Grand Canyon, Ariz. – On Saturday, March 19, 2011, Grand Canyon National Park will host Archeology Day in honor of “Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.”
“Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month” was created by the State Historical Preservation Office and the Governor’s Ad Hoc Archeology Advisory Group (now the Governor’s Archeology Advisory Commission) to inform the public about archeology in the state of Arizona. In Grand Canyon National Park alone, almost 4300 archeological sites have been recorded to date; and archeologists 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 human history lives on as descendents of these ancient peoples continue to utilize the area today.
Archeology Day is intended to help park visitors learn more about the people who lived in and around the Grand Canyon long ago and to gain a greater understanding of the work that archeologists do and what can be learned from archeological research. The day will feature special activities at Grand Canyon Visitor Center, including the opportunity to make clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines, and to experience the thrill of the archeological find by “sifting for artifacts” then identifying what is found and hypothesizing what it was once used for.
All of the park’s Archeology Day activities and programs are being offered free of charge on the South Rim. All activities are also family friendly and, with the exception of the evening program, will be offered at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The event will close with a special evening program, “Grand Canyon, the Human Story”, by the park’s Chief of Cultural Resources Ellen Brennan. This special presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium near Parking Lot A.
For additional information on Archeology Day 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.