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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) established a partnership with the ASU Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve in 2003. This partnership initiated cooperative rock art documentation efforts in the Agua Fria National Monument with the hope of learning more about this remote area of Arizona, and to record rock art that is continually subjected to weathering.
The Agua Fria National Monument is a 71,000-acre parcel of land, about 40 miles north of Phoenix, containing several hundred known prehistoric sites.
Over three separate field sessions from the spring of 2003 to 2004, the rock art of Baby Canyon Pueblo was thoroughly recorded, totaling 253 panels and numbering near 1,000 individual rock art elements.
In 2006, the BLM generously provided additional funds to continue rock art documentation at other important sites in the Agua Fria National Monument.
ASU associate research professor Arleyn Simon, curator of collections, and the BLM spearheaded fieldwork and research in 2011.
Check out other ASU research projects at Agua Fria National Monument: Legacies on the Landscape: Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Understand Long-term Anthropogenic Impacts
Check out related publications (available in the gift shop):
Petroglyphs of Baby Canyon Pueblo, Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona by Jennifer K.K. Huang. Rock Art Recording Project Partnership between Bureau of Land Management and Deer Valley Rock Art Center, Arizona State University. ASU Office of Cultural Resource Management OCRM Report 98, 2010.
Petroglyphs of the Lost Jupiter, Sycamore Terrace, and Pueblo La Plata Areas, Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona by Tina Carpenter. Rock Art Recording Project Partnership between Bureau of Land Management and Deer Valley Rock Art Center, Arizona State University. ASU Office of Cultural Resource Management OCRM Report 99, 2010.
The agave rock piles you see on the grounds here are part of an experimental archaeology project conducted by preserve staff and volunteers. We are collecting soil temperatures from the agaves growing in rock piles and the agaves growing in bare soil to determine whether rock piles really do help stabilize soil temperatures.At the ASU Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, we are interested in asking new questions and researching ideas about how prehistoric people lived in the Phoenix Valley. Although archaeologists know that agave rock piles were used by prehistoric peoples, they only have hypotheses as to how they work. For this project, we are conducting a series of experiments to better understand how agaves were grown and used in prehistoric times.
Be a part of the project! You can participate in the agave research project by monitoring temperature readings on our blog at dvrac.blogspot.com. See how temperatures change between day and nighttime hours or between seasons. Are the rock piles helping to keep soil temperatures stable?
We encourage you to ask questions, provide comments and learn about agaves at our blog. We will be looking for new questions and ideas to expand this research, and we would love to hear from you.
Check out a related publication:
Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert (University of Arizona Press), winner of the 2002 Klinger Book Award, presented by the Society for Economic Botany. Text and Illustrations by Wendy Hodgson.