinagua prehistory is called the "Honanki Phase" and is named after this impressive cliff dwelling. Many of the cliff dwellings in the Red Rock/Secret Mountain Wilderness area were occupied during the "Honanki Phase". The actual occupation of Honanki was probably between AD 1130-1280, based upon a tree-ring date of 1271, for a wooden window lintel in the upper ruin, as well as pottery shards. Palatki habitation is dated as AD 1100-1300. 

Honanki originally contained about 60 rooms and an unknown number of pictographs. Many have been destroyed by time, pothunters and vandals. The pictographs were created over a long period of time and include several design styles. The earliest may date to the Archaic period (3000-8000 years ago), before the cliff dwellings were constructed. Most of the pictographs can be attributed to the Southern Sinagua (about AD 900-1300) and to the Yavapai and Apache, who lived in the region between 1400-1875. Turn of the century inscriptions by Anglo pioneers and later ones by their relatives can also be seen. 


I was told about a hump backed flute player known as Kokopelli.  He is a fertility symbol and is said, many years ago, to have wandered around the tribes fertilising the young squaws.  Nice job!

Palatki consists of two separate pueblos (about 30-50 people of the Southern Sinagua tradition occupied the site), suggesting two family or kin groups may have lived here, one in each pueblo. 

The entwined hearts were made by Jess Purtyman in 1910 to express his affection for Elizabeth Hartley. The Purtymans and Hartleys were among the first settlers in the red rock country. The Purtymans arrived in the late 1890's. In 1908, Jess Purtyman homesteaded in Oak Creek Canyon near what is now the Encinoso Picnic area. The Hartleys lived at the mouth of Hartwell Canyon, the next major canyon to the north of this (Red) canyon. The canyon was originally named after the Hartleys, but was changed to Hartwell in the 1940's.

It was a very tiring and painful experience for me even with the help of my friend who was a nurse but the incredible surroundings helped me to forget all that!  I was descending from Honanki once and as some people passed on the way up, I told them "I wouldn't go up there if I were you, I walked normally before I did!   









In the year AD 1054 in late June, a massive star in the constellation Taurus exhausted its supply of nuclear fuel, underwent gravitational collapse, and exploded in a supernova (expanding star), which we know as the Crab Nebula. By July 4th, the supernova was visible in broad daylight as it was the brightest object visible from the Earth besides the Sun and Moon. It remained visible by day for 23 days, and by night for 653 days. Japanese and Chinese records contain the most detailed accounts of this spectacular astronomical event.

The Supernova Pictograph panel consists of a star image, a crescent moon and a human handprint.  Calculations have shown that at dawn in the American Southwest on July 5, 1054, the crescent moon was within three degrees of the supernova. 

Some researchers believe the Supernova Pictograph panel is close to being a true scale rendition of the supernova seen in conjunction with the waning moon. They believe the maker of the pictographs stood looking up with his back to the cliff, painted what he saw and signed it with his handprint. In order to get the correct astronomical perspective, you'll need to do the same: stand with your back to the cliff wall and look up.

Not relevant to this area, but a picture of me a few miles away next to a 24 feet high saguaro!

And a skeleton of the same species outside Linda's home.







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