Betatakin is one of the three great pre-historic cliff dwellings that are now part of Navajo National Monument in northern Arizona. It occupies an enormous, south-facing alcove, 452 feet high and 370 feet across with its own fresh-water spring. Betatakin was built about 1260-1270 A.D. Like most alcoves used by Ancestral Puebloans, Betatakin faces south. The angle would give the pueblo needed sunlight warmth in the winter and cool temperatures in summer. Alcoves were preferred because the sheltering rock reduced wind, water and erosion forces, preserving structures and requiring less maintenance.
[2 captures hand-blended for dynamic range]
Hasselblad L2D-20c, f/4 @ 12.29 mm, 1/120, ISO 100, No Flash
© Steve Carter