Archaeology Day: Sat. March 22, 2014

Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center
Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
Main Location: Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Activities for Kids: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Special Evening Ethnobotany Program
by Park Ranger AJ Lapre
Shrine of Ages Auditorium: 7:30 p.m.

All activities and programs are free of charge.
Kid's sifting activity at Archaeology Day.
"Sifting for artifacts."

Activities for Kids at Visitor Center (View Map)

Join the rangers at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to learn more about people who lived here long ago. Family friendly hands-on activities take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Outdoor activities weather permitting.)

  • Making clay pinch pots
  • Making split-twig figurines
  • "Sifting for artifacts"
  • Creating rock art on scratch art paper
  • Planting corn, bean and squash seeds

Regularly Scheduled Ranger Programs - Saturday March 22
(With a focus on Archaeology)

1:30 pm History Walk, Ethnobotany
with Ranger Ty Karlovetz, meet at Verkamp's Visitor Center. 60 minutes.

1:30 pm, Tusayan Ruin Tour,
meet at Tusayan Ruin and Museum, 30 minutes.

2:30 pm, Mather Point Talk, "Talking Trash with Archaeology"
with Ranger Jennifer Onufer, meet at Mather Point View Point, 30 minutes.

7:30 p.m. Evening Program, We're Not Just Surviving, We're Thriving: Native American Ethnobotany
with Ranger AJ Lapre, Shrine of Ages Auditorium, 60 minutes.

rock art on Bright Angel Trail
Rock art on Bright Angel Trail

Special Archaeology Programs
on Saturday, March 22, 2014

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center Theater
Women's Role in Hopi Culture by Jessica Lomatewama, Hopi Tribal Member.

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Cultural demonstrations: by the Lomatewama family, including Hopi basket making and Kachina carving.


Evening Program Saturday, March 22, 2012

We're Not Just Surviving, We're Thriving: Native American Ethnobotany
AJ Lapre, Park Ranger

Shrine of the Ages is located at Parking Lot A near Park Headquarters.
village map showing the location of archeology day activities.
Map shows the location of Grand Canyon Visitor Center (right) where most of the Archaeology Day activities will take place --- The yellow areas with a red letter or numeral show the location of parking lots. It is possible to park in one of the Visitor center lots and ride the free Village Loop Shuttle to the Shrine of Ages, where Archaeology Day evening programs will be held.

Additional Special Evening Programs During March (Arizona Archaeology Month)
Shrine of Ages Auditorium: 7:30 p.m.

Saturday March 8
"Havasupai and Southern Paiute Cultural Geographies."
The talk will focus on the traditional lands used by the Havasupai and Southern Paiute people, their traditional lifeways. The talk will also explore changes to those ranges and lifestyles as a result of contact with EuroAmerican people and the advent of the reservation system. By Ellen Brennan, Cultural Resource Manager.

Saturday, March 15
"River of Dramatic Change: Lessons from a 2009 Archaeology River Trip"
Jennifer Onufer, Park Ranger

Saturday, March 22
"We're Not Just Surviving, We're Thriving: Native American Ethnobotany"
by AJ Lapre

Saturday March 29
"Bridging the Gap: Finding the Intersection of Park Management and Tribal Values"
by Jan Balsom, Deputy Chief of Science and Resource Management and Janet Cohen, Tribal Liaison


Why do we celebrate Archaeology Day at Grand Canyon National Park ?

Native people have lived in the Grand Canyon area for thousands of years and have left behind clues about their lives. The oldest artifacts are from the Paleo-Indian period and are nearly 12,000 years old.

Did you know that Grand Canyon has over 4300 archaeological resources with nearly 5% of the park surveyed? This gives us just a glimpse into the vast human history of the area.

What hands-on activities will be happening at Grand Canyon National Park during Archaeology Day?

Hands-on activities for all ages will take place at Grand Canyon Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 .

Join a ranger to make a split-twig figurine, similar to artifacts that have been found in remote caves of the Grand Canyon. These split twig figurines may resemble a deer, or perhaps a bighorn sheep, and are thought to be a hunting talisman.

You could also make a pinch pot out of clay and compare your work to thousand year old pots which were used for cooking, serving or storing food. Obtaining and preparing food used to take a lot more time for people of the past than it does for us today.

If you want to pretend to be a modern archaeologist, you can participate in the artifact sifting activity. When you find bits of evidence, perhaps you can discover what they are and what they were used for.

Archeology Virtual Tour Console

Take a virtual tour

Grand Canyon Archaeology Virtual Tour

Discover ancient places within the canyon where people lived long ago.

What did the archaeologists find
during the first major excavation to occur along the Colorado River corridor in nearly 40 years? Interactive 360° photos show archeologists at work.

Related Information

Grand Canyon National Park Archeological Resources

The River Monitoring Program
generates data regarding the effects of Dam operations on historic properties, identifies ongoing impacts to historic properties within the APE [Area of Potential Effect], and develops and implements remedial measures for treating historic properties subject to damage.
Archeological Excavations at 9 Sites along the Colorado River Corridor
Between 2007 and 2009, the National Park Service, in cooperation with the Museum of Northern Arizona, undertook the first major archeological excavations along the river in Grand Canyon National Park in 40 years.

Archeologists Make Exciting Discoveries Along the Colorado River
In October, 2007, archeologists excavated a habitation site along the Colorado River. The fascinating artifacts they found provide insight into the lives of people who once made the Grand Canyon their home.

Canyon Sketches Vol 03 - May 2008
Archeologists Excavate Kiva by the Colorado River
Archeologists excavated nine archeological sites along the Colorado River because they are being impacted by severe erosion. In April and May 2008, crews discovered a complete kiva during the excavation of one of these sites.

Canyon Sketches Vol 09 - March 2009
Archeologists Excavate Two Sites Along the Colorado River.
In fall 2008, archeologists excavated two archeological sites during a three-year project along the Colorado River corridor in Grand Canyon. One of the excavated sites has evidence of as many as six different human occupations over a time span of 3,500 years.

The Vanishing Treasures Program
Grand Canyon National Park is one of 45 National Park Service areas that participate in the Vanishing Treasures Program. The goal of the Vanishing Treasures program is the conservation of architectural remains through research, documentation, and preservation treatment.

Canyon Sketches Vol 04 – June 2008
Vanishing Treasures Archeologists Stabilize Transept Ruin (North Rim)
In late June 2008, archeologists from Grand Canyon National Park’s Division of Science and Resource Management cleaned and stabilized Transept Ruin, a two-room ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) ruin on the North Rim.

Last updated: March 20, 2015

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PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023


(928) 638-7888

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