OUR MISSION is to preserve archaeological sites and collections, to curate the collections locally, and to make them available for research and education; to develop partnerships with American Indians, cultural groups and the communities it serves; and to foster a deeper understanding of prehistory and American Indian history in the Verde Valley through the science of archaeology.
Center Receives Grey Fox Ridge Collection
During the late summer and fall of 2008 EnviroSystems, a cultural resource and biological consulting firm in Flagstaff, had been contracted by the developer to investigate the Grey Fox Ridge development area along the Verde River. The archaeological investigations of Grey Fox Ridge revealed a complex occupational history of what was primarily a Southern Sinagua pit house farmstead or small hamlet. A total of over 11,000 artifacts from the site were slated to eventually be curated at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott. It was hearing about this collection and its eventual transfer out of the area that was the impetus that started the Center. The site excavations led to the discovery and study of 21 sets of human remains (14 inhumations and 7 cremations), 18 pit structures, and 30 other types of features.
With the "qualified" review of the Center by the Arizona State Museum, the Center is now in a position to receive such a collection. As a result, on May 26, EnviroSystems delivered thirteen archival boxes of artifacts and one box of reports and field notes to the Center. The collection is now being evaluated by Center staff to develop an eventual exhibit. “This is a rather emotional moment for many of us who have struggled to get the Center established and recognized as a qualified institution,” said Executive Director Ken Zoll. “This is the collection that started it all and now it is ‘home’.”
Camp Verde Meteorite Returns
The meteorite found in 1915 in a Sinagua ruin near Camp Verde will be on display in a new exhibit at the Center. The meteorite is on loan from the Arizona State University's Center for Meteorite Studies from March 1 through August 31. The exhibit is open during regular hours. Admission to the Center is always free. Monthly talks on the importance of meteorites to ancient Native American cultures will begin on March 28 during the Verde Valley Archaeology Fair. Click HERE for more information on the Meteorite Exhibit.