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Lava flow trail stop 12

People of the Sunset

Sinagua pit house built
Pre-eruptive Sinagua pit house built with wood and clay

Pit Houses

Buried beneath Sunset Crater's lava and cinders are the remains of perhaps dozens of Sinagua pit houses. The Sinagua people inhabited the Flagstaff area between about AD 500-1300.

No one knows how many homes are covered by Sunset's black basalt, but evidence suggests that the Sinagua understood the warning signs of Sunset Crater's impending eruptions and moved at least some of their belongings to safety. Pithouses excavated in the 1930's contained few artifacts, even most of the building timbers had been removed. Today the Hopi people regard the Sinagua as among their Hisatsinom, or ancestors.

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