Tuzigoot National Monument
Completed: October 8, 2015
A small, but interesting site in Central Arizona highlighting ruins from almost 1,000 years ago. As part of the Verde Valley you cross the Verde River, year-round flow, as you approach this area. The surrounding views are spectacular.
This Junior Ranger Activity Guide is considered Senior Friendly as there are three age groups; turtle symbol for 6-7 years old, sycamore leaf symbol for 8-9 years old, and macaw symbol for 10 years or older.
The activities include; Excavating Your Life, Museum Scavenger Hunt, How many pots can you find?, Then and Now, Searching for Clues, Prehistoric Style, Understanding the Clues, Pueblo Trail, A View from on Top, Tavasci Marsh Trail, Poetry Corner and Share with a Park Ranger…
I had picked up the booklet on a previous visit and was intrigued by the page titled “How many pots can you find?”. The visitor center contains museum-style cabinets full of pots. Counting them took concentration, as I would notice another one hiding under a shelf after moving on. My final count was 52, a number the staff told me was one of several numbers considered an acceptable answer. The discrepancies could be related to what is a pot? Once the count was complete you draw your favorite pot, mine was a corrugated jar, the coils had not been smoothed over creating a nice texture.
Understanding the Clues allows you to study a real archeology report, on the previous page, then use clues to determine the answers. It was helpful to see the diversity of the pottery styles and to appreciate how the differences help you determine the age of a piece of pottery. It reminded me of Antiques Roadshow when they look at an item and can tell the owner when it was made.
Walking the Pueblo Trail, a hilltop covered in ruins, was beautiful on this October day. Besides enjoying the ruins the surrounding views are stunning. Tuzigoot is set in the Verde Valley, near the Verde River, hilltop mining town of Jerome and within view of the red rocks of Sedona. Sections of ruins were built over time, some as long as 900 years ago.
After walking through the museum and then the ruins I was able to complete the activity guide. After a staff member reviewed the booklet I received the badge. I purchased the patch from the bookstore. The inside back cover of the activity guide contains the Certificate of Achievement.