Wildfires in Arizona sweep land rich with ancient sites, artifacts

Flagstaff, AZ (AP) – As Jason Nez explores the rugged mountains, the deserts, and the wonders of the Southwest, he recalls that they were part of a larger image. And fire is not new to them.

“They have been burned many, many times, and this is healthy,” says Navajo archaeologist and firefighter. “Many of our cultural treasures are what we see as living and living things are strong.”

As the northern city of Arizona wears a couple of wildfires, it is engulfed in dense vegetation, reminiscent of human existence for centuries – multi-storey stone houses, stone carvings, and pottery and ceramic pots are well preserved in the desert. Long before it was a fire extinguisher.

Firefighters are currently working on bulldozers and other modern equipment to prevent or minimize damage to archeological sites and monuments and to protect public displays of history for future generations.

“Some of those arrows, some of the clay fragments you see there, have the power to change the way we look at human beings,” he said.

The staff’s efforts include hiring people for advice on wildlife and habitat, climate quality and archeology. In Arizona, in recent months a number of archaeologists have traveled to burned areas and areas to search for evidence of meaningful human activity and to map out conservation maps.

Just last week, a crew spotted a semi-detached house known as Pet House.

Jean-Stevens, a U.S. forest service archaeologist and tribal linguist, said: “We know this area is very important to the tribes and we know it is a ancestor for them. “As we do more surveying, it will help to add more pieces to the puzzle than it does on the surface.”

Scattered debris is not the only thing that needs protection.

The Wupatki National Monument, a commercial center for indigenous communities around the 1100s – has been torn down twice this year by wildfires. The exhibit contains invaluable materials, including some 800,000-year-old corn, beans, and pumpkins, as well as untouched Clovis points or stone arrows.

Lauren Carter, the statue’s interpreter, said there was no plan to evacuate the monument and hundreds of homes outside Flagstaff before the first wildfires in April.

“The cave fire caused him to finish the plan – sorry – it was a matter of fire,” she said.

Monument Gwen Galenstein collects boxes made of large bowls and bubble bags for bows and other small artifacts. She had photographs for each item so she told anyone in charge of the packaging to know exactly where to put it.

June 12 Before another wildfire broke out and the monument was reopened, Galenstein trained a man on how to pack ceramic pots, bone tools, shoes, locally made cotton cloth, and more. He did not expect the plan to be implemented anytime soon.

The fire is still far from the facility. Numerous artifacts related to what archaeologists say are unique have been taken to the Northern Arizona Museum for protection.

Some Hopi tribes consider Wupatki to be their ancestors. The Navajo families later settled in the area but voluntarily or under pressure from the National Park Service, the land became a monument in 1924 and they slowly abandoned it, attempting to destroy it for personal use.

The monument has about 2,600 archaeological sites on 54 square miles (141 square kilometers) of Colorado Plato, at the intersection of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. The region includes the Grand Canyon, the colorful desert, the Hopi Mesa, volcanic fields, the largest Pondrosa pine forest in the US, and the San Francisco Pix Mountains – a sacred mountain for 13 Native Americans.

“This gives you an idea of ​​the density of cultural history here and it extends beyond the boundaries of national monuments to the national forest,” Carter said.

The Coconino National Forest, located at the southern tip of the plateau, covers only 20 percent of the 2,900 square miles (7,510 square miles) and 11,000 archaeological sites, says Stevens. Forest restoration work has provided archaeologists with an opportunity to map out and record items, including mechanical efficiency and ordered fires. Further discoveries are expected in the current wildfires, especially in remote areas, says Stevens.

The dry climate has helped preserve many heritages and places. However, especially in the drought-prone mega regions of the region, strong winds and heat are the most common type of wildfire in the western United States.

Stevens He recalled working in a wildfire in the Eastern Arizona White Mountains in 2006 and being met by prison staff at a large Kiva – a round stone made of earth and used for ceremonies. “It was amazing,” she says. “With the recent fires, we have a lot of research and a lot of knowledge, but we are always ready for that new discovery.”

Nice also made some unexpected discoveries on the mountain, including two Clovis points and a village.

“There will be clay slides, there will be project points,” he told firefighters and managers. “In indigenous cultures, these things are there and we celebrate them by leaving them alone.”

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