When a volcanic eruption occurred near what is now Flagstaff, Arizona, people lost homes and lands they had cultivated for at least 400 years. A major life events for locals, the eruption was also visible to large population centers across the Southwest. Many people knew something significant had happened.
In the decades that followed, sparsely inhabited areas like Walnut Canyon and nearby Wupatki became densely settled.
By 1150, clustered communities replaced scattered farming hamlets - the result of displacement by the eruption, immigration of new families, growth of the local population, or all of these. Trade networks expanded and society became more complex as people, goods, and ideas converged.
Across the landscapes of the San Francisco Peaks, society flourished as people tried living together in larger numbers.
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Nearby Sunset Crater was formed by an eruption sometime between 1040 and 1100, prior to the major settlement of Walnut Canyon.
Some other villages settled during the 1100s at nearby Wupatki National Monument and Elden Pueblo in Flagstaff.