Location and Hours

Photo of petroglyphs at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

About

Nestled in the historic Hedgpeth Hills on the edge of Phoenix, the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve serves as a gateway to southwest archaeology and Arizona’s rich cultural past. It is the primary exhibition space for Arizona State University’s Center for Archaeology and Society, an organization that addresses enduring issues in the present by using archaeology's unique access to the diversity of solutions developed by ancient Southwestern cultures.

Born out of the Adobe Dam project in 1980, the preserve is the result of a partnership by a number of organizations, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Maricopa Flood Control District and Arizona State University.

The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is one of 5 prehistoric sites found in this immediate area. In 1980, J. Simon Bruder and a team from the Museum of Northern Arizona conducted fieldwork and they discovered:

  • 1,571 petroglyphs on 579 boulders
  • a ground stone quarry
  • a chipped stone quarry
  • cobble hammerstones
  • shell and bone artifacts
  • a single pithouse with 2 trash deposits and 10 cooking pits
  • an agricultural site
  • a possible canal segment
  • an earthen check dam
  • and several small, stone masonry rooms

Photographs of selected artifacts and petroglyphs, and videos can be found on the Arizona Memory Project.

Original excavation reports, maps and photographs can be found at Digital Antiquity, on the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR).

A collection of approximately 205 native Sonoran Desert plant species can be found on this 47-acre nature preserve. Most of these plants can be seen along the trail and in the preserve's ethnobotanical garden.

A total of 114 animal species have been tallied over the years as both permanent and migratory residents of the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. There are approximately 18 reptiles, 28 mammals, 65 birds and 3 amphibians that live here.

Arizona State University continues to operate, protect and preserve the site since 1994.

 

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