Grand Canyon National Park to Host Archeology Day Saturday, March 27
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. – On Saturday, March 27, 2010, 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.
Grand Canyon’s Archeology Day is intended to help park visitors learn more about the people who lived in the area long ago and to gain a greater understanding of the work that archeologists do and what can be learned from their research. Archeology Day will feature a series of 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.
The event will also include two special evening program speakers. On Friday, March 26th, Vanishing Treasures Archeologist Ian Hough will present “Extreme Cultural Landscapes: New Archeological Research in Grand Canyon.” On Saturday, March 27th, Park Guide Jennifer Onufer will share her experiences on an archeology trip down the Colorado River in “A River of Dramatic Change. Both programs will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium near Parking Lot A.
All 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 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
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.
Did You Know?
The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently estimate the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.