Elden Pueblo is the site of an ancient Sinagua (Sin ah’ wa) village,
inhabited from about A.D. 1070 to 1275. The site is unique for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it makes archaeology and the study of ancient peoples accessible to the public. Since 1978, professional archaeologists have supervised members of the public in excavations, archaeological research techniques and artifact analysis through a variety of public and school programs.
Conveniently located on U.S. Highway 89 north, Elden Pueblo is thought to have been part of a major trading system. This is evidenced by discoveries of trade items, such as macaw skeletons from as far south as Mexico, to shell jewelry from the California Coast. Important discoveries recently uncovered at Elden Pueblo suggest that the Sunset Crater volcano may have erupted over a much longer period of time than previously thought.
The Arizona Natural History Association sponsors the Elden Pueblo Archaeology Project with the Coconino National Forest to provide opportunities for people to learn about and become involved in the science of archaeology. Annual programs include several Public Archaeology Days, in which the public can participate in site tours, actual excavation, artifact washing and analysis, and try their hand at using ancient hunting weapons. The August Public Day features a Primitive Technology Expo and the last Public Day of the year takes place in the fall as part of the annual Flagstaff Festival of Science.
Elden Pueblo is available for school programs and groups of up to thirty people. Educational programs are correlated to the Arizona State Standards, grades 4-7 in Social Science and Science. Custom programs are available, from 1-2 hours tours, to day-long excavations, or multiple-day programs. Elden Pueblo hosts the Arizona Archaeology Society’s summer field school, where avocational archaeologists receive training in various archaeological skills, such as excavation, stabilization, mapping, and laboratory techniques. There are also summer archaeology camps for students, from third grade and up.
Season: The site is open year-‘round for visitation. Brochures for self-guided tours are available on-site. Public programs, school programs, field schools and camps are conducted from Mid-April through October by appointment. Contact the Elden Pueblo Program Manager at (928) 527-3452 to schedule a program.
Facilities: Parking lot. Chemical toilets during the summer field season. An undeveloped camping area with potable water is available for special program participants during the summer.
Dating to the period between AD 1100 -1275 (about 800 years ago), Elden Pueblo is a 60-70 room Sinagua pueblo containing mounds, smaller pueblos, pit houses, and other features. It is located one half mile west of Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, AZ. The modern day Hopi consider the site a special ancestral place called PASIOVI or PAVASIOKI.
Elden Pueblo was first studied in 1926 by archaeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes. Later, the US Forest Service began to study the site and in the process developed a public archaeology education program focused on the following three topics: 1) teaching the public about the lives of the Sinagua people at Elden, 2) field methods in archaeology, and 3) to facilitate on-going research and protection at Elden Pueblo.