Arizona Archaeology Awareness Month

March is the month if you dig old stuff

VVN/Steve Ayers<br>
This month, the State of Arizona celebrates that universal fascination. March is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. If you happen to live in the Verde Valley, and you happen to dig old stuff, there will be plenty to do.

VVN/Steve Ayers<br> This month, the State of Arizona celebrates that universal fascination. March is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. If you happen to live in the Verde Valley, and you happen to dig old stuff, there will be plenty to do.

There is something in all of us that lures us to the past.

Some of us are drawn to our roots, our ancestry and the family members who preceded us. For others it is a fascination with our culture, its heritage and the notable figures who guided its progress.

But for the vast majority, it is a simple curiosity with all things older than us, regardless of the connection to our own heritage.

History, at least as a written record, can take us back just so far. But what happens when we go back before the written record -- at least the ones we can decipher?

For those answers we turn to a field of science that is relatively new -- archaeology.

The beauty of archaeology is its uncertainty. To a large degree, its answers and the stories it tells are based on speculation and conjecture. It is a field of science that, although gaining in technical knowledge and expertise, is still open to interpretation.

It is doubtful that we would all clamor to tear open an algebraic text, even if the answers were open to our own devises, but the possibility of sifting through the sands of time and uncovering long lost treasures is a whole different equation.

As such archaeology is a field of science we all feel free to participate in. Besides, we all love to play in the dirt, regardless of our age.

This month, the State of Arizona celebrates that universal fascination. March is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.

If you happen to live in the Verde Valley, and you happen to dig old stuff, there will be plenty to do.

While the celebration is being coordinated by Arizona State Parks, most of the events will be sponsored and presented by the National Parks Service.

The list of events is as follows:

CAMP VERDE AREA

Wednesdays in March: (11 a.m.) Brown Bag Lunch Talks: Learn about the area's history, prehistory, and other cultural aspects from local experts. Sponsored by the NPS. Montezuma Castle National Monument, 2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde. Talks will occur in the Interpretive Circle. Bring your own lunch. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30, Paul_Ollig@nps.gov.

March 5: Yavapai Life Ways

March 12: The Dilzhe's: Apache History and Materiel Culture in the Verde Valley

March 19; Yavapai Creation Story

March 25 Hopi Culture


March 8: (7-9:30 p.m.) Evening Program: "Who's Afraid of the Dark: Dark Skies at Montezuma Well." Join a park ranger for an evening astronomy program and explore the night skies of the Verde Valley where ancient Sinagua lived. Sponsored by NPS. Please bring flashlights and meet at the Picnic area. Montezuma Well National Monument, 5505 Beaver Creek Road, Rimrock. Take exit 293 off I-17; go east on Beaver Creek Road 4 miles to park entrance. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30

March 15: (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) Indigenous Skills Demonstrations. Join local experts as they demonstrate many traditional skills of the ancient people of the Verde Valley. Demos include rope-making, weaving, fire-starting, and pottery manufacture. Montezuma Castle National Monument, 2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30, Paul_Ollig@nps.gov

March 22: (7-10 p.m.) Moonlight Walk at Montezuma Castle. Led by Park Archaeologist Paul Ollig. Sponsored by NPS. Please bring flashlights. Gate opens at 7 p.m.; moonrise is at 7:55 p.m. and gate closes at 10 p.m. Montezuma Castle National Monument, 2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde. Contact: Rex Vanderford, (928) 567-4521

March 28: (10 a.m.) Walk with an Archaeologist. Join the park archaeologist to learn the hidden details of what science can tell us about the lives of the ancient Sinagua. Walk will take place at Montezuma Well. Sponsored by NPS Tuzigoot National Monument, 25 W. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30, Paul_Ollig@nps.gov

CLARKDALE

March 28: (2 pm) Walk with an Archaeologist. Join the Park Archaeologist to learn the hidden details of what science can tell us about the lives of the ancient Sinagua. Walk will take place at Tuzigoot National Monument. Sponsored by NPS Tuzigoot National Monument, 25 W. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30, Paul_Ollig@nps.gov

March 30: (11a.m.-noon) Slide Presentation: "A History of Mining in the Verde Valley." Learn about the historic use of minerals from salt to copper, as well as other natural resources; hands on display of minerals available after the talk. Sponsored by the NPS. Tuzigoot National Monument Museum, 25 W. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale. Contact: Paul Ollig, (928) 567-3322, ext. 30, Paul_Ollig@nps.gov.

JEROME

March 13: (3 p.m.) Lecture: "Route 66 Across Arizona," by Richard & Sherry Mangum. Sponsored by the Jerome State Historic Park. This presentation takes you on a nostalgic trip through Arizona examining the history of the "Mother Road." Jerome State Historic Park, 100 Douglas Road, Jerome. Regular Park fees apply. Contact: Nora Graf, (928) 634-5381

SEDONA

March 2: (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) Prehistoric Culture Demonstrations. Learn about prehistoric technology: fire-starting techniques at 10 a.m.; weaving sandals at 11:30 a.m.; atlatl and dart throwing at 1 p.m. Sponsored by Red Rock State Park, Visitor Center Theatre, located five miles southwest of Sedona at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road. Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited to 50 people. Contact: Pam Lane, (928) 282-6907 or plane@azstateparks.gov

March 8: (2 p.m.) Archaeology Hike: Learn about the prehistoric Sinagua Indians who inhabited the Sedona and Verde Valley over 1000 years ago. Meet in the theater for orientation before the hike. Sponsored by Red Rock State Park, Visitor Center Theatre, located 5 miles southwest of Sedona at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road. Contact: Pam Lane, (928) 282-6907 or plane@azstateparks.gov

March 16: (2 p.m.) Presentation: Ancient Trails. Learn about the archaeology of Sycamore Canyon and the study of aboriginal trails through Central Arizona. Sponsored by Red Rock State Park, Visitor Center Theatre, located 5 miles southwest of Sedona at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road. Contact: Pam Lane, (928) 282-6907 or plane@azstateparks.gov.

March 30: (2 p.m.) Archaeoastronomy Presentation: "How Astronomy and Science Helped Create the Ancestral Puebloan World," by Bryan Bates. Learn about current research into the astronomical world of the ancestral Puebloan people from Chaco Canyon, Wupatki National Monument, and Mesa Verde National Park. Program is sponsored by Benefactors of Red Rock State Park. Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited. Red Rock State Park, Visitor Center Theatre, located 5 miles southwest of Sedona at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road. Contact: Pam Lane, (928) 282-6907 or plane@azstateparks.gov

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