March is Archaeology and Heritage Month in Arizona. Our unique cultural, historical and archeological heritage provides many fantastic resources for learning about archeology in every corner of the state. From the far northern border to the border we share with Mexico, there are opportunities to learn about archeology. Here are just a few of the many places in the Phoenix area celebrating and hosting activities for Archeology Month this year.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH) and Mesa Grande Cultural Park is hosting the 2018 Arizona Archaeology Expo to kick off Archaeology Awareness month in Arizona. The Archaeology Expo will kick off a month-long celebration of archaeology and heritage. The event, “Many Cultures, One People: Preserving Arizona’s Heritage,” takes place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
This expo will host vendors, exhibitors, professional archaeologists, crafts and activities for the kids at Mesa Grande and outside in front of the Arizona Museum of Natural History at 53 Macdonald, Mesa from 10 am to 4 pm. They will also host a lecture series in the AzMNH Theater from 11 am to 3 pm all for free! To celebrate we’re also offering a Buy One Get One deal for admission to AzMNH that day.
This event is being held simultaneously at Mesa Grande Cultural Park, 1000 Date Street, in Mesa, and the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald, in Mesa, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Pueblo Grand Museum & Archeological Park in central Phoenix is hosting their 18th Annual Ancient Technology Day: Prehistoric and Historic, on Saturday, March 10, from 9 am to 3 pm This is a free event, made possible by a grant from Arizona Humanities, and you can bring your whole family out for a day of hands-on fun!
The activities planned for the Ancient Technology Day event will let you:
- Test your hunting skills by tossing an atlatl (spear)
- Discover the art and process of pottery making, basket weaving, loom spinning, flint knapping, and more
- Taste roasted agave, cooked in the traditional way in an underground oven
- Purchase tasty frybread, provided by Yellowman Frybread, a Navajo owned and operated food truck. They’ll also be offering breakfast treats for the early risers.
Free arts and crafts activities will be available for the kids, and you and your family can enjoy various cultural, historic, and technology demonstrations throughout the day. Tours of the archaeological site, the Park of Four Waters, and artifact show-and-tell stations will also be available around the archaeological site and museum.
Ancient Technology Day is a part of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Month and a Scitech Signature Event for the Pueblo Grande Museum & Archeological Park.
The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is one of our favorite spots to see living Arizona archeological history. This year, they are hosting their Archeology Festival on Saturday, March 17, 2018, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. This free event is sure to be both fun and informative. Here is the agenda for celebrating “Culture and Traditional Lifeways and Technologies of the Southwest” at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve:
- Traditional technologies with S.A.L.T. | 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Demonstrations include Atlatl throwing, cordage making, and sandal making.
- Traditional Potter |9:15 a.m. Andy Ward will present “Reverse Engineering Salado Polychrome Pottery” a demonstration of traditional pottery techniques by indigenous cultures. Presentation at 9:15 a.m. in community room, then outside for demonstration.
- Desert Reptiles |9–3 p.m.
Phoenix Herpetological Society will have desert reptiles on hand – come and learn more about the creatures we share our space with.
- Guided Trail Tours | 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Come and learn about the petroglyphs and the Sonoran Desert landscape.
- Ethnobotany Guided Tour |2:15 p.m.
Join Liz Alexander on a special guided tour exploring traditional usages of indigenous flora.
- ASU SHESC Presentation | Noon–1 p.m.
“The Hohokam Were Not Alone: An Exploration of Distant Connections” Ben Nelson, ASU professor of anthropology, and graduate student Chris Schwartz will present on his work with prehistoric trade networks between northwestern Mexico and the American Southwest and human adaptability to the desertification of grasslands in those regions.
- Musical Performance by Canyon Records Artist Jay Begaye – Two performances | 11:15–11:45 a.m. and 1:45–2:15 p.m.
Jay Begaye, of the Navajo Nation, is a singer performer and Navajo horse whisperer. He uses his unique abilities as a singer to work with horses. He will share his songs and stories with us.
- Kid’s activities in our new education center | 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
A variety of activities to explore traditional lifeways and learn about the Sonoran Desert
Get Your Kids Outside and Learn About Archeology!
Here is some additional information about the background and events happening for Archaeology and Heritage Month in Arizona:
- State Historic Preservation Office
- Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission
- Archeology Southwest
- Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month at Petrified Forest National Park
- Verde Valley Archeology Fair
Get your kids outside this month to have some fun and learn more about the history, culture and archeology of our state during Archeology and Heritage Month in Arizona!