About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Tonto National Monument Archeological District and Tonto National Monument, Lower Ruin and Upper Ruin. Other materials include data from National Park Service's archives and the Tonto National Monument documentation. It was written by Charlotte King, National Council for Preservation Education intern with the NPS Archeology program. Brad Traver, Superintendent, Tonto National Monument, and Eddie Colyott, Lead Interpreter, provided photographs, drawings, and text editing. Barbara Little, Francis P. McManamon, and Theresa Moyer, of the NPS Archeology Program, offered editorial assistance. The lesson was also edited by the staff at the Teaching with Historic Places program. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson can be used in American history units on historical archeology, the late 19th and early 20th century conservation movement, U.S. government policy specifically dealing with preservation and conservation issues, American Indian culture, and 19th-century westward expansion.
Time period: Pre-European contact to contemporary; 19th through early 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) Describe how archeology helped researchers learn about the Salado culture of the Tonto Basin, including why they lived in cliff dwellings.
2) Explain the importance of preserving remains of the Salado and other
cultures from the past.
3) Outline the circumstances that led to the passage of the 1906
Antiquities Act and explain the impact the act had on the preservation of
4) Debate the relative merits of preserving a historic place in their
community or allowing the site to be developed.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) one map of Tonto National Monument and the surrounding area;
2) three readings about how archeology helped us learn about the history of the Salado people, the history of the Antiquities Act, and its effects on America's preservation and conservation efforts;
3) One document, the American Antiquities Act of 1906;
4) Seven photos of the cliff dwellings, the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, Salado pottery, a woven shirt, and sandals;
5) One drawing of Upper and Lower Cliff Dwellings;
6) One illustration showing the location of all national monuments.
Visiting the site
Tonto National Monument is located in Gila County in south-central Arizona, approximately 100 miles east of Phoenix and 30 miles northwest of Globe. All lands within monument boundaries are owned and administered by the National Park Service. The monument is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Christmas Day. Lower Ruin Trail closes to uphill travel at 4:00 p.m. For more information please write to Superintendent, Tonto National Monument, HC02 Box 4602
Roosevelt, AZ 85545, or visit the park's Web page.