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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. – On Saturday, March 28, 2009, 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 26 years ago 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, over 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, much like “Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month”, is intended to help park visitors learn more about the people who lived here long ago and to gain a greater understanding of the work that archeologists do and what can be learned from their research. The event will include two special speakers: Science and Education Outreach Coordinator Allyson Mathis, who will talk about current archeological excavations along the Colorado River at 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center; and Ian Hough, park archeologist, who will provide a special evening program called “Grand Canyon – The Human Story” at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages. The day will also feature a series of special activities, including opportunities for visitors to try their hands at making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines as well as “sifting for artifacts” then trying to identify what is found and hypothesizing what it might have been 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 family friendly and, with the exception of the evening program, will be offered at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, located at the Canyon View Information Plaza, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In addition to these activities, Park Archeologist Amy Horn, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, will be presenting "Stories Among the Aspen: Ranching on the North Rim" at the North Kaibab Ranger District Office in Fredonia, Ariz., from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
For additional information on Archeology Day please visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/arch_day.htm, or call Supervisory Park Ranger Libby Schaaf at 928-638-7641.