Digging up the past

Last February site stewards Richard Rogers, professor of speech communication, along with NAU alum Christine Stephenson, retired NAU professor Bern Carey, and Museum of Northern Arizona archaeologist Dave Wilcox discovered two exposed, intact pots on Forest Service land near Wupatki National Monument. The pots are now on display at the Wupatki visitor’s center.

The pots are large and intact. One is a reddish plainware pot of likely Cohonina origin, the other is a black-on-white decorated pot of Kayenta “Anasazi” or ancestral Puebloan manufacture. They likely date to sometime after the eruption of Sunset Crater (about A.D. 1075-1125). They were found by themselves, without any other artifacts or burials, in an area where the Cohonina, Kayenta and Sinagua cultures contacted and overlapped.