Grand Canyon National Park to Host Archeology Day Celebration on March 24

Sunday, February 26 2012 23:25   Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park will host its 5th annual Archeology Day March 24, 2012 with a number of free activities for the public in honor of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.

Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month is intended to inform the public about archeology in the state of Arizona.

arch_day_siftingIn Grand Canyon National Park alone, more than 4,300 archeological sites have been recorded to date, and archeologists estimate that the park may have as many as 50,000 to 60,000 sites, park officials said.

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 history lives on as the descendents of those ancient peoples continue to utilize the area today.

Grand Canyon National Park's Archeology Day is intended to help park visitors learn more about those 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 feature opportunities for visitors to try their hand at making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines; creating rock art using scratch art paper; coloring Hopi pot designs; sifting for artifacts; and planting corn, beans and squash seeds - traditional foods of the park's native peoples.

Additionally, there will be special programs by park archeologist Jason Nez and NAU anthropology professor Chris Downum. All activities are free and family friendly and will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages which can be easily accessed via the park's free Village Route shuttle.

Archeology Day will conclude with a very special evening program by Shonto Begay, artist, author, educator and Grand Canyon Master Artist-in-Residence.

Begay will discuss how his Navajo heritage and the rich culture of the Navajo reservation have influenced his contemporary paintings, as well as his environmental and social justice activism. Begay's program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium located on the South Rim near Parking Lot A.

Additional special Evening Programs, focusing on archeology topics, will be held throughout the month of March.

For more information on Archeology Day (including a full schedule of events once available) and on special park programs happening throughout Archeology and Heritage Awareness Month, visit the park's web site at


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