State Historic Preservation Office

Get ready for the next Expo on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Arizona Museum of Natural History (map it)!

Places to Remember: Guidance for Inventorying and Maintaining Historic Cemeteries

To helpSite Stewards commemorate Arizona’s centennial on February 14, 2012, a centennial project was begun to inventory and promote the protection of historic cemeteries throughout the state. Historic cemeteries were chosen as the focus of a centennial project because they are important irreplaceable resources many of which are in danger of being lost through neglect, natural erosion, and vandalism.

As the Arizona Centennial approached, it seemed appropriate that an organized statewide effort be undertaken to locate, inventory and provide guidance for the conservation and maintenance of these significant properties.

2012 Guidance for Inventorying and Maintaining Historic Cemeteries (8.4 MB PDF)

100 Arizona Archaeological and Historical Sites Open to the Public

In honor of Arizona's Centennial, the Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission assembled the following list of 100 archaeological and historical sites that are open to the public. We encourage you to visit Arizona's past! Download Archaeological and Historical Sites List (PDF) ( 86 KB PDF) or (XLS) ( 61 KB XLS)

Learn more about the AZ Site Stewards program.

The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of Arizona State Parks, assists private citizens, private institutions, local governments, tribes, and state and federal agencies in the identification, evaluation, protection, and enhancement of historic and archaeological properties that have significance for local communities, the State of Arizona, or the nation.

The role and function of the SHPO is defined in both state law (Arizona Historic Preservation Act) and federal law (National Historic Preservation Act, as amended). Activities of the SHPO include:

  • Statewide survey to identify and evaluate historic structures and archaeological sites;
  • Nomination of eligible historic and archaeological properties to the National Register of Historic Places;
  • Review of federal and state actions that may affect historic and archaeological properties;
  • Technical assistance to owners of historic properties;
  • Technical assistance to Certified Local Governments/local preservation commissions;
  • Public education and awareness programs;
  • Assistance through matching grants; and assistance to property owners seeking tax credits and incentives.

What is Historic Preservation?

Riordan MansionHistoric preservation is the identification, management, and protection of tangible elements from the past for future generations. It is the history that we can see and experience. As we move into the future with the explosion of new technologies, historic preservation provides an anchor to our past.

Historic preservation encourages the protection of historic and archaeological resources that are associated with important past events, themes, and people; that are representative of periods and types of architecture, possess high artistic value; or that are likely to yield valuable information about the past. Historic preservation helps us to know who we are by teaching us about where we came from.

How Does Historic Preservation Benefit Arizona?

  • Arizona's historic and archaeological properties are tangible reminders of the people and events that molded our state.
  • Arizona's archaeological sites hold the clues to 12,000 years of culture, land use, settlement, and exploration.
  • Historic buildings provide character and a sense of continuity for our communities.
  • Arizona's unique historic and archeological resources attract tourists from all over the world.
  • Reuse of existing historic residences and commercial properties conserves energy and materials and is less expensive than building new structures.
  • Historic preservation helps to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods and business districts.

How Can You Become Involved in Historic Preservation?

  • Learn more about the history of your community and Arizona.
  • Join a local preservation, historical, or archaeological organization.
  • Become an Arizona Site Steward Volunteer.
  • Encourage heritage education programs in your schools.
  • Support businesses in your historic downtown districts.
  • Visit local and state historic and archaeological parks and sites.
  • Become involved in local and state decisions, ordinances, and legislation that affect historic and archaeological resources.
  • Explore more on our Related Links page

Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission Awards in Public Archaeology

The Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission sponsors annual "Awards in Public Archaeology." The Commission is a statutory board that advises the State Historic Preservation Office on issues of relevance to Arizona archaeology. The Awards are presented to individuals, organizations, and/or programs that have significantly contributed to the protection and preservation of, and education about, Arizona's non-renewable archaeological resources.

These awards can include the following categories of individuals or organizations that are worthy of recognition for their public service/education endeavors: 1) professional archaeologists, 2) avocational archaeologists, 3) site stewards, 4) tribes, 5) private, non-profit entities, 6) government agencies, 7) private or industrial development entities and 8) lifetime achievement.

See 2014 Winners  | See List of Winners since 1988

Download Award Criteria and Nomination Form (86 KB PDF)

Application to SPT Program

Application and Instructions (176 KB Interactive Enabled PDF)
Learn more

Contact SHPO

The SHPO staff represents various areas of expertise, including prehistoric and historic archaeology, historical architecture, history, architectural history, and grants managements. To submit comments or questions, please contact:

SHPO Administrative Assistant
State Historic Preservation Office
1100 W Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 542-4009 or see the SHPO Staff Directory

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23751 N. 23rd Ave. #190
Phoenix, AZ 85085

 (877) MY-PARKS

Mission Statement
"Managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners."