[Source: Payson Roundup] -- Like the poppies proliferating beneath the brooding 800-year-old ruin, research into some absorbing archeological mysteries has bloomed at Tonto National Monument. Many Payson residents looking for spring flowers, fishing on the revitalized Roosevelt Lake or diverted by the closed Beeline Highway have rediscovered the 1,100-acre, 100-year-old national monument about 50 miles from their doorstep.
When they arrive, visitors browse through the small visitor's center, climb the steep trail with its panoramic views, and stand in the mud and stone ruins abandoned so mysteriously in the 1400s. But few casual visitors realize that after dozing in the scientific shade for a century, the monument researchers now find themselves perched with a view of vital questions about human cultures stretching back 10,000 years. After spending most of its long history curating artifacts and keeping visitors from destroying the ruins, the park now has two archeologists on staff and deep questions to explore.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Tom Brossart, Payson Roundup.]