At Wupatki National Monument, a ranger interprets the history of the Wupatki ruins. The great house visible in the background, along with other nearby ruins, was built by members of the Sinagua culture after the eruption of nearby Sunset Crater about 900 years ago. It seems to have been a trading center, judging from archeological evidence of trade items like turquoise and live macaws. Additionally, people from the Anasazi culture to the East, and the Hohokam culture to the South also lived there.
Three geologic rock units are visible in this picture: The buildings are made of the red Early Triassic Moenkopi sandstone, which is visible in the foreground. In the left background, however, a recent lava flow from the eruption of Sunset Crater forms a dark cliff. To the right of it appears the pale Kaibab limestone.