Navajo National Monument preserves three of the most intact cliff dwellings of the ancestral puebloan people (Hisatsinom). The Navajo people who live here today call these ancient ones Anasazi. The monument is high on the Shonto plateau, overlooking the Tsegi Canyon system in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona.
Betatakin means "House Built on a Ledge" in Navajo. In Hopi, the name of the place is Talastima, or "Place of the Corn Tassel". Betatakin is smaller than nearby Kiet Siel, with about 120 rooms at the time of abandonment. Today only about 80 rooms remain, due to rock falls inside the alcove. Betatakin was built in an enormous alcove measuring 452 feet high and 370 feet across between 1267 and 1286. The first excavations occurred in 1917 under Neil Judd, and continued into the 1950s and 1960s under archaeologists like Jeffery Dean.