The Arizona Public Archaeology Program is a statewide public awareness initiative with the purpose of promoting appreciation, understanding, and respect for Arizona's unique and nonrenewable prehistoric and historic archaeological resources. This program has a rich history spanning over three decades.
Arizona is recognized throughout the nation for having a successful and diverse public archaeology education program. Through the efforts of concerned citizens, the archaeology community, and the SHPO, this program has grown in leaps and bounds during the past 20-30 years. Our efforts at educating the public about the past and the sensitivity of Arizona's archaeological and historical sites have proved to be extremely valuable in protecting these fragile and irreplaceable cultural resources.
Public participation in investigating and preserving Arizona's past has been, and continues to be, a crucial aspect in the increased awareness and protection of our state's heritage resources. The public's role in these endeavors is a major focus of the various components of the SHPO's public education program as we try to engage the public throughout the year.
There are two primary components to this program:
Read the Archaeological Site Etiquette Guide
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The Arizona Site Steward Program is sponsored by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and is an organization of volunteers that aid the public land managers of Arizona by visiting prehistoric and historic archaeological and paleontological sites on public land and reporting any destruction or vandalism that they note. In addition to this site monitoring, Site Stewards are also active in public education through outreach activities. Site Stewards are selected, trained, and certified by the SHPO and the Archaeology Advisory Commission. Learn More.
The Southwest Archaeology Team, Inc.(SWAT) is affiliated with the Arizona Museum of Natural History and is a group of volunteers who have the following goals: to promote stewardship and conservation of our archaeological heritage; to promote the stabilization and preservations of historic and prehistoric sites; to have an emergency archaeological crew to survey or excavate sites that might be lost if volunteers do not assist with the project; to maintain a membership of archaeologists to supervise the documentation and analysis of the archaeological discoveries; and to involve the public and provide educational opportunities for adults and children. Learn more .
The Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) was founded in 1964 to promote and increase public awareness regarding our national archaeological and cultural resources. The goal of the AAS is to protect these antiquities by discouraging exploitation of archaeological resources. AAS has a nationally known training program to train and certify avocational archaeologists who can then work with professional archaeologists. AAS also conducts summer field schools with professionals using research, excavations, and rock art recording techniques. Learn more .