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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials May 1, 2016

3/13/2014 1:45:00 PM
Editorial: Knowing Verde Valley heritage is best guide for the future

Arizona is in the middle of Archaeology & Heritage Awareness Month, which provides particularly rich opportunities for learning in the Verde Valley and Sedona. If you don't know where you've been, you can't know where you are going, and that is what makes these events so important locally.

Both historically and pre-historically, there are extraordinary stories to be discovered. Whether you want to know how your grandfather made horseshoes from iron or how the ancient ones made their own shoes from yucca fibers, the advance of society is on display.

Facts about the environment, how it has changed and how it continues to impact life in the Verde Valley are all crucial to understanding the future. These facts are all ingrained in the activities of Archaeology & Heritage Awareness Month.

Having a better understanding of the mysterious Sinaguans - who once lived all over the Verde Valley before disappearing - gives us footholds in deciphering how current cultures make use of the same territory. Camp Verde and Clarkdale in particular can follow the cultural flow from the Sinaguans to the Apaches and Yavapais to the early Anglo settlers to current residents.

This month, Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot national monuments, as well as the Well, Fort Verde State Historic Park, V Bar V Ranch, the Red Rock Ranger Station and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center are all enhancing the discussion of how history nourishes the present.

In just eight days, visitors can go from a Pima-Maricopa cultural demo at Tuzigoot on March 15 to a talk about the Sinaguan's environment at Montezuma Castle on March 19 to the amazing Discovery Days at V Bar V on March 22-23.

It all winds up appropriately on the final weekend with the Camp Verde Spring Heritage Wine & Pecan Festival. Besides pecans and wines and a canoe race, the event includes plenty of chances to see how previous generations lived their lives here.

There is no better foundation for those who truly want to be a part of the Verde Valley's future.

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