Wow! The Oldest Continuously Inhabited Community is Right Here in Arizona!
Right around the time of the First Crusades in Europe. a small village was being settled thousands of miles away in a part of the world that would centuries later be called Arizona.
Third Mesa near Kykotsmovi Village
A small Hopi village in Navajo County, Arizona has the honor of being the oldest, continuously inhabited community in the nation.
Oraibi, or Orayvi as it's called by those who still live there, can be found on the Third Mesa of the Hopi Reservation, near Kykotsmovi Village in northeastern Arizona.
This village was first founded sometime before the year 1100 AD. That makes Oraibi the oldest, continuously inhabited community in the United States.
Living in Oraibi on the Hopi Reservation
Presently there are fewer than 100 residents living in Oraibi. There is no accurate census data available at this time, however.
Archaeologists speculate the village of Oraibi was first founded around the year 1100 AD. They've also identified a series of severe droughts that may have plagued the area sometime in the late 13th century. This likely forced the Hopi to abandon the smaller villages around the region.
There's evidence the smaller villages consolidated into one regional population center. Oraibi was one of the villages where people moved in order to survive.
Residents in Oraibi continue to maintain a more traditional Hopi way of life. They have generally resisted the adoption of the more modern culture you might find in nearby Kykotsmovi Village.
The residents welcome visitors to the pueblo via the short road that connects AZ SR 264 to the village, the residents are very private. Outsiders are not allowed to take photos in the town. As a result, there are very few photos of the modern-day settlement.
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