Many artifacts of ancient civilizations can be found in museums throughout the Southwest and the nation. Unfortunately, many artifacts and fragile structures are being lost, damaged or destroyed by visitors who are unfamiliar with preventing damage. Worse yet, are those artifacts which are intentionally damaged, destroyed or removed.

As you approach an archaeological site, stop for a moment and reflect on how you would want a visitor to behave if visiting the home of an elderly relative. Excercise care and respect for the area.


Please read through and follow these simple guidelines when visiting an archaeological site.

  • Children's natural curiosty and enthusiasm for climbing is easily aroused by the walls, nooks, and crannies found at many archeological sites. As well, many of these sites are in desert regions and have the risk of desert creatures being present. Please keep children under close supervision.
  • Stay off the midden, which is usually a low mound near the site which is particularly important to Native Americans and archeologists. This is especially true in alcove sites where the midden may have a steep side which can be easily eroded.
  • Please stay on the trail and avoid walking along the base of walls built on slopes. Trails can lead to erosion at the base of walls, causing them to topple.
  • Fragile walls that are stressed once too often can suddenly collapse. Please don't use them as handholds while getting into a site and don't stand or climb on them.
  • Removing artifacts from an archaeological site is ILLEGAL, often under both state and federal laws. If you pick up an artifact at a site, please replace it where it was picked up from. Moving artifacts from one portion of a site to another makes it difficult to chart a site's growth. NEVER keep an artifact from the site.
  • Please refrain from touching or attempting to enhance (for photographic purposes) the rock art which is found at many sites. New technology allows us to date rock art by analyzing the patina which has built up through the millennia. Touching or attempting to enhance the images can damage the patina and compromise dating techniques.
  • Information on public archaeological sites and ruins for each region is listed under the ATTRACTIONS heading of the region. Please click on a button below or to the left to go to the region that interest you.

    New books on Arizona archaeology and sites have been listed in CArizona Bookshop and can be ordered on-line!


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