Welcome to the past! Arizona contains some of the nations — and indeed the worlds — greatest archaeological sites. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this site etiquette guide that will facilitate an enjoyable visit for you, AND for others who follow you!
The ruins at Homolovi State Park are a good example of archaeological ruins that need to be visited with great care.
Archaeological sites in Arizona are the remains of a long occupation of prehistoric, protohistoric, and historic cultures. They are a fragile and non-renewable resource. You are responsible for the stewardship of these ruins, both for public enjoyment and education, and for preserving their scientific values. The following guidelines will help you minimize impacts to archaeological sites:
Finally, be aware of your surroundings when you are outdoors. Avoid driving or riding your bicycle through sites; pitching your camp in a site; dismantling historic buildings for firewood or any other use; and, camping, or making campfires, in historic buildings.
All archaeological sites on public (federal and state) land in Arizona are protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and state laws that prohibit digging, removing artifacts, damaging and/or defacing archaeological resources; these laws provide for both felony and misdemeanor charges with jail time, confiscation of property, and large fines. Arizona state law also protects graves (human remains) and grave goods located on state and private land.
If you see people vandalizing sites, please report it as soon as possible to the public land manager (e.g., the Forest Service, the Arizona State Land Department, etc.) or their law enforcement entity.
Archaeological site locations are also protected under federal and state laws. Please do not disclose information about where sites are located, as it could potentially lead to those sites being vandalized or looted.
By following these simple guidelines, YOU can help preserve these unique and fragile remains of OUR American heritage. Remember, THE FUTURE OF THE PAST DEPENDS ON YOU! Thanks for your cooperation, and we hope that you enjoy visiting archaeological sites in Arizona!
Download Site Etiquette Guide (86 KB PDF)