By Dave Carney, Chief of Interpretation and Education – Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

On January 8, 2020 Casa Grande Ruins will host Allen Dart as part of its annual speaker series. The presentation will begin at noon on January 8 featuring Allen Dart who will present a lecture titled “The Antiquity of Irrigation in the Southwest”. The speaker series will continue every Wednesday at noon through March 11.

Before AD 1500, Native American cultures took advantage of southern Arizona’s long growing season and tackled its challenge of limited precipitation by developing the earliest and most extensive irrigation works in all of North America. Agriculture was introduced to Arizona more than 4,000 years before present, and irrigation systems were developed in our state at least 3,500 years ago – several hundred years before irrigation was established in ancient Mexico. This presentation by archaeologist Allen Dart provides an overview of ancient irrigation systems in the southern Southwest and discusses irrigation’s implications for understanding social complexity.

Registered Professional Archaeologist Allen Dart has worked in Arizona and New Mexico since 1975 and has been an Arizona Humanities speaker since 1997. He is the former executive director of Tucson’s nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, which he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in archaeology, history, and cultures. Allen has received the Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission Award in Public Archaeology, the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award, and the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society’s Victor R. Stoner Award for his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.

The Speaker Series is funded by the Friends of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (http://friendsofcasagranderuins.org/) with additional support from Arizona Humanities (https://azhumanities.org/). The program begins at 12:00 pm in the Casa Grande Ruins visitor center theater at 1100 W Ruins Drive, Coolidge AZ, 85128. There is no fee for the program, and entrance to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is free.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the multi-story Great House and the ruins of other ancient structures built by the people of the Sonoran Desert over 800 years ago. The monument is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., May through September, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., October through April, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day holidays.  Directions and additional information are available on the monument’s website, http://www.nps.gov/cagr. You may call (520) 723-3172, or follow us on Facebook by searching for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for over 400 of America’s national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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