Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grand Canyon, Tusayan Museum and Ruin - 9/07/14

Today we visited the Tusayan Museum and Ruins located a few miles west of Desert View near the East Entrance. The Museum is small and the ruins are in essence the rock foundations of the buildings that were built approximately 1,000 years ago by the Tusayan Indians.

Humans in the Grand Canyon: Nomadic hunter/gathers lived in the Canyon area 10,000-12,000 years ago. Split-twig figurines (4,000 years old) have been found in the Canyon caves as well as rock art that provide archeological evidence of the culture that followed.

There are more than 4,000 archaeological sites in the Grand Canyon. This ruin, as indicated by tree ring dates, was constructed around 1185 AD. It is typical of the ancestral Puebloan culture characterized by:

Common characteristics of the ancestral Puebloan culture:
- Communities: Multi-room masonry structures featuring a ceremonial feature (kiva) built around a plaza
- Agriculture: Cultivation of corn, squash, and beans.
- Ceramics: styles of black on white and black on red or orange.

Th3 site was partially excavated in the 1930s. It is estimated that 25-30 people lived in the village. Here are some photos of the foundations.

Storage room foundations.

Living quarter foundations.

Here is a model found in the museum that illustrates what the structures would have looked like.

The kiva, where spiritual activities of the community were held.

Additional artifacts in museum exhibits: Points used for hunting.


Mano and metate to grind food.


Turquoise and tools
Some photos of us, too.

What's in that tree?

We really enjoyed learning more about the history of the people that lived in this area so many years ago. The museum, although small, has interesting exhibits and is well worth the visit.

Admission to the museum is free. Admission to the Grand Canyon National Park is #25/vehicle for 7 days. John's senior pass gets us in for free.

Website:  www.nps.gov/grca

1 comment:

  1. Tusayan Museum was built in 1928. It is situate in the eastern end of the park.
    Grand Canyon is a rock formation point of interest,I have visited the museum during my scottsdale grand canyon tour with my college friends.
    Today it presents a archeological and modern history like Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, and Paiut. Around the ruin the visitors can guided take the self guided tours.