Tobi Taylor's Journal

News > Thursday, June-24-2010

Casa Grande issue of Archaeology Southwest

Archaeology Southwest, Vol. 23, No. 4, looks at the history of Arizona's Casa Grande Ruins, its designation as the country's first archaeological preserve, and the proposed expansion of the Casa Grande National Monument, which would encompass many more archaeological sites in need of protection. I contributed two articles to this issue: "The Nation's First Federally Protected Site," which reveals that Benjamin Harrison, known as "the White House iceberg," was a preservationist perhaps in spite of himself, and "The Perils of Pageantry at Casa Grande Ruins," where I tell how Superintendent Pinkley's bright idea for bringing visitors to the ruins went awry.

Not long after the issue's publication, Dr. Bill Doelle, President and CEO of the Center for Desert Archaeology and the guest editor for this issue, went to Washington to testify in Congress in support of the expansion of the Casa Grande National Monument. He said, in part,

The monument plays a unique federal role in the National Park System: it is the only unit that preserves and interprets Hohokam culture for public education and enjoyment. This purpose has brought 70,000 visitors to the Coolidge-Florence area each year. The Monument is the leading driver for tourism-related economic development in the Coolidge-Florence area. Efforts to protect the few remaining significant examples of Hohokam material culture off of tribal lands are essential if we are to preserve a portion of cultural legacy of this remarkable civilization as well as bolster economic development through heritage tourism.

HR 5110, introduced by Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), is currently in committee.


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