Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month is intended to inform the public about archeology in the state of Arizona. In Grand Canyon National Park alone, over 4300 archeological sites have been recorded to date, and archeologists estimate that the park may have as many as 50,000-to-60,000 sites. Some of the artifacts found in the park date back almost 12,000 years, testimony to the vast extent of the human history of the area. That history lives on as the descendents of those ancient peoples continue to utilize the area today.
The event will feature opportunities for visitors to try their hands at making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines; creating rock art using scratch art paper; coloring Hopi pot designs; sifting for artifacts; and planting corn, beans and squash seeds- traditional foods of the park’s native peoples. Additionally, there will be special programs by park archeologist Jason Nez and NAU anthropology professor Chris Downum.
All activities are free and family friendly and will take place between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages which can be easily accessed via the park’s free Village Route shuttle.
Archeology Day will conclude with a very special evening program by Shonto Begay, artist, author, educator and Grand Canyon Master Artist-in-Residence. Begay will discuss how his Navajo heritage and the rich culture of the Navajo reservation have influenced his contemporary paintings, as well as his environmental and social justice activism. Begay’s program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium located on the South Rim near Parking Lot A.
For more information on Archeology Day and on special park programs happening throughout Archeology and Heritage Awareness Month, please visit the park’s web site or call Supervisory Park Ranger Libby Schaaf at 928-638-7641.