Arizona April 29, 2016
6 Things Archaeologists Discovered In Arizona That May Surprise You
Arizona is well-known for its stunning natural beauty but our state is also well-regarded for the amount of science and history that can be found (or made) here. In some previous articles, I mentioned Arizona’s major contributions to astronomy and the Space Race, but did you the state is also a hotbed for archaeological finds? Check out just a few examples that shows just how old Arizona’s human history is:
1. There are several incredibly old mammoth butchering sites in southern Arizona.
One of the earliest was found in 1931 and all sites have, to some degree, revealed mammoth bones and tools that survived some 20,000 years. One example is the Murray Springs Clovis Site on the outskirts of northeastern Sierra Vista. A monument sits in the area, but you won’t find much in the way of mammoth bones. It does have a short interpretive trail though.
2. A more recent example of that mammoth hunting and butchering was found in Gilbert in 2005.
Actually, construction workers for the last few decades have come across several areas in the East Valley that show evidence of hunting the massive animal. Their locations are usually underreported, however, since then it has led to locals scavenging and destroying the old bones.
3. A presidential find was made in eastern Arizona.
In 1965, President Johnson’s daughter sighted and helped dig up a 700-year-old skeleton on the Fort Apache reservation during a vacation study with the University of Arizona.
Here’s a link to the news article
, but there’s no word on what happened to the bones.
4. The Hohokam cremated their dead until about 1300 AD.
A practice that was common among tribes in California and western Arizona, evidence has been found at various archaeological sites that show the
Hohokam practiced cremation of their dead
and buried the remains along with items like jewelry. This lasted a few hundred years until they returned to regular burials.
5. Petrified National Forest is home to at least two centuries-old villages.
Just a sliver of the 600 or so archaeological sites found within the park’s boundaries, the latest village was found in the eastern part of the park in 2014 and dated to about 200 AD.
6. Centuries old irrigation canals have been spotted all over the state.
Most people are familiar with the Hohokam canal system in the Phoenix area, but did you know you can also find them in the Verde Valley and Tucson areas? One example is near Montezuma Well, which dates to approximately the 8th-century (the 700s) and parts of it are still used today.
How many of these did you know of?