Day 4, Wupatki National Monument
Sunrise at Monument Valley
From the NPS site:
People gathered here during the 1100s, gradually building this 100-room pueblo with a community room and ballcourt. By 1182, perhaps 85 to 100 people lived at Wupatki Pueblo, the largest building for at least fifty miles. Within a day's walk, a population of several thousand surrounded Wupatki.
Wupatki appears empty and abandoned. Though it is no longer physically occupied, Hopi believe the people who lived and died here remain as spiritual guardians. Stories of Wupatki are passed on among Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and perhaps other tribes. Members of the Hopi Bear, Sand, Lizard, Rattlesnake, Water, Snow, and Katsina Clans return periodically to enrich their personal understanding of their clan history. Wupatki is remembered and cared for, not abandoned.
There's another stone circle, further downslope on the right, without a "bench",
so the circle we see here was probably a meeting place, and the other a place for games.
The pueblo was built up against and on top of a rocky ridge-line, supplying the rear wall for many of the pueblo's rooms.