Caves dot the landscape around Tsankawi. The soft tuff allowed the caves to be dug easily. Many of the caves contain air holes drilled (somehow) through the top, allowing fire to be used for heat, and most entrances face south, providing more warmth in winter. Many of the walls are still covered in soot, along with drawings carved into the stone (and clay, which was used to cover the interior walls). Although small compared to modern standards, such caves provided great shelter in the 15th and 16th Centuries when they were inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans. Traffic in and out of this particular cave over several hundred years has eroded the entrance.