Verde Valley Archaeology Center – Camp Verde, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

Verde Valley Archaeology Center

Its comprehensive collection features Native American artifacts dating back centuries. 

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Step into this museum, and you’ll find a dynamic showcase that tells the story of how ancient populations moved through the region. You’ll see ancient artifacts from throughout Arizona, as the museum is made of exhibits featuring displays of items such as pottery, arrowheads, textiles, and more. The building also holds a working archaeological lab where volunteer curators provide assistance to fellow archaeologists and researchers working in the field.

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is a nonprofit organization comprised of a museum and archaeological lab facility. The center opened its doors in a building given by the Town of Camp Verde in 2009. Since its opening, the organization has widened public access to historic items found in the Verde Valley. 

A timeline exhibit provides information on the inhabitants of the Verde Valley from Paleo-Indians (11,500 to 9,000 BC) through the current Native American presence of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. A Sinagua Exhibit showcases artifacts illustrating the Sinaguan history and culture from 650 to 1450. This is supplemented with a U.S. Forest Service Honanki Exhibit of artifacts from the Honanki Heritage Site within the Coconino National Forest.

An adornments exhibit displays various items worn by the Sinagua Culture, such as shell bracelets and necklaces, as well as pendants made from a variety of materials. The tools of archaeology exhibit provides information on the diagnostic value of various types of pottery sherds found throughout the area. A map illustrates the vast distances from which pottery has been found in the Verde Valley. This exhibit also includes a tree ring sample on loanfrom the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Exhibits are rotating throughout the year and even include art displays and masterpieces by artists such as Paul Dyck, American painter of Southwestern themes.

Know Before You Go

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding major holidays). Museum entry is free.  Tours are available for groups with a two week advance reservation.

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