Tucked away in Tonto National Monument, in the Roosevelt National Forest is another of my favorite Cliff dwellings- Lower Tonto Ruin. It's located near Apache Junction (south of Roosevelt Lake), and about 200 miles south of Canyon De Chelly. Lower Tonto was built by the Salado people- an ancient tribe that flourished east of Phoenix, AZ around A.D. 1100. It was abandoned by the mid-1300s along with the Anasazi cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, far to the north.
I began this original wall art referencing photographs I took, before hand-carving a bas-relief sculpture in solid Honduran mahogany.
The fine grain and hard surface of the wood helps me capture the essence of the rock surface of the canyon and the detail of the stones used by the Ancient Salado People who built this magnificent dwelling so many centuries ago.
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