Home » Community » Verde Valley Archaeology Fair Opens March 19

Verde Valley Archaeology Fair Opens March 19

Archaeology Center Roman

Roman Orona

Sedona AZ (March 6, 2016) The Verde Valley Archaeology Center will hold the Fifth Annual Verde Valley Archaeology Fair and International Archaeology Film Festival during Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month beginning Saturday, March 19 throughout Sunday, March 20. This is an official scheduled event with the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office that coordinates many activities held during March. For the second year in a row, the event has been selected as a “Signature Event” of the Arizona SciTech Festival, a state-wide celebration of science held annually in February and March (azscitech.com).

The Verde Valley Archaeology Fair will be held in the Camp Verde Community Center, 395 S. Main St, just before the entrance to Ft. Verde State Historic Park. The Fair is free and features archaeology-themed programs and interactive activities for the whole family. Activities created and presented by archaeologists, educators and other specialists will include archaeology methods demonstrations and exhibits on pottery shard identification and stone tools. There will also be various informational booths, including the Arizona Site Steward Program, the Oakcreek Watershed Council, Friends of Verde River Greenway, and the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Jonah Littlesunday

Jonah Littlesunday

The Fair will feature a number of free lectures in the Town Hall (Room 106). Saturday, March 19, at 10:00 in the morning, there will be a presentation on the Hopi Billingsley Dancers. In 1921 the Hopi were told that “church people” petitioned Congress to stop their “pagan” dancing. A group of dancers from Second Mesa were assembled. After touring the country, a platform was erected on the U.S. Capitol steps where both Houses of Congress assembled with their families to see the Hopi dancers. Congress then passed a Resolution giving the Hopi permission to carry on their dancing “for all time.” They continued to perform, culminating in performances at Carnegie Hall. This program traces their story, including rare film footage that will be featured in an upcoming PBS/BBC television special.

Two Arizona Humanities sponsored talks will follow. At noon, Dr. Sharonah will present Epics of the American Southwest. Too often the claim is heard that there is very little ancient history or literature in the United States. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether it is the Hopi epics of the wanderings of Long Sash and the exploits of the Koshare twins; the Navajo legends that connect the cultures of the Southwest with the great late-Medieval stories of Toltec-Aztec Mexico; or the adventures of Spanish men and women who deserted Francisco de Coronado’s expedition in protest over Coronado’s treatment of the Native peoples, Arizona and the whole American Southwest are a treasure trove of epic narratives. This presentation will be followed at 2:00 in the afternoon by Casey Davis presenting Little Sure Shot – Annie Oakley and the Closing of the American West. Annie Oakley is perhaps the best recognized, but little known personality who came out of the American West. Her life story is one which is enmeshed deeply into the fabric of the American character. Oakley defied social norms and cultural mores and expectations of her time while also being an exemplar of American Victorian womanhood. Oakley’s life provides an insight to a time of transition and upheaval in the nation that is both uniquely American and individual at the same time.

Walter Torres work

Walter Torres work

Sunday, March 20, will feature two free lectures: At noon, Dr. Chrissina Burke will give a presentation on Being Human’s Best Friend: Understanding the Relationship between Humans and Dogs in the Prehistoric Southwest. Dr. Burke’s research seeks to understand the relationship between humans and other members of their ecological communities, by focusing on the impacts prehistoric human hunters had on scavenging carnivores and the methods and behaviors associated with domesticated dog burials. The dog burial project uses curated collections at the Museum of Northern Arizona to identify the size, age and sex of each dog burial recorded from curated Southwest habitation sites. Dogs are predominately thought of as hunting companions prehistorically, but evidence suggests that many of the smaller dogs in the Southwest may have been used as “mousers,” similar to cats in Egypt, or refuse “vacuums.” This will be followed at 2:00 in the afternoon by Dr. Nancy Parezo who will discuss A Boot in the Door – Pioneer Women Archaeologists of Arizona. The men who explored Arizona are legends in the history of the region and of anthropology, but what about the women who accompanied them or explored by themselves? Did you know that Matilda Coxe Stevenson was a member of the first official government survey of Canyon de Chelly, or that Emma Mindeleff surveyed ruins in the Verde Valley while Theresa Russell helped her husband locate Hohokam sites? Probably not, for none are listed in “official” histories. Learn about the hidden pioneer archaeologists of the 19th century and honor Arizona’s unsung heroines of science.

The annual American Indian Art Show will also be held in the Community Center on March 19-20. This invitational show features artists with Southwestern tribal affiliations who have exhibited at select Indian Markets. The featured artist this year is Walter Torres, a stone sculptor from the Pueblo of Acoma. He is one of the first of his people to use stone as an artistic medium. He began expressing his native views during high school classes in silk screening, clay, painting and experimentation with graffiti art. He attended college at the University of New Mexico, taking electronic publishing, art history and drawing. He furthered his studies at the Poeh Arts Center in Pojoaque and now works as a professional sculptor. In 2010, he received the first Jan Musial Fellowship from the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2011 and again in 2012, he was one of the featured artists at the Sky City Cultural Center’s Haaku Museum contemporary art exhibit and was featured under the exhibit “Dyunni.” Walter is a renowned artist accepted into museum markets including the Eiteljorg Museum, Sharlott Hall Museum, Pueblo Grande Museum, the Autry National Center, and the Cherokee Art Market.

Walter Torres

Walter Torres

Native American entertainment will be provided during the Fair. On Saturday, March 19, Jonah Littlesunday will perform at 11:00 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m. on the stage of the Community Center. A full-blooded Navajo from Grey Mountain, Arizona, Jonah has been playing the Native American Flute since the age of 14. Jonah gained media attention when he journeyed to Los Angeles to audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent Season 10.

On Sunday, Roman Orona (ish hish itsaatsu is his Apache name, meaning “One Who Dances With Eagles”) is an internationally acclaimed dancer, singer, actor and craftsman. His work is often noted for its unique blend of power, passion and inspiration. He will perform on the Community Center stage at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Roman creates performances that are unforgettable, leaving a positive impact on audiences.

The International Archaeology Film Festival will feature three free films in the Learning Center of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center. The first film on March 19 at 10:30 in the morning will be Talking Stone: Rock Art of the Cosos. Hidden away in the canyons of a top secret military base on the edge of the Mojave Desert is the largest concentration of rock art in North America. Created over thousands of years by a now vanished culture, it represents the oldest art in California. The film explores the remote canyons and mysteries surrounding these amazing images.

This film will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by On The Trail of the Far Fur Country (Canada). In July of 1919, two cameramen from New York City set out to film Canada’s northern wilderness. They first boarded Canada’s most famous icebreaker, the HMS Nascopie, and headed from Montreal toward the Arctic Circle. The filmmakers were tasked with capturing life as a fur trader. By the time they completed filming they had gathered 75,000 feet of film. The film premiered on May 23, 1920, and rarely seen after that. But in 2011, a community of archivists, academics and filmmakers began a project to bring the 1919 film footage back to Canada, then to return these archival moving images to the communities of origin.

Archaeology center logoThe final film of the Festival will be Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods. This film explores the 3,000 year-old history of this divine substance through ritual and obsession. From Mayan kings who were buried with it, to urban professionals who bathe in it, the film begins in ancient Mesoamerica and journeys throughout time to Europe’s finest chocolate houses where chocolate is still revered as one of mankind’s highest expressions of decadence and sensuality. This film features discoveries by several prominent Mayan archaeologists that substantiate the sacred role of chocolate in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It captures for the first time an ancient, secret method of processing cacao beans still used by women in rural Oaxaca. Additional archaeological and anthropological revelations give the viewer a whole new perspective on chocolate.

The films are repeated on Sunday. Check the website for times.

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center located at 385 South Main Street, Camp Verde, Arizona, will be open throughout the Festival to view exhibits and to learn more about the archaeology of the area. Information about the Fair is available on the Center’s website at www.verdevalleyarchaeology.org or by calling 928-567-0066.

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!

Read www.SedonaEye.com for daily news and interactive views!


  1. Lisa & Perry, CV says:

    going to pecan fest & this, come on up

  2. Greg from Camp Verde says:

    Wife and I took kids & had nice time, walked around, ate. Best food stand was from Prescott. Not well attended. Should’ve been better. Folks you gotta start supporting these events with your kids, tourists don’t because they’re boring to them, not enough cheap action & trinkets. We met 2 couples from valley there while eating because traffic going to Sedona was waste of time for them but they weren’t impressed & won’t bother coming back to CV or Sedona. Good. We don’t go to the valley for their stuff. My next door neighbors said they don’t ever go to Sedona because its all tourists & nothing worth going for, same for most in CV if you ask. Heed this. Wife & I took time telling you. Get our towns back to when we came & went & took our families & environment was healthy. Did you know CV jail didn’t have one criminal until after 1987? Decades and decades of good people. What about now with what we’ve attracted? Have a good day. Weather nice.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2008-2017 · Sedona Eye · All Rights Reserved · Posts · Comments · Facebook · Twitter ·