Colorful Basketmaker Point made from petrified wood
Colorful Basketmaker Point made from petrified wood


The human story begins over 13,000 years ago in this region. The Paleoindians left stone points and campsites in the park. Stone tools from many cultures were made from the abundant petrified wood as well as traded obsidian. This area was a major trading crossroad from all directions. The study of the archeology of the park doesn’t stop with the Ancestral Puebloans but continues into the late 19th and early 20th century with a stage station and Route 66. Explore the remnants of ancient villages and view evocative petroglyphs.

Human Timeline


Relatively Speaking

How to the people of the past relate to those who live in the area now? Culturally the Ancestral Puebloans are the ancestors of Zuni and Hopi. We also see evidence of early Navajo in the park as well. As for the Paleoindians and Archaic, we don’t know. They were highly nomadic so moved as needed for survival. They may have been part of the ancestors of this areas people, but difficult to know for sure.


Research Activities--coming soon
Archeologists at the park are constantly learning more about the archeological resources at Petrified Forest.

Research Articles
Peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and more about Petrified Forest archeology.

Last updated: June 11, 2024

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Mailing Address:

Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217

Petrified Forest, AZ 86028-2217


928 524-6228

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