Archaeology Day at the Grand Canyon
BY ASHLEY PHILLIS —
The Grand Canyon’s sixth annual Archaeology day will be celebrated on Saturday, March 23, 2013, which commemorates Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. Special programs, activities and demonstrations will be held at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center throughout the day, with a special evening program at the Shrine of the Ages.
Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month was created 30 years ago to inform the public about archaeology in the state of Arizona. In Grand Canyon National Park alone, over 4.300 archaeological sites have been recorded to date, and archaeologists estimate that the park may have as many as 50,000 – 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 descendants of those ancient peoples continue to utilize the area today.
Archaeology Day is intended to inform park vistors about the people who lived here before us and the important work that archaeologist perform and what we can learn from their research. Different activities the Grand Canyon is planning for this day include: making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines; creating rock art using scratch art paper; sifting for artifacts; and planting corn, beans and squash seeds – traditional foods of the park’s native peoples. Other main activities for the day are cultural demonstrations of Hopi Kachina carving and basket making, as well as Navajo hoop dances and a weaving demonstration. The day will be filled with free, family-friendly activities.
The day will conclude with a special evening program by Ellen Brennan, Grand Canyon National Park’s Cultural Resource Program Manager entitled “My Eyes Were Opened: Historical Memory and the Canyon’s Traditionally Associated Tribes.” This program will take place at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium, located on the South Rim near Parking Lot A, at 7:30 p.m.
Additional special Evening Programs focusing on archaeology topics will be held throughout the month of March. For more information on Archaeology Day (including a full schedule of events once available) and on special park programs happening throughout Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/arch_day.htm, or call Supervisory Park Ranger Libby Schaaf at 928-638-7641.